It's been a tough week here for me for lots of reasons, but life doesn't always run smoothly and when I compare my problems to others and try to think about the bigger picture things can fade into insignificance.

We heard a lot in the news about the tree felled in Northumberland , and it was very upsetting to a lot of people. Others said 'it was just a tree' , concerns about the planet matter more, or even the awful news about teenagers being stabbed by other teenagers. I agree , but we do also get very attached to individual trees or landmarks, perhaps our brains can't cope with the enormity of some problems, nevertheless the needless cutting down of a beautiful feels immediate and raw.

So I have been really looking at trees more closely, my friend sent me a photo of a tree she took out walking her dogs, and that will be the focus of today's blog.

Trees can make us laugh, this is the booby tree, we see on a local walk.

I love to take snaps of trees I just think are beautiful


So if the destruction of one tree, can make us all think about trees more, valuing them, perhaps even planting new ones, perhaps that will be a good thing.

Today I wanted to talk about painting trees. I know trees have been in the news a lot this week. Trees form part of all of our landscapes. They become familiar shapes on the horizon. And if you lose a tree which is dear to you, it does feel as if you've lost an old friend.

So first of all, I took a picture of a tree that I really liked.

Then I sketched it out.

Then I used a big brush and lots of water.

And I flooded the paper with water. I then added some  Cerulean Blue. And a little bit of yellow ochre on the horizon

. It's all very wet so I can pick it up and move the board around and see what happens. I also added some yellow ochre. To the grass area and some raw Sienna.

Then I popped it out in the sunshine and waited for it to dry.


I wet the grass area again and added in some nice vibrant greens. I think there is sap green, olive green and a little bit of hookers green dark. I also add a tiny touch of red to my greens to knock them back a bit.

Now I could begin on the trunk, and so I under painted it in yellow ochre.

And then I dropped in some burnt umber. I wanted to describe all the knots and the gnarly bits. Tree trunks of so amazing.

I'm just by a few bits of paint you can add in darks and lights and make the tree look really characterful.

Now I use my brush horizontally to try and describe the foliage. I have under painted in yellow.

While it is wet. Add in greens and. Blues and. Orangey Reds.

Just keep going up the tree. And see what patterns you can make. I like to splash water on it as well and get watermarks into the paint. And these make the tree come alive.

I let it all dry a little bit and then I go in with some really dark greens where you get the shadows under the Foliage.


Now to really stand back and add the shadows and any other things that I think are going to improve my painting. One final edit an my tree is standing proud in the landscape.

Why don't you go out and look for a lovely tree, take a picture and see what you can create

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Hi Rachel, i stumbled on your instagram page and was happy to note that you write blogs. I loved this piece! I like the way you talk about what trees mean to you and then paint that too. Thank you for sharing this.


I really appreciate your point of view and thank you for this helpful blog I can’t wait for try to paint that beautiful tree.


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