Practice Painting Techniques

Practice painting techniques and learning to paint becomes less confusing.

Practice Painting Techniquespractice painting

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There is another way to think about painting landscapes.

learn the painting techniques and assemble your scene like assembling a collage

Yes you can learn perfect painting techniques and place each item into the scene.
That method of thinking can be very helpful to break down the sometimes confusing choices of what will I practice.
If you deliberately practice these brushstrokes you will have more brain power available for the arrangement and tones of your paintings.

Practice Painting Grass

Practice long grass, short grass and little white tips on the tops of the grass.
These brushstrokes are easy with a fan brush. And remember to put the paint on the canvas and then brush it up, don’t put the paint on the fan brush, use a dry fan brush.

tree painting
gum tree foliage


If you master the foliage painting techniques you can vary your brush and the loading of the brush to suit many types of foliage.
The round hog bristle brush is not always easy to find and it is often to small for large paintings. The small house painting brush can be a better tool.

Branches and tree trunks

It doesn’t take long to master these techniques and it is very satisfying to know that you can paint them with ease. So do give the practice canvas a go and see how you can boldly apply the paint without worrying about spoiling a painting.

Here is the transcript for this video.
Here I’ll show you how to practice your techniques. I’ve cleaned all my brushes. On the palette there is cobalt blue, crimson and raw sienna. These three colors are the ones we most often mix.
There is too much crimson and too much raw sienna for that much blue. Crimson is a lot stronger than the blue so we add it to the blue slowly bit by bit. Blue and crimson make purple and the raw sienna turns the purple into a grey. Now don’t do this, you see my knife is dirty with the white, it’s destroyed nearly all my paint. Be very careful, your dark colors need to be crispy dark without any other color in them. I’ll clean all the bits of white out of there.

And with your knife also, clean the knife, get the colors out of the white, keep your colors separated. My round hog bristle brush, quite a soft brush. If you don’t have a round hog bristle brush you can use the little house painting brush, either one does a good job on painting foliage. I saturate the brush in the dark color first and pull it to a chisel point, you see it goes to a sharp point if it’s saturated with paint; it’s a bit putty like now. And then with a little bit of paint on the very tip, you have your dark on one side and light on the other, make sure it’s right on the tip of that chisel point.

And when you touch it on it will give you a little thing that looks like foliage. You see that umbrella, then we make another umbrella right beside it, and another one, that’ll give us what looks like the foliage on a tree. If you do it slowly you’ll get the light and dark exactly where you want it. So the idea is to get one or two perfect brushstrokes and then keep reproducing that brushstroke.

I’ve deliberately gone about loading the brush again and here on the side of a board I’ll show you how when you push the brush on it’s just the tip of the brush touching and you squash it on a little bit and then take it off and that’s your foliage brushstroke, almost perpendicular. So this is how you should practice your brush stroke, very slowly and then a bit faster as you get better at it. That’s the dab dab brushstroke.

And after a while you’ll start to see that it’s easy, keep them all round, round shapes. But when you get to this stage stop, we want it crispy, like this, you don’t want it faded away. Now the little hair brush, we load it with two colors and drag it up, this is another one you need to practice. And also remember when you’re painting trees that you have the branches crossing each other.

With the little hair brush you’ll find the paint runs a lot easier if it’s thinned out a little. Then you can practice your foliage, not right down there, start your foliage well above the tree and bring it down to meet the tree. They’re umbrella shapes, not like that though, they’re too far apart, they do need joining together to make it look like a tree. Some trees are like that but it’s not quite natural, the colors faded it’s not crispy. That one is too dark.

So you really do need to take note of how your brush is loaded, if it’s too dark it’s no good and this brush has run out of paint. Let’s try and get it right, that’s it join them together and it looks a lot more like a tree. Here’s the edge of the board, don’t do this, please don’t paint your trees square, let them disappear through the top of the picture, it’s not a problem.

Now here’s a little bit of white undercoat and I’ll dab on, you see the brush is picking up the white undercoat. It’s because the undercoat is too thin and the foliage paint is too thick. You need to have your paints all the same consistency. The tones of that foliage would have been alright for background trees but you can touch it up for foreground trees and get it nice and crispy again. So let’s go with the little round brush and we’ll put a few branches in there.

The branches go between the foliage, not over the foliage. There is another problem with this wet undercoat, look closely here, dab dab dab and then you have a look underneath your brush and it’s covered with paint that you’ve picked up, and then you go to reload your brush and your destroying all your crispy colors on the palette. You must wipe the brush clean before picking up paint every time. Here’s a little house painting brush and I find sometimes you tape it up to get it to turn into a round brush.

So do practice away with all your brushes. Try out the big flat brush for making foliage. Try out your fan brush, put some colors down one beside the other and turn it into grass with your fan brush. Load your painting knife with several colors, crispy colors and put on tree trunks.
Painting dvds
Go to – Paint Clouds
by Len Hend

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