Trees are a lot more than elements in the landscape, they are living breathing entities that we depend on , so we have a very personal connection we feel with them.
They also present the beginning painter with plenty of challenges, not the least of which is their sun-flecked, shimmering foliage. It’s tempting to try to paint each leaf with light dancing across them, but this will inevitably get a painter into trouble. Trying to paint every little leaf and every glint of sunlight can result in a spotty, amateurish depiction.
Here are a few strategies for creating convincing foliage in your landscape paintings, whether a majestic oak tree or a humble shrub.
1. Squint to simplify
This will help you to see the overall values of a tree by eliminating detail.
2. Determine the direction of sunlight
3. Use a faceted or straight-edged contour when sketching
This makes it easier to block in the light and shadow.
4. See the shapes rather than the individual leaves
5. Keep the value masses intact
Happy Drawing and Painting!