How to Paint Fir Trees

Written by leslie rose
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How to Paint Fir Trees
Fir trees are easy, satisfying subjects to paint and do not require a lot of practice. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Fir trees are commonly seen in landscape paintings and on Christmas cards. For this reason, a fir tree is a useful thing to be able to paint well. In addition, fir trees are very familiar shapes and easy to duplicate. Successfully painting a fir tree can give beginning artists the confidence they require to paint more challenging subjects.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Paint (green and brown)
  • Paintbrushes (various sizes)
  • Canvas or paper

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  1. 1

    Paint the body of the tree first, more or less in the shape of a teardrop. This shape shouldn't be too uniform in nature, since a real tree wouldn't have a totally uniform shape either. Use a medium-sized round paintbrush.

  2. 2

    Rough up the edges of the teardrop shape by painting stray branches of needles pointing outward and upward on both sides of the tree. Paint stray branches of needles pointing downward and outward on the underside of the tear. Use a smaller rounded paintbrush for this.

  3. 3

    Paint a slender brown trunk protruding from the underside of the teardrop shape. Use a medium-small round paintbrush for this.

  4. 4

    Dip your medium-small paintbrush in green paint, darkened slightly with some of the brown paint you used for the trunk. Paint feathery curved branches of needles throughout the body of the tree to show the texture of the fir tree.

Tips and warnings

  • This is a simple example of how to paint a fir tree. To make the tree more realistic, consider adding details such as hints of brown branches hidden in the needles of the tree, or possibly sunlight hitting the tree on one side, and a shadow falling behind it. Experiment with the results until you're happy. Refer to pictures of fir trees for guidance.
  • Clean your paintbrush in between colours. If you are painting with acrylic or watercolour paint, use water. For oil paint, use turpentine or paint thinner.

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