How to paint fir trees
by Marian Drake
(Portland, Oregon, USA)
First of all, I followed Bob Davies' tutorial on the fir tree in the "Winter Trees" lesson video.
Additionally, I discovered that I like using a dry brush for this. And I use a combination of Bob's fir tree lesson and the one on summer trees. A wild fir tree in Nature (as opposed to a Christmas tree fir) has some exposed trunk showing. So first I painted the leaves, leaving a few air holes, and then put in the trunk in 3 places. (I used a flat 3/4" sable brush for the whole thing; just held the brush differently for the trunk and for the leaves -- see Bob's video on winter trees.)
Also, this works very well every time with a dry brush. If the brush is too wet, the lacy texture does not happen. I "flick" the brush lightly to achieve this effect.