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Planning Retirement Online

Art Masterclass 

                      February 2011

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;    





How to Paint a Simple Tree in Acrylics


You will need:


Summer river, acrylic, (21x30cm) Terry Harrison

Summer river, acrylic, (21x30cm) Terry Harrison

* Medium-grain canvas board

Atelier Interactive Acrylic Colours

* Cadmium yellow
* Forest green
* Burnt umber
* White


* Terry Harrison foliage brush or 1/2in flat bristle
* Terry Harrison half rigger or No. 3 rigger


* Stay-wet palette


Step One

With the half rigger and a dark green mixed from forest green and burnt umber, paint the tree trunk and branches.

step one


Step two

Step Two

Using the same mix of green as the tree trunk and the foliage brush, stipple the leaves on top of the tree shape. Allow this to dry.

Step Three

Mix a lighter colour by adding a little white to the dark green mix. If the colour becomes too dull and milky, add a little cadmium yellow to brighten it. Lightly stipple the sunlit parts of the foliage on top of the darks. This will create an instant three-dimensional effect.


Step three


Always paint in the direction that the tree grows. Start at the bottom of the tree trunk then add the branches.

Avoid having the paint too wet. Always remove any excess water from the brush by either squeezing the brush head with your fingers or by dabbing the wet brush onto some kitchen towel. If the brush is overloaded, the paint will flood out of the brush; if the paint is too thick, the paint will simply not flow from the brush.

This demonstration is from the first in a series on painting landscapes by Terry Harrison.




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