PleinAir Magazine

SIX KEYS TO PAINTING TREES WITH CHARACTER AND DIMENSION

Unless you live in the desert or tundra, if you want to paint landscapes, you must be able to portray trees convincingly — which, despite their apparent simplicity, can be devilishly tricky to do. Here, we’ll explore ways to deal with the unique challenges of painting this ubiquitous landscape feature.

GETTING INTO SHAPE

Let’s start with the most important visual component of a tree — its contour. Two simple “rules” can help ensure that your trees have dimension and character, without being overly complex.

The visual form of a tree, establishing both its species and its unique character, is defined by its contour, its outline. The “stuff” inside the edges isn’t nearly

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