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Art Masterclass   

                           January 2009


Each month presents a feature from either The Artist or its sister publication, Leisure Painter.           

Art masterclass      

from The Artist, the monthly magazine for amateur and semi-professional painters, giving practical instruction in painting and drawing in watercolour, pastels and oils, as well as news of art events, exhibitions and competitions open to leisure artists;  


This Month:


How to paint trees in February by Jenny Keal


You will need...

Unison Pastels

January treesGrey 28
Red earth 7
Brown earth 8
Additional 7
Grey 10
Grey 11
Grey 9
Additional 21
Yellow 15
Additional 30
Additional 28
Yellow green earth 18


Fisher400 Art paper, 10x14in. (25.5x35.5cm) (buy Fisher400 from



Charcoal Pencil
Pastel Pencils
Blue grey
Colour Shaper
No. 6, flat chisel, firm


January trees

Step 1

1. On a sheet of Fisher400 paper draw an outline of the main features using a charcoal pencil.

2. Paint the sky with grey 10, 11 and 28, additional 7, brown earth 8 and red earth 7. Blend the colours together with your fingertips to achieve
a softly gradated sky.




January treesStep 2


1. With a combination of grey 9 and 10, loosely render the background trees to convey a sense of distance. Stroke in with the side of additional 7 pastel stick here and there to indicate the warmer canopy of winter twigs.

2. Suggest a number of the tree trunks with mid grey pastel pencils.



January treesStep 3

1. Paint the snow with grey 28 (white) and add a few shadows on the snow with grey 10. Hint at more snow among the distant trees.

2. Paint the sheep with additional 21 and red earth 7. Draw the detail of the heads and legs with a charcoal pencil.

3. Suggest the loose hay lying on the snow with yellow 15.



winter trees


Step 4

1. Draw the main trunk of the tree with additional 30.

2. Shape the outline of the canopy with additional 28 to indicate the tiny tracery of twigs and burgeoning buds.

3. Draw the thinner branches with a sharp charcoal pencil.

4. Suggest the ivy on the main trunk with more additional 8 and a few dots of yellow green earth 18.

5. To convey the branches coming towards the viewer, use a white pastel pencil.





finished paintingStep 5

To finish the painting, paint the hedgerow, including the fence and gate posts, with downward strokes of the long side of the pastel sticks using mainly the same colours as you have used for the tree, with the addition of yellow 15 to hint at dead grass.

Suggest a path with additional 21 and more grey 9 for shadows on the snow.



Jenny Keal Winter Tree, pastel, 14x10in. (35.5x25.5cm)




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