Sunday, October 6, 2013

Painting Trees


                              "Brandywine Battlefield"

Anyone aspiring to become a landscape painter should master the drawing and painting of trees.  So many beginning painters resort to their elementary school depictions of trees, relying on symbols rather than carefully observing the individual trees they are painting.

In this painting, you see background trees, foreground trees with foliage and a couple of leafless trees.  Special care was taken with the drawing of the trees on the left.  Notice that one branch in particular is very dark, as is the shadow it casts.  Important:  Painting  a tree the same color and the same value (usually very dark brown) signals an amateur approach which uses childhood symbols of trees.  Ask yourself:  Is the trunk lighter or darker in value than its background?  Does the trunk have moss on it to justify using green on it?  Are the cast shadows darker and harder-edged in some places, and softer and lighter in others?

And smaller branches against the sky are usually lighter and cooler as the color of the sky will influence the color you choose for those smaller limbs.

Still, there can be no formulas here either.  It really depends on your observation.  So look, look, look, sketch, sketch, sketch and then paint.  The time you spend preparing will be worth it!

No comments:

Post a Comment