For this acrylic tree painting tutorial we will work with layering colors to create a beautiful autumn tree. We painted this tree to add to our fall themed rocks, but you can use greens as well if you are going for a spring or summer look!

acrylic autumn tree painting

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When painting trees with acrylic paint the main thing to keep in mind is trees aren’t a solid color. So when painting your tree you will want to get different values of the main color! When choosing your paints you will need your leaf color and then shadow and highlight colors as well.

autumn acrylic tree painting tutorial

Acrylic Tree Painting Supplies

In the tutorial below I am painting a beautiful golden colored tree for autumn. My shadow color is brown. You could use a red or orange with the brown as well. If you are painting a green tree you can grab a darker green for your shadow or create one by blending in a bit of black. I am painting my tree on a rock, but the same layering technique can be used on any surface. A smaller square edged brush is great for the leaves and a liner brush is good for branches.

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How to Paint a Tree Step-by-Step

Below you will find step by step images on how to create this design. There is a full video tutorial after if you are looking for more details or tips!

Start with your brightest shade of your color. Create an outer edge to your tree. Give it plenty of texture. Next, add a small amount of your shadow color in and fill the rest of the tree. With your liner brush add on your trunk and some loose branches. Most of these will be covered, but it is good for creating structure to your design.

how to paint an acrylic tree step by step

Go in with your shadow color in the middle of the tree. It is always darker towards the middle. Then with your lightest color using a dabbing motion create highlights at the tips of all your branches. As your yellow picks up your brown you will get different variations of colors for your leaves. Wipe off the brush from time to time and add on more yellow so the tips of your branches are nice and bright.

painted fall acrylic tree
  • If you are using this tutorial to paint a rock, make sure to seal your painted rocks before putting them out into the world!

We used a similar technique for creating this oak tree.

Painting an Oak Tree for beginners

Video Tutorial for Autumn Acrylic Tree Painting

Watch me paint this tree from start to finish in the video tutorial below.

Pin this rock painting idea to your favorite Pinterest board!

I hope you have a chance to try this painting tutorial! Take a minute and pin it to share and save it for later!

how to paint a tree with acrylics video tutorial