I wanted to swap out the two canvases above the couch for something new and had been thinking of painting simple birch trees. I painted the blue background and white tree trunks but it needed more. I looked on Pinterest at successful birch paintings and thought of ways to improve mine. Once I had a few ideas, I hit the ground running and it was easy. It’s great when you have a plan!
- Paint a medium blue background. I used a mixture of white and blue with a little red mixed in. (My goal was to coordinate with the blues in my living room.)
- Paint vertical white areas for the trees. You don’t want perfect stripes because trees don’t have straight edges. They aren’t the same size and don’t grow perfectly up and down.
- Add thin branches going at an upward angle from the tree trunks. (Be consistent – I had to cover up some of my branches with blue because I had too many in one area and none in another. In the end I painted just a few on each side of the trunks.)
- Paint a dark edge (black) on each side of the trees and then brushed it horizontally into the trunk to create that birch look.
- Paint off white (buff white) on the trunks – the white alone is too flat. Cover part of the black edge and stroke horizontally.
- Add white strokes to the trees here and there for highlights – with a dry brush (not too much paint).
- Add white streaks vertically. Paint a few streaks and then with a dry brush, spread them out and blend them, so the blue shows through. This gives the background depth and makes it look more wintery.
I was really happy with how it came out and happy to hang it over the couch. I’m already planning another acrylic painting. Let me know if you give it a try!
- Foam brushes, paint brushes (especially size 8)
- Two 18 x 24″ canvases
- Paints – white, blue, red, buff white, mars black
Have you visited my online shop? Prints of my seascapes are available on watercolor paper or canvas, in many sizes including the new “mini” canvas 11″ x 14″ at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek! The perfect gift for beach lovers.
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