Next on the Agenda

I’ve finally conquered mountains — more or less — and I feel good about the skies I paint. So now, it’s time to turn my attention to all those glorious trees Mother Nature has given us.

Recently, I’ve started practicing trees, and while I can do them fairly well in practice, I don’t seem able to get them the way I want when I try to include them in a landscape. Sometimes it’s the color that’s wrong; sometimes it’s the shape that’s off. Sometimes it’s another problem, and sometimes it’s lots of problems all rolled together into one horrific tree.


Although I was happy with both the skies and the mountains in this painting, I wasn’t happy at all with the trees. I don’t care much for the color of the distant trees on the shoreline, and I don’t really like the tall pine. You can probably tell I struggled a bit with it. Adding a little highlighting only made it worse.

After dealing with the tree, I didn’t do much with the foreground, although I do like the bare sticks and branches I painted with a script brush.

My painting “plan of action” for the coming week involves painting trees — a lot of trees. Bear with me, feel free to offer any suggestions, and keep your fingers crossed. I’m hoping practice will lead to improvement and that soon my trees will make Mother Nature proud.

Even though my trees aren’t great right now, I still have fun painting them.


  1. I love your pallet. It is so soothing. That mountain looks like it took a lot of hard work. Thank you so much for sharing.

    By the way, that’s a handsome tree. I know they are very hard to do but yours looks very well defined. 🌲

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’m not happy at all with the trees 😦 I’ll just keep painting them until I get them right. I love trees. Right now, it’s hit or miss. Sometimes they look good; most of the time not so much. BTW, I’m doing a post tomorrow about learning to draw, and I have a link to your blog. I’m sharing one of the first drawings from my first sketchbook — it was one I happened to be very proud of. I’ve been going through my old sketchbooks today. Oh, the memories!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cathy. I was looking at trees all day yesterday while we were driving to St. Joseph (about 1-1/2 hours). There are so many interesting trees, and every one is different. I’m thinking of doing a painting of a single tree, making it the “star” of the show. I’ll probably do a few small paintings first. I’m having fun learning to work on little details. I think painting tree trunks would be incredibly fun 🙂

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      1. I tried doing trunks for a while (in watercolor) and got WAY too detailed… it was fun, but I never came up with a result I liked! I think it might be more fun in oil… and wouldn’t it be fun to do “a tree a day,” just as studies?

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      2. I did a “tree day” last winter when I was first learning charcoal. I have a good book on drawing trees. I don’t remember the author’s name, but I know it’s listed on the “Art Library” page. I was looking at it yesterday on the shelf and thought about taking it out and re-reading it. Yes, trunks can get VERY detailed. I love doing trunks in graphite. 🙂

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