Birch Trees My process to painting birch trees is simple and easy to follow.  Rooted in the techniques we all know Bob Ross developed. In this article, I will add my own steps to this step-by-step tutorial.

Step 1 - Create a Dark Mixture 
You can use van dyke brown paint marbled with a slightly lighter brown or black to add variation. Leave the paint colors with a marble like finish.

Step 2 - Indicate a Trunk 
Pick a position and paint a dark brown trunk by dragging your medium width paint brush up the canvas and lifting off so when you're finished the thinner part of the tree trunk will be at the top of your canvas.  Paint as many tree trunks as you wish.

Visit this birch tree example:

Step 3 - Add Detail Branches
Using a small script liner brush add details like small branches from the tree by dipping the brush in the marble paint and lightly dragging off the trunk downward to coax out the branches keeping the branches as delicate as possible.

Step 4 - Consider the Light Source
Before applying the birch bark, consider which direction your light source will come from.  You will want to apply the birch on the same side as the light source to give it a 'real' perspective.

Step 5 - Painting Birch Bark
Load up your palette knife with white paint.  To do this, cut the white paint and lift off so one edge of your palette knife is covered with a thin strip of white paint.  Then, select a position on your tree trunk and place the palette knife parallel to the edge of the tree trunk and lightly drag it across about 1/2 way while gently lifting up.  The whole motion is about being gentle to create highlights.  Keep doing this until your trees look like birch trees.  You can go over some areas more than others to add some natural variation. 

Hope this helps!