Painting Trees

painting for fun, cypress trees

In my last post, I talked about painting just for fun. I showed you how I took just three basic colors and quickly laid the foundation for a complete painting and had fun doing it. Today, I thought I would show you what I’ve done on the painting since then.

Carrying on with the same theme of the background, I mixed ultramarine blue, burnt umber, and a small amount of titanium white, which gave me a dark cool tone for my distant trees. 

Using a pencil, I lightly sketched in the skeletal structure of the trees in the painting. These pencil lines indicate the structure of the trees without setting outside boundaries for the trees. I then started with the most distant trees and painted them with the distant tree dark value.

When this layer was dry, I mixed a little titanium white with my distant tree dark value and lightly painted in the midtones of the trees. My last layer on the distant trees consisted of just a bit more titanium white mixed with the midtone tree color and lightly indicated the highlights on the trees. This color palette gave me a grayish atmosperic look to the distant trees. When painting objects in the distance, I don’t paint a lot of detail. This helps push the trees further away in the painting.

For the foreground tree on the left of the picture, I mixed ultramarine blue and burnt umber, which produced a very dark, but nice cool tone of gray. I painted the entire tree with this dark value. When this layer was dry, I mixed a slight bit of titanium white with the dark value and painted in the midtones for the tree. And last of all, I mixed a little titanium white with the midtone color and painted in the highlights.

The grasses around the trees, and the leaves on the trees, consisted of sap green, burnt umber, and ultramarine blue. To achieve the midtone and highlight colors for the grass and the leaves, I mixed varying amounts of cadmium yellow medium with this dark value.

More than likely, I’ll later add some ducks to this painting when I decide what type I want and where they will be placed. Until next time, keep your brushes clean, your colors pure, and as always, thanks for stopping by the North Forty.


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Thank you.

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