Painting Birch Trees - a demonstration in oil

This new oil painting is going to look familiar to you if you've been following the painting demonstrations.

When the person who bought "Autumn Blaze"  showed off her painting, a family member fell in love with it, but could not persuade her to part with it.
So, he ordered a larger piece of the same scene and wanted some birch trees included which are a favorite of his. I agreed to do it as I love painting birches and autumn scenes.

I won't demonstrate the entire painting as I've already done that; just the birches. Here you can see me beginning the painting. It gives you an idea of the size: 20"x30"

When it comes to birches, I like to paint them in groups of two or three.

Here, I'm painting a blue-gray base color for the trunks. The leaves are yellow. I'll add some touches of green to them later.

Here is the painting with gray trunks for the birches. You can see them - the trees with yellow foliage - on the right. Paper birches have white trunks so there is more work to do!

I've added two clumps of birches on the far side of the stream as well.

I let the gray trunks dry a bit while painting the rest of the piece. Now, I can add the white on the sunny side of the birches leaving gray for the shadow side.
What makes paper birches look genuine is the finishing touches.

Black markings  called lenticels appear all the way up the trunk of mature paper birches. When these are added, it really makes a difference!

I've also painted the trees across the stream white on the sunny side and added the lenticels. Not as much detail is needed since they are farther away.
Here is the finished piece. The scene looks great with birch trees, don't you think? My collectors have good ideas!


Kessie said...

I love birch trees, too. Congratulations on getting that second commission, too! I find it so encouraging when artists get noticed and even paid for what they do. Someday I'll do that, too! :-)

Janet Zeh said...

Kessie, yes you will. If you set your mind to it, you can do anything! In fact, there is no time to start like the present. Even if it's only a small start. The only way to get there is one step at a time.