Tips for Painting Evergreen Trees

Portrait of Maria Coryell-Martin.

Maria Coryell-Martin


Technique | November 16, 2020

I love how evergreens' shapes and silhouettes come into focus as deciduous trees lose their leaves.

Pine trees are such fun to paint, and I put together a little demo to share some techniques.

A few premixed shades of green can be useful, especially for sketching on the go. I often keep Sap Green and Perylene Green in my palette. A dark blue such as Indanthrone Blue or Indigo can help tint them darker, and a sienna such as Burnt Sienna, Transparent Red Oxide (which granulates), or the transparent Quinacridone Burnt Orange, can add earthy tones. Finally, Quinacridone Gold is a favorite of mine for bringing out highlights. We are excited to offer Daniel Smith tube paints, including all of these colors, in our shop!

I typically begin with the vertical trunk. Then, I load my brush with greens and work quickly from top to bottom, applying the paint with light, dancing strokes, and flicking little points up at the tips.

I used the R13 Rosemary Sable Synthetic blend brush for this demonstration. The sable carries a large amount of paint, and the synthetic gives it extra snap and a beautiful long point.

Happy painting!