Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Painting Tips for Painting Effective Forest Areas

Here's a couple of handy tips for painting forest and woodland areas. Like so many tips once you think about it, and consider the reasoning, it is obvious. I always find that when I understand the reasoning behind a tip or technique it is a lot easier to remember it too.

Forest Lighting

When painting a woodland or forest area the darker shades are towards the centre of the wooded area. Therefore the lighter shades are on the outside trees, which are away from the centre of the forest. This is the obvious part!

When painting a forest scene if you just concentrate on the main source of light (probably the sun) you will usually have a lot of shadow areas all to the same side of the trees. However once you remember that the trees to the outside are lighter it will remind you to paint any trees further into the wooded area in darker tones. It will be murky in there.

Scrape out the Tree Trunks

Once you've painted in the trees, and the paint is still wet, you can scrape off some of the paint to indicate tree trunks or branches. A cocktail stick can be handy and a good size for this.

It usually is more effective if you only scrape a few trunks or branches. Too many trunks can add too much detail into an area in the distance. Remember there is less detail as you get further into the distance, when things are farther away you cannot see so much detail. So just doing a few scraped trunks and branches will be more effective.

Scraping away the paint will leave a light area; this is particularly good for silver birch tree trunks. You can always paint in some lighter trunks later if you want to as well.

I have heard…

I read that one artist uses a pencil sharpener to sharpen the end of his paint brushes. He uses this sharp end to scrape out the trunk shapes. I can see that it could be convenient but I think I'd end up poking myself in the face. (Ouch!)

Tree Shadows

If you have shadows from the trees that fall onto grassy areas at the edge of the woodland be sure to paint the shadows to show the angles of the ground.

If the land is sloping away from the tree then paint the tree shadow on an angle to show how the ground is dropping away. This is a great way to add interest to your picture as well.

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