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A birch tree is a symbol of rebirth, new beginnings and growth.  It gives a sense of purity and tranquility making it a perfect tree to learn how to paint and include into your repertoire of painting techniques.  Birch trees are very easy to create and can simply be made with black and white.  It is important to start with a black canvas. If you do not have a black canvas, you can always paint it with 2 coats of a thin based black paint, we prefer to use gesso.

As Casey instructs, you begin by drawing a tree trunk on your black canvas.  Casey will then teach you how to use your medium flat brush and mix a small amount of water into your pile of white paint to loosen the paint. Using light pressure and remembering to lift off, you will begin to pull paint from the left side and right side of the trunk using the wide part of the brush as you pull across and lift off.  Make sure to remain random, meaning different length strokes as well as different patterns, as you descend the tree trunk.

Once you get to the bottom of the tree trunk, you will go back to the top and repeat this process.  This time, you will pull from the left and right and occasionally start in the middle to brighten various spots of the tree. You will do this process a third time, but this time you can use your brush the narrow way and brighten just a few different areas on the tree to really create depth. If you have lost some of the black shadows, you can use your flat brush with some watered down black and using light pressure pull some of the black back into your trunk.

Lastly, you will use your script liner brush to add some additional branches.  As Casey always instructs on how to make the perfect tree,  it is important to remember when creating any tree, that you make Ys off of your main trunk or branches to make your tree look more realistic.  Casey will teach you how to use your script liner brush to mix water into your white 3 times so that the script liner brush is able to do its job.  Start with more pressure at the trunk and lift off pressure as you pull away from the trunk making the branch narrow at the end.  Add little off-shoots from this main branch by just dragging the bristles and lifting off.  You can go back with some watered down black to add a little bit of the contrast to these branches that the bark of the birch tree has.

Now you can end here and have a simply perfect birch tree…. However, if you would like to have an even more realistic birch tree, you can add some knots to your trunk.  Using your small round brush, you will mix some dark brown with your black and water it down.  As shown in the tutorial, you will make some random dark marks on your trunk with some having a round or oblong shape.  This small addition of color adds a delicate detail that makes your tree come alive. If you are having a difficult time with placement of your knots, Casey always looks at real photos from nature.

We hope you enjoy painting birch trees!!!  Happy Painting!