Masking fluid can be used to produce a convincing snow effect on wintry trees. The dark areas of the trunk are painted in later.
How to paint snow-covered trees using masking fluid with Terry Harrison
Golden leaf brush
Medium detail brush
Fan gogh brush
How to use masking fluid for winter trees
Draw an outline using a 2B pencil. Mask snow areas with masking fluid using a brush and sponge.
Wash in the sky using cobalt blue and the golden leaf brush.
With the fan gogh and my shadow colour, paint in the misty background.
Change to the medium detail brush and add cobalt blue shadows to the snowy bank. This will turn the white parts into convincing highlights
Using the half-rigger and a mix of burnt umber and ultramarine, paint in the shadows on the trunk and on the undersides of the branches beneath the masked areas which represent snow.
Complete all the branches and twigs.
Now remove the masking fluid with your fingertip to reveal the snow areas.
For Winter’s Day, (53.5 x 35.5cm) masking fluid is used to great effect to depict the snow laying on the overhanging branches of the trees and the foreground grasses. Cobalt blue and shadow colour are added to some of the snow areas after the fluid is removed.
Another effective and inexpensive way of capturing a light dusting of snow over a tree is to use masking fluid applied with kitchen paper. Pour some masking fluid into a saucer and dip a scrunched piece of kitchen paper in it.
Dab masking fluid on the branches of the tree to suggest snow clinging to them. Allow to dry, then use the fan gogh and a dark grey mix of ultramarine and burnt umber to paint a background over the tree. Allow to dry.
Use a darker mix of the same colours and the half-rigger to paint the trunk and branches. Allow to dry.
Rub off the masking fluid with clean fingers.
The finished tree.