Painting Trees In Acrylic
Learn how to paint trees in acrylic and take your landscape paintings to the next level.
In this post, I will share some of my favorite YouTube painting tutorials, video courses that will show you different painting techniques, and acrylic paint supplies that will have you painting realistic trees in no time.
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How To Paint Trees In Acrylic
Creating a landscape painting can be challenging and frustrating, especially if you are unfamiliar with the techniques used for painting trees.
Learning how to paint leaves on a tree in acrylic or learning how to paint pine trees in acrylic is a technique you will have to master if you plan to paint landscape paintings in acrylic.
Whether you want to learn:
- How to paint a tree with acrylics for beginners
- How to paint background trees in acrylic
- How to paint a tree trunk
- How to paint fall trees in acrylic
The YouTube and video course below will demonstrate everything you need to know about painting a tree so you can turn your landscape paintings into masterpieces.
How To Paint A Tree In Acrylics YouTube Videos
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to paint trees in acrylic paints.
The video shows the artist painting a beautiful tree in real-time with soft music.
Study and learn how to paint trees by watching the artist’s strokes, techniques, and color selection.
Once you learn some basic techniques this artist uses, you will recognize that Painting trees in acrylic is not only easy but rewarding.
This artist demonstrates how to paint trees with a fan brush and regular brushes.
I have found it helpful to watch the acrylic tree painting video several times before starting.
Doing so allows me to observe the artist’s techniques before diving into the project.
I also recommend practicing on some affordable acrylic paper before starting a project on canvas.
Refer to this video anytime until you have mastered the techniques.
For a more in-depth tutorial, visit Painting Trees in Acrylic – with Peter John Reid. For more information, scroll to the bottom of this post.
Acrylic Painting Trees With Fan Brush
- Prepare your materials: Gather your fan brush, acrylic paints (typically shades of green, brown, and white), a canvas, a palette, and a cup of water. Set your workspace up in a well-lit area to ensure you can see your work properly.
- Mix your base color: On your palette, mix together your primary green paint with a small amount of brown to create a natural, earthy green. This will serve as the base color for your tree foliage.
- Dip your fan brush into the paint: Load the bristles of your fan brush with the mixed paint. Make sure the bristles are well-coated but not dripping.
- Start applying the paint: Hold the fan brush vertically and dab the paint onto the canvas, starting from the top of where your tree will be. This creates the illusion of tree leaves.
- Build the tree: As you move down, gradually widen your strokes to create a wider tree as you reach the bottom. Remember, trees are not perfect, so vary your strokes for a more natural look.
- Paint the trunk: Using a smaller brush and brown paint, paint a vertical line down the center of your tree for the trunk.
- Add depth and highlights: Add depth to your tree by applying darker shades of green and brown in areas to represent shadow. Use lighter shades of green mixed with white to represent areas hit by light.
- Let it dry: Allow your painting to dry completely. Acrylic paint dries fairly quickly, but it’s best to wait at least an hour before touching the painting to avoid smudging.
Remember, practice makes perfect. So, don’t worry if your first few trees aren’t perfect. Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be painting trees like a pro!
How To Paint Trees In Acrylic Step By Step With Feliks
In this video, Feliks talks you through everything you will need to know about painting trees in acrylics.
First, he explains what art supplies you will need for this tutorial.
Then Feliks starts painting the trunk with darker colors, making it more abundant on the bottom and smaller on top.
The next step is adding the branches.
After the tree trunk and branches are completed, he shows you how to add the leaves with darker tones first, adding in the highlights and more vibrant colors.
After watching the first videos, it is helpful to have an artist talk you through the steps of painting trees with acrylics.
Put about half an hour aside to watch the Feliks tutorial. You will get some valuable tips that will make it easy to paint a realistic pine tree, oak tree, and palm tree.
Below is a list of supplies you will need for painting trees with acrylics.
Visit the posts below if you are learning how to paint with acrylics and are not familiar with what supplies to buy:
- Ultramarine Blue
- Phthalo Blue
- Cad Red
- Alizarin Crimson
- Cadmium Red Light
- Cadmium Yellow
- Lemon Yellow
- Yellow Ochre
- Titanium White
- Mars Black
- Hunter Green
- Burnt Umber
- Burnt Sienna
- Raw Umber
Best Acrylic Paints:
- Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylics
- Golden Heavy Body Artist Acrylics
- Liquitex Basics Acrylic Colors
- Sennelier Abstract Acrylics
- Flat Bristle brush
- Flat Sable brush
- Liner brush
- Fan Brush
- Filbert Brush
- Angular Brush
- Round Brush
Order Acrylic and Oil Brushes by brand.
How To Mix Colors With Acrylic Paints
1. Mixing Basic Green:
To create green mixes, blend equal parts of Cadmium Yellow and Phthalo Blue. Adjust the different shades by adding more yellow for a lighter, brighter green, or more blue for a deeper, darker green.
2. Creating Olive Green:
Olive green can be achieved by blending Yellow Ochre and Ultramarine Blue. You can lighten the color by adding more yellow, or darken it by adding more blue.
3. Making Dark Green:
Dark green can be made by combining Phthalo Blue and Cad Red. The result is a deep, forest green. If the green is too dark, lighten it by adding Lemon Yellow.
4. Creating Light Green:
For a lighter, mint green, mix Lemon Yellow with a small amount of Phthalo Blue. Adding more yellow will make the green even lighter.
5. Crafting Brown-Green:
To create a brownish-green, ideal for tree trunks or shadowy foliage, mix Yellow Ochre with a small amount of Burnt Umber.
Remember, color mixing is an art in itself, and the possibilities are endless. Experiment with different combinations to find the perfect shades and hues for your trees. Understanding the color wheel and color theory can be very helpful in this. Practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to try out different mixes and see what works best for your artwork!
How To Clean Brushes
- Wipe off excess paint: Start by wiping the paint brush on a rag to remove as much paint as possible.
- Rinse with warm water: Run the bristles of the paint brush under warm water. Avoid hot water as it can damage the bristles.
- Use a mild soap: Gently clean the bristles with a mild soap or a brush cleaner. You can also use a gentle dish detergent. Work the soap into the bristles with your fingers, starting at the base and moving towards the tip of the brush.
- Rinse and repeat: Rinse the brush thoroughly under running water. Repeat the process until the water runs clear and there is no color coming out from the brushes.
- Reshape the bristles: After cleaning, use your fingers to reshape them to their original form.
- Dry the brushes: Pat them dry with a clean towel, then lay them flat to air dry. Avoid standing the brushes upright as water can drip down into the handle, which could lead to rot.
Taking care of your brushes can extend their lifespan and save you money in the long run. Always clean your brushes immediately after use to prevent paint from drying in the bristles, making them harder to clean.
Painting Trees In Acrylic Tutorial
Painting Trees in Acrylic – with Peter John Reid
Learn how to create breathtaking forest scapes in acrylic with professional painter Peter John Reid.
John explains how to recognize the differences in trunks, branches, and canopies of various species.
Learn how to paint a tree trunk to make your trees pop off the canvas.
Learn how to mix greens with confidence to create depth in your acrylic paintings.
Paint magical sunsets or misty mornings by learning how to apply wet-in-wet techniques and glazing methods.
Discover how to create reflections of trees and sky on water.
Achieve vibrant backgrounds and so much more with Painting Trees in Acrylic – with Peter John Reid
1. Elements of the Tree – 26:04
2. Mixing Greens – 24:01
3. Wet-in-Wet Blends for Backgrounds – 23:26
4. Forms in Groups – 26:23
5. The Watercolor Technique – 19:12
6. Painting Tree Noise – 18:13
7. Negative Painting – 29:54
How To Add Shadows And Sky Holes For More Realistic Trees
Adding Shadows to Trees:
Shadows are crucial in adding depth and realism to your tree paintings. To paint shadows, choose a darker version of your tree color or mix your tree color with a bit of black or blue. Apply this darker color to the side of the tree opposite your light source, blending it into the lighter color to create a gradient effect. Remember, shadows are not uniform, so make sure to vary the depth and intensity of your shadows for a more realistic look.
Crafting Sky Holes in Trees:
Sky holes, or areas where the sky is visible through the leaves and branches of the trees, are integral to creating believable tree structures. Using the color of the sky in your painting, dab small spots in the areas where the foliage of your trees is sparse. Be mindful of the size and shape of these sky holes, as they can suggest the distance and density of your tree’s foliage. Larger, irregularly shaped sky holes can indicate a close, dense tree, while smaller, rounder holes can imply a distant, less dense tree.
Including shadows and sky holes not only adds a layer of depth and dimension to your tree paintings but also enhances the overall realism of your artwork. They provide a sense of light source and contribute to the atmospheric perspective, which can greatly enrich the viewer’s experience.
Final Thoughts On How To Paint Trees In Acrylic
Before starting a project, you must decide which painting style you will create.
Do you want to paint a hyper-realistic painting, abstract painting, or illustration style?
Whatever you decide, you will want to learn some of the tree painting techniques demonstrated by the artists above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What type of brush is best for painting trees in acrylic?
A1: A variety of brushes can be used to paint trees in acrylic. Generally, a flat brush is good for blocking in the basic shape and color of the tree, while a round brush or detail brush can be used for finer details like branches and leaves. A fan brush can be helpful for creating texture in the foliage.
Q2: How do I avoid making my trees look flat?
A2: To avoid making your trees look flat, incorporate different shades of green and brown to suggest depth and volume. Also, remember to take into account the light source in your painting and add shadows accordingly.
Q3: How can I make my trees look more realistic?
A3: To make your trees look more realistic, pay attention to details like the texture of the bark, the shape and arrangement of leaves, and the play of light and shadow on the tree. Adding ‘sky holes’, or gaps in the foliage where the sky is visible, can also enhance realism.
Q4: Can I use black to darken my green for tree shadows?
A4: While you can use black to darken green for tree shadows, it can often result in a very flat, unnatural color. Instead, try darkening your green by mixing in some blue or brown. This will result in a more vibrant, natural-looking shadow color.
Q5: I’m a beginner. What’s a simple technique I can use to paint trees?
A5: One simple technique for painting trees is the ‘fan brush’ method. With this method, you use a fan brush to dab paint onto the canvas, creating a leafy texture. Start with darker colors for the inner part of the tree, and then gradually add lighter colors for the outer leaves. This technique can be easier for beginners to grasp and still results in a fairly realistic tree.