Creating depth and texture when painting foliage in a realistic painting doesn't have to be difficult. Have you ever wondered how I create this in my paintings?
The brush I would traditionally use for this purpose is the Series 3 Tree & Texture brush, which is available in my store website through the link here
I use this brush in almost all of my paintings when I want to create depth and texture. The technique I use is not just reserved for trees and foliage, it's effective, for example on paths, dry-stone walls and other solid objects too!
My paintings always start with a mid-tone block in, where I cover the panel or canvas with an undetailed 'rough in'. This initial 'block in' layer must be completely dry before I use this technique.
When working on foliage, especially in the mid to background areas, I start adding the darker elements or shadows (using the Tree and Texture brush) to the mid-tone block-in first. The idea is that as we add these speckled dark tones, we also add texture detail giving the illusion that we can see foliage within the shadows.
I often use a diluted Ivory Black paint for this technique. This creates a see through glaze on top of the block-in, darkening the original block-in colour below. It's important to only have a small amount of paint on the brush and to use a light touch.
The more medium I add to the Ivory Black, the more diluted the paint becomes and the more transparent the layer will be which in turn gives me a lighter shade.
You can see my YouTube video tutorial on this subject below.
Once this darker texture layer is complete, we can move onto the next layers where we add the lighter canopies.
Adding a stippled effect to create texture on the gravel path, using the same technique as I use for foliage, we can then build on the effect by adding more intricate details.
After blocking in the stone wall, I used diluted Ivory black to create a glaze and add texture and depth, as well as darkening the original block-in colour. This made it ready to apply other layers, to build on the details and develop a realistic effect, with highlights and darker tones.
Holding the brush at a 45° angle allows you to create tiny dots to add texture.
Gently tap with light pressure. Building it up to darken and define specific areas.
By following these instructions and using the right tools and technique, you too can create depth and texture. It’s not as difficult as it seems, why don’t you give this a try!
The Series 3 Tree and Texture brush is available here