Dry brush trees in the background
Dry brushing (Scumbling) trees in the background of a landscape is often a good way to paint them (Read more about dry brush). You want to create a believable tree without being overly detailed. A detailed and meticulously painted tree in the background attracts far too much attention. You probably just need to hint that it’s a tree, either with the shape or the color choice. Then a dry brushed, only hinted, tree is the solution.
The beauty of this technique is that you don’t need to be careful. The shape of the tree you create does not need to be particularly planned or well described, it is usually enough with a dry brushed color splotch. The context creates the tree and the viewer puts in what is missing.
Here are some examples, in which some scumbled patches of paint, which don’t look like trees at all, are transformed into fairly believable trees with the help of just a tree trunk and some ground beneath them.
When the viewer understands that the spot of paint is meant to be a tree, through the context of the painting, the illusion becomes complete. What we as artists do not describe in detail in the painting, the viewer puts in herself, which increases the illusion of credibility.
Some examples of paintings with dry brushed background trees: