Paint Sunlight Beaming

You can paint sunlight beaming lesson in oils or acrylic.

painting DVD no.6

This lesson is now available on DVD No.6

Paint Sunlight Beaming in a Forest

Free Painting Lessons for Beginners

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Painting the sun light beaming through a forest is not difficult

Don’t paint the background too bright.
Let the background be a bit dull and blured.
Take your time and try to complete the bright leaves on the forest floor before finishing the tree trunks.
Have very thick tree trunks in the foreground to give depth to the painting.

paint sunlight beaming
It is a good idea to block the tree trunks into place while the under paint is still wet, this will ensure your trunks are flat and not bumpy like the texture of the forest floor.
The tree trunks can be detailed later.

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The colors for this sunlight in a forest painting are White (titanium white for oils), Cobalt blue, Crimson, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Bright Red and Warm Yellow (or cadmimum)
As we work through this ‘paint sunlight beaming’ painting we need to go back over our leaves on the ground and adjust the brightness and darkness so as to give us the contrast between the sunlit and shadowed areas.
And adjust the sunlit areas to correspond with where the tree shadows will fall.
As we work do not worry about getting the bright leaf colors onto your tree trunks but do brush the tree trunks up and down to make sure they have the right texture before the paint dries – we detail the tree trunks after our leaves on the ground are finished.

If you have difficulty brushing lightly and straight when you paint sunlight beaming then you might lay your painting face up and drag the brush without applying pressure.
Do try and keep everything dull in tone except the sunlight beaming and the sunlight on the leaves.
Go to – How to Paint Snow Capped Peaks – lesson 30
Painting dvds

by Len Hend


Add a Comment
  1. I’ve been working the wet on wet technique so streaming sunlight is a problem…any tips for me.

    1. Dave – if you are following the video above you have a good chance of painting sunbeams. Like a lot of paintings you are lucky to get things right first go every time. A good idea is to have a practice sheet next to the painting and, before adding beams to the picture, try out the brushstrokes on the practice sheet. For sunbeams a sheet of black paper would be ideal to clearly see if the strands of light are coming off the brush and that they are all at the correct angle.

  2. Dear Len Hend,

    I have just found you on You tube so went to your website. Your painting is spectacular and I know I can learn a great deal from you because the way you teach plus your soft voice is a joy to watch and to hear.

    Thank you for making so many lessons and DVD’s. I’m painting with acrylics now so will order accordingly.

    I really appreciate you

    Thank you for sharing your immense talent.


    susan Smith

    1. Thank you Susan, I’m glad that you enjoy my work

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