Guess what the demos are about! I’ve had lots of requests for teaching on painting certain subjects – like tree, water, or specific flowers – and I’m always hesitant to demonstrate how I paint something. Not because I have secrets I don’t want to give away, but because painting objects is just like painting everything else; you need to learn to paint the shapes and values of your subject. If you can paint a shape, you can paint anything. This is advice I need to heed myself, because it is so easy to be intimidated by a subject and think, “Oh, I can’t paint water/portraits/cityscapes/machinery/you name it.” It’s not true!
Anyhow, I don’t mind sharing what I have learned, but there is no one right formula for painting a tree or anything else. It depends on the tree; where it is in relation to the rest of the landscape, how far it is from the viewer, what time of day it is, and how much you want to emphasize it in the picture plane. A perfect tree can look pasted into a landscape if it is painted formulaically with no regard to how it’s going to fit into the environment/mood of your painting.