How to Paint Better Landscapes  – Tree Forms –  Video One
How to Paint Better Landscapes – Tree Forms – Video One

hello everyone welcome to the art of
Joseph Finchum tutorial series I am as always tutorial series and
you’re–you I’m going to be doing a tutorial on painting tree forms today
I’m starting over here on my drawing table I’ve already put down some quick
guide sketches and now I’m just going to darken them in time-lapse then we’ll
move over to the easel grab some paint and we’ll get back to it I’m just using
charcoal pencil nothing fancy this is my first tutorial so bear with me as we get
started I am making this video on painting tree forms for a simple reason
more diversity in your landscape paintings I see a lot of artists that
will learn to paint a tree and then go on to paint another painting with three
trees but it’s just three of that same first tree they’ve learned to paint a
tree not to paint trees you feel me so this first lesson will be focused on the
shapes and forms that trees take okay we’re back
so let’s paint these suckers I’m going to start by blocking in some color while
we discuss these tree forms it may be wise to note that we are talking about
the shape here not species you may find that a maple or an oak tree can come in
most of these shapes and more as well since this video is about form we aren’t
going for a great amount of detail just the basics so who doesn’t understand camera angles
this guy let’s get back to it the second leafy tree is around these
trees have short branching limbs that grow fairly uniform and its shape should
be pretty obvious by now it’s round it will have medium to large
leaves making these trees full and shapely what I’m doing here is I’m just
dashing in some shadows getting my darks darker and trying to leave some of my
lights light then I’m going to come in and I’m going to go over the whole thing
again with that same background medium color on this one I’m not getting too
detailed so I’m not going to over layer it and use three or four highlights I’m
just going to get the shape and then we’re going to move on to the next one next we have another obvious shape the
oval tree they have almost the same structure as a round tree but they reach
upward for the sunlight and they stretch these tree forms can have small to large
leaves depending on the species now on this tree all I’m really doing is I’ve
blocked in my darks and I’m going straight into a medium tone I’m going a
small round pointed brush to make my leaves very small little egg-shaped
leaves now I’m coming in with a finer brush and I’m just using a little bit
more of a highlight trying to keep track of my shapes and my form and where the
lights going to be striking these limbs as I’m heading my highlights you’ll
notice that I keep moving around what I’m doing is I’m evaluating how much
light should be hitting what and where as I’m painting we jump next to the full crown a full
crown is combination of the three previous trees it may resemble an
upside-down top or the head of a shovel they are round at the bottom oval in the
middle and more columnar toward the crown these trees are usually far taller
than the previous three again I’m just messing putting in my darker areas and a
couple of shadows and then I’m coming in with a mid-tone and I’m using a flat
brush here and I’m only using the very corner of the brush to get a little kind
of triangular shape this is a really good way of getting a nice looking leaf
shape once that’s done I come in with my brighter mid-tone and I’m just going to
spread that around and look at where the light should be hitting the tree more
where is it bulging where do the branches move away from each other and
become their own Bowl paying attention to the direction my
light is coming from the entire time I’m hoping to make it look like the light is
all coming from the top left the spreading tree should fit right in
here nicely spreading forms are those that grow out rather than up their limbs
grow long but not tall this is a fat round tree that needs its space to grow
these trees are often found at the edge of a clearing or by themselves they
don’t do well in crowds I’m using the fan brush on this tree because it gives
you a nice bushy look to it each little strike of the corner of the brush is its
own little pop of color a little push on the tree if you will really helps give a
roundness to it and a little bit of a bit of depth moving on along we have in a regular
tree those are the sloppy neighbor of all the other trees basically it’s an
oval tree that has boundary issues they stretch out their limbs and invade the
space around them trying to get more Sun these trees like to pan this brings us nicely into the open tree
an open tree is an irregular oval or irregular round tree that swims grow
faster than its foliage spreads reaching further and causing gaps sometimes an
open tree may be due to a past injury or break in the limb resulting in the open
areas but most times it’s just faster growth on this tree I’m using a small
scruffy brush to get that bushy look again as I continue you’ll notice that I
keep using smaller and smaller scruffy little brushes and that I start adding
some yellowing here it comes
the monster of all big leafy trees the layered tree layered trees grow big and
wide they are regular or open and bushy with big leaves to feed it their limbs
spread reach and swell and is sometimes mistaken for multiple trees from a
distance these trees from above can actually look like a grove of trees and
not just one single tree again I’m using the scruffy brushes here just trying to
make it look like there are as many leaves as I possibly can the bush here
the better I’m doing the same technique as I’ve been doing previously adding in
my shadows and my dark areas then coming back in with my mid-tones now I’m moving
on to some highlights and just trying to give it more depth and form you want it
to almost look like a bunch of cheerleaders pom-poms hanging in a tree moving on we’re going to cover the least
seen trees at least here in the Northeast the exotics as I like to call
them we’ll begin with the vase a vase tree is a small tree that is the
opposite of the full crown it is round or triangular at the bottom and wider
toward the crown these trees are generally full or open with small to
medium sized leaves they grow very bushy and very dense and thick so it’s almost
hard to ever see through them completely they almost look more like a hedge than
a tree but they are in fact trees if you have ever seen a dogwood or a
Japanese maple you already know the next form the ledged tree these trees are
commonly on the small side and have a small to medium-sized leaves they grow
long limbs with denser foliage at the end which leads to this ledge look these
are often more decorative when not in their natural environment so guess who forgot to hit the record
button for the blocking in phase of this tree that’s right it was me
well let’s get into last but not least for the leafy trees is the weeping tree
weeping trees have long thin limbs that hang toward the ground and aren’t very
dense until they are very old thin limbs with smaller leaves that create an
umbrella effect where the center of the tree is usually more empty than full but
from the outside these trees appear very dense I’m not going for an amazing
amount of detail here I’m really just trying to show you the form just doing
quick highlights and giving you the general idea of what these shapes would
look like out in nature with all of the normal leafy trees out
of the way let’s move on to the needle trees Pines firs and so on these trees
almost always take on one of three forms the first one is like the pine version
of the columnar tree but it’s called a conical these trees are a thin
triangular shape and don’t normally get all that big relative to other trees
anyway these are the trees that are most often seen at Christmas time and are
fairly uniform in their spread onward and upward we come to the
pyramidal brushing in the color wherever I want it just trying to fill in that
space then I’m going in this time I’m using almost all black and you can see
the difference that it makes you don’t want to ever use all black I’m doing
this just to show you what it looks like when you use all black it makes it way
too dark and those colors that you can see through don’t look natural then I’ll
go in with my highlights and highlight everything but you’ll notice that it
never looks quite right and that’s because of starting with the pure black
you really need to use either a gray or better mixing some green with some black
to get a very dark deep green as your background color the third of these needle trees is the
spear form these are a combo of the previous two they are very tall conical
trees that are normally columnar or irregular but since their looms don’t
get extremely long the gaps are not as noticeable an open area as much as they
are in a regular shape the further north you go the longer the trunks are before
the branches start and so they look like tall Spears or a field of Spears like a
Roman Brigade holding all their Spears ready to fight well this brings us to the final tree
one that gets overlooked a lot the fountain thousand trees are straight
long trees that keep their foliage all at the top and usually have long leaves
that sag a bit giving them that fountain look if you have ever seen a palm tree
like the one I am painting now you already know this tree shape I’m using
all the same techniques that I’ve used before to give this tree its
depth of field but since it’s long leaves that sag and not a bunch of
leaves that are pushed together you kind of have to do them each individually
again starting with your darks and making your way to the highlights well I hope you have enjoyed this video
and found it entertaining as well as informative and I look forward to
hearing from you all or seeing any works that you may use
this information on in the future and please if you like this video click like
hit subscribe and ring that bell for new videos as they arrive the next tutorial
will be on tree structures you can also check out my other videos see what I am
up to on the many social medias of the interwebs links are in the description
and if you keep watching them I’ll keep making them so come back next time and
I’ll see you then take care and go make art bye

12 thoughts on “How to Paint Better Landscapes – Tree Forms – Video One”

  1. Paul Hunter says:

    This is really good, Ded. Very helpful, intersting and your instructions are clear and precise. Thanks. I think you have a talent for this teaching malarchy.

  2. Jennifer Kent says:

    Great first tutorial and I enjoyed this instruction and tips on painting trees. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Valarie Connell /DrawingWithFire says:

    Great video Joseph! 😁 Very informative. Ok, I just have to give you a little bit of a hard time. 😜 Check out ponderosa pines on Google. Though they a have one ore two similarities to your last fir tree, they are different…lol 😆

  4. dannylions says:

    love love love love!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. DeliberatelyCreative says:

    VEry informative! Thank you for sharing your skills with us all!

  6. Tammi Khan says:

    i like it unle jay

  7. Michael Parry says:

    Joseph, this was a great way to start your series. This information is very useful for all. – the seasoned and the beginner. It is great to see the steps. Very well done with this video. Great narration and the information is so very interesting. 🙂

  8. Sayanti Fine Arts says:

    hi, don't know if someone has already pointed out but the thumbnail to this video has wrong spelling, I am sorry if that is impertinent

  9. KatheD says:

    your descriptions make this so much fun, I enjoyed the video and your commentary 🙂

  10. Megan McCarthy says:

    This is fantastic thank you. Love the look or painted tree art, often missing or sssumed in Tutorials – and really needed some basic info about shapes and textures- great, perfect – new subscriber- you really need to be seen by a lot of people!! . 🙂

  11. Megan McCarthy says:

    More please!!!!!!!

  12. Jacqueline Satterlee says:

    Very interesting, and informataive Thank you.

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