How To Paint A Fall Tire Swing On A Tree With Sunset Background
I ADORE the colors in this sunset! The pastel glow in the sky shines on the green hills way in the distance and the foreground has a beautiful dark contrasting shadow. This scene makes me want to swing on that tire and jump in the pile of Fall leaves.
This acrylic painting tutorial will guide you through the steps on how to paint the sunset with the fall tree, adorable barn and tire swing.
This happens to be the last in the series of Fall Themed paintings I will be doing for 2019! And I think it’s my favorite out of all of them from this year.
Enjoy and happy painting!
Step By Step Directions:
1. Paint The Sunset
Load your palette with colors that are in the sunset: primary red, titanium white, cerulean blue, cadmium yellow light. Note: that you’ll need more titanium white than the other colors in which you’ll only need a little bit.
Load your 3/4″ flat brush in a generous amount of titanium white and just a tiny bit of cerulean blue.
Paint horizontal strokes across the sky. The color should turn into a very light sky blue color. Note that I also made a little pencil mark at about 1/3 up the canvas. This helps to know how far down you’ll be going with the sky.
Continue your way down to about half way down the canvas. You don’t have to let this color be consistent throughout. Allow for some streaks of darker blue and others of lighter blue.
Next rinse your brush completely. Then Load it in titanium white and a little bit of primary red.
Paint horizontal strokes of this pink color. Go to about 2/3 down the canvas but leave the bottom middle area blank. You can also blend some of the pink up into the blue to get a purple tint in the sky.
Next rinse your brush completely. Load it in titanium white and a little bit of cadmium yellow light.
Paint horizontal strokes in the middle bottom area. You can allow it to blend with the pink a little and it will turn to some orange tones.
Fill in the rest of the area just above the horizon with this light yellow. To make it look extra bright, make sure you are using more titanium white and just a tiny bit of yellow on your brush.
The horizon line is at the 1/3 mark up the canvas. Don’t paint any of the sunset underneath it. Your brightest area should be in the bottom middle, slightly towards the left (where the sun is setting).
Then (optional) I added some more primary red+titanium white (pink) in the sky over some of the blue area.
2. Paint The Land
Next, blend on your palette about 3 parts light olive green, 2 parts titanium white and 1 part cadmium yellow light (doesn’t have to be exactly that proportion). This will make a bright yellow green.
Then paint an uneven line just above the horizon line.
This “far away hill” goes all along the horizon line (uneven bumpy line) and then slightly higher on the right. I painted this “light bright green” color about an inch down.
Then paint another “layer” of hill below the light color green land. Rinse your brush. Then load it with just light olive green (not mixed with anything). Paint an uneven line all the way across overlapping the light green a bit.
Now we have two layers of land. A light green one in the distance and a solid olive green one in the middle.
Next, on your palette, mix a dark green color. Do this by mixing about 4 parts light olive green and 1 part mars black. Blend it until it looks like a dark green.
Paint your third layer of land below the middle layer. This color goes all the way to the bottom of the canvas.
Now you have a landscape with three layers of land.
Let painting dry before going to the next step.
3. Paint The Tree
For the tree, I recommend drawing it out with chalk first before filling it in. Draw this tree so the trunk is about three fingers wide.
Start at the bottom where the trees roots are and make the trunk get slightly thinner as you go up. The main branch, where the tire swing will hang, goes horizontally almost all the way across the canvas.
Then draw the branches. I made four main branches that stem off the main trunk. These branches get thinner as they go outwards. Then I drew smaller branches that stemmed into “Y’s” out from the four main branches.
When you’re ready to paint the tree in, use a 3/4″ flat brush (or a #12 flat if you like the smaller flat) and mars black.
Start at the bottom of the tree and paint the entire tree in solid black. Switch to a smaller brush (I used a #4 round) for the smaller branches.
Tip: add a tiny bit of water to the black to get it to flow a bit better.
Next, to get some texture in the tree, use burnt umber and a round brush. Paint vertical lines that kind of contour vertically with the tree shape.
The burnt umber will show up subtly on this black. Later on I add a lighter brown to it to make more texture but for now this needs to dry.
4. Paint The Tire Swing
Next I used chalk to draw this tire swing. I started with the rope that goes slightly diagonal down from the main branch. Then draw a circle that is slightly an oval. Notice that you see the horizon line through this circle.
Paint the rope using a 10/0 liner brush and mars black. To get a flowing line, mix a tiny bit of water into the mars black but don’t let it be “dripping wet”. You can also do this line with a sharpie or a black paint pen.
Then I used a #4 round brush to paint the tire. You can also do this with a #12 bright brush.
5. Paint The Fall Leaves
This step takes quite a bit of time. But I used a #4 round brush and the colors: primary red, cadmium yellow light hue, napthol crimson and a tiny bit of titanium white. Start with primary red and paint little dots on the tips of all the branches.
Then dip your brush in the yellow and paint little clusters of dots. It’s okay if the yellow mixes with the red to make orange.
When you add a tiny bit of titanium white to the brush, you get some lighter tones in the leaf colors. Also start the pile of leaves on the base of the tree trunk. I did this with the same colors.
You can add a little bit of burnt umber to the leaves on the ground to make them appear a bit darker. Continue to fill in the tree with the fall leaf “dots”. Continue to fill the bottom ground area on the bottom of the canvas with fall leaves. Also add napthol crimson in the leaves to give them a warmer tone.
6. Paint The Barn
Then use a piece of chalk to draw the barn. This barn rests on the top of the dark land line. The bottom to the top of the roof is about 4 fingers high.
Draw the barn like you are drawing a basic house. A square base with a triangle roof. Then draw a diagonal line to the left of the barn.
To paint the barn in, use a #12 bright brush and load it with both napthol crimson (about 3 parts) and burnt umber (about 1 part). Paint the barn in using full width up and down strokes.
The color should turn to a dark brick red. The red and brown don’t have to mix together perfectly, it looks kind of “rustic” if you let it look unmixed and streaky.
7. Paint Some Highlights In The Tree & Tire Swing
Use a #4 round brush and titanium white. Paint a white arc on the inside left part of the tire. Then paint a white arc on the outside right part of the tire.
Reload your brush in a tiny bit of mars black (so there is white and black on the brush) and paint a few strokes on the tire that go in the circle shape.
Then to get some lighter texture color in the tree, I mixed burnt umber and titanium white to make a lighter brown. Use the #4 round brush to paint texture lines going vertically up the tree and then on the branches.
I also painted some leaves falling from the tree.
8. Paint the white trim on the barn
I used a 10/0 liner for this step. Dip it in titanium white and paint the outer edges of the barn.
Then paint the window and the door.
9. Some final touches
Next I painted the heart etching on the tree with the 10/0 liner and titanium white. You can also use a white paint pen for this step. I also painted some darker green below the barn. I did some more leaves in the tree and a few more branches!