How to Paint Birch Trees With Acrylic Paint

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Birch trees are known for their white bark and tall, narrow stature.
Birch trees are known for their white bark and tall, narrow stature. (Image: Steve Mason/Valueline/Getty Images)

Due to their detailed appearance and striking contrast to their surroundings, birch trees are a suitable subject for the budding artist to paint. Known for their white bark and tall, narrow stature, birch trees are elegant and simple and add interest to any room. Take the proper steps and use the right tools to create a painting of birch trees you can be proud of.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Water-based varnish
  • Sponge brush
  • Charcoal pencil
  • Titanium white acrylic paint
  • Medium-sized round brush
  • Black ivory acrylic paint
  • Small flat brush
  • Medium-sized dry brush
  • paper towel
  • Light green acrylic paint
  • Fine-tipped paintbrush
  • Dark green acrylic paint
  • Liner brush

Lightly sand a canvas with fine-grit sandpaper. Remove any sanding grit with a tack cloth. Apply two coats of water-based varnish to the canvas with a sponge brush.

Lightly sketch the birch trees with a charcoal pencil. Use a photo or picture of birch trees to reference when drawing in order to achieve a natural and accurate depiction.

Apply two coats of acrylic paint in titanium white to the trees using a medium-sized round brush.

Mix two parts titanium white acrylic paint with one part black ivory acrylic paint. Apply a small amount of the gray mixture to a small, flat brush. While the white paint on the trees is still wet, drag the flat brush across each tree trunk in a horizontal direction. Start at one side of of each trunk and bring the brush into the middle of the trunk. Then bring the brush to the other side of each trunk and brush inward into the center. Start at the bottom of each trunk and work your way up to the top. Leave some gaps of white in various points on the trunk and branches. This will create the striation look that birch trees have. Allow the paint to dry.

Apply a small amount of black acrylic paint to a medium-sized dry brush; remove excess paint with a paper towel. Stipple a few spots of black onto the trunks and branches of the birch trees by gently pouncing the paint onto the canvas. This creates the look of dark knots and imperfections in the tree bark.

Paint small green leaves on the branches using light green acrylic paint and a fine-tipped paintbrush. Add details and veins to the leaves with dark green acrylic paint and a liner brush. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

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