How to Paint a Cherry Blossom Tree
Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese. The tree symbolizes life, death and rebirth because the flowers are only fully bloomed for a short amount of time.
This particular painting is of significance to me. I had originally painted it in 2015 and it’s on a much larger canvas hanging in our home. It was the first painting I had done in years and the last painting I would do for two more years…
I probably could elaborate on how life affects artists and why we go through long droughts with the inability to create. Being a mom of very young children is a creative battle in itself! But I’ll save that for another post at a later time!
Any how, the inspiration actually came from the Palo Verde tree we have outside our bedroom window! Instead of pink and white blossoms, this tree of ours gets flooded with yellow blossoms. Not as pretty as a Cherry Blossom tree but I can dream right? There was a full moon one night and from my perspective, looking out our window, this is what I imagined!
In this tutorial you will be tracing a circle for the moon and then blending colors outward from the moon to create a glowing sky. Then you will learn how to paint the actual Cherry Blossom tree. The flowers themselves are extremely simple and require you only to dot the tip of your paintbrush!
As always, I love to see your work! Please share it in the wonderful collection that is growing on the Pinterest “I Tried It” section of the pin! If you don’t want to share on Pinterest, you can always message me the painting or post it on the Facebook Page!
Enjoy and Happy Painting Artists!
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- Acrylic Paint (I recommend the Liquitex Basics brand or Apple Barrel Craft Paint. I did one version of the painting with Liquitex and the other with Craft. Both turned out fine but the color variation varied a bit.)
- Dark Blue (Apple barrel “Too Blue” or Liquitex Phthalo Blue)
- Light Sky Blue (Mix tiny bit of Too Blue or Phthalo blue with White or use Light Blue Permanent)
- Purple (Apple barrel Purple Iris or Liquitex Brilliant Purple, Deep Violet or Dioxazine Purple )
- Brown (Nutmeg or Raw Sienna)
- Black (Mars Black)
- White (Titanium White)
- Pink (Medium Magenta or Portrait Pink)
- 16″ x 20″ Canvas or 8″ x 10″ canvas
- Various Brush Sizes:
- 1″ flat
- 1/4″ flat
- angle brush
- small round
- Optional sponge or baby wipe to paint moon texture
- 7″ Plate to trace the moon
- Palette or paper plate for palette
- Covered work space
Directions At A Glance
You can also view this video on my YouTube channel!
Step By Step Pictures
1. Trace A Circle For The Moon
2. Paint And Blend Moon Rings
You’ll need: a 1″ flat brush, purple & white paint!
Note: try not to use TOO much water with acrylic paint when you’re blending! It might not bind to the canvas properly if you add too much water…
3. Paint The Dark Blue Sky
You’ll need a 1″ flat brush and dark blue! I used “Too Blue” from Apple Barrel or Primary Blue/ Phthalo Blue from Liquitex BASICS.
4. Splatter Some Stars
You will need a 1″ flat brush or tooth brush and white paint!
5. Add Some Texture To The Moon with a Sponge or Baby Wipe
You will need white + blue paint and a sponge or baby wipe.
6. Paint some “asterisks”
You will need white paint and a small round brush.
7. Paint The Tree Branches
These photos in this step are from the painting I did with the Liquitex Basics paint. See how the color varies!!
You will need a 1/4″ angle brush or any size flat rush or even a large round brush. You will also need black paint.
Using black, paint a sort of triangular trunk shape in the lower left corner.
8. Paint Some Highlight & Texture On The Tree
You will need a 1/4″ flat and dark brown paint.
9. Paint The Cherry Blossoms
You will need a small round brush and pink + white paint.
The top painting was done with Liquitex Basics and the bottom was done with Apple Barrel Craft. You can see the difference in colors and how well the colors blend together.