Painting Trees on the Wall

Bfagan Aug 28, 2012

  1. Bfagan

    Bfagan TrainBoard Member

    Any ides on how to paint trees on the wall behind a line of trees. What color or colors work best. Are there tree stencils available. Would stencil paint work best. Trees in photo are removable. Any help would be appreciated.


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  2. oldscout

    oldscout TrainBoard Member

    Take a look at wallpaper boarders, there are some with lots of trees DSCN0899.jpg The tree line just in front of the hill is a wallpaper boarder with the sky cut out and the bottom trimed. It use to have horses. Purchased at Lowes
  3. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I use those sea sponges you can find at Hobby Lobby and different shades of green. You can paint some trunks and branches first if you want, or just go to it with the sponges. Dip a sponge in the paint, dab it on some paper to get most of the paint off, then start dabbing it on the wall. Works great! :)
  4. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member


    I wouldn't paint 'em, unless you're going to do a whole hillside going up from the crests of your hills. I would not do that, as only an expert painter such as Mike Danneman or Bernie Kempenski can pull that off.

    What I WOULD do would be to paint the sky lighter near the horizon and blend it upward using horizontal strokes, and maybe paint some clouds in...just a few.

    You can make your sky lighter at the horizon by having your paint store mix up some "sky" paint that is a couple of shades whiter than what you've painted your sky with...then another that is four shades whiter. Use the lightest color closest to the bottom.

    I use an airbrush, but you can do this with brushes too. Just blend the paints well, so there is no visible demarcation between shades.

    After I did that, then I'd buy some bumpy chenille at your local craft shop....get green, and cut the "bumps" out so they are pine-tree shaped, and glue them directly on the skyboard, starting with the smallest ones first, which would be the ones going over the hill the furthest and being the most downhill...on the other side of the hill. The largest pieces of bumpy chenille should not be bigger than your biggest tree.

    I would also move some trees rearward so that they are directly against your skyboard, maybe even cutting some of the branches off one side so that they're relatively flat where they are against the skyboard, but do this AFTER you've put your bumpy chenille "trees" on the skyboard.

    You should also consider running some "bushes" between the ground and sky, and these should be between your skyboard trees and foreground trees. An easy way to make them is to use green or black polyfiber, pulling it apart so it's really "lacy", then apply hairspray and sprinkle bush-colored ground foam on it...the spray it again to sock the foam on. Let it dry, then pull it apart a little again, and snip it with scissors so that it looks "branchy"...then glue in place against the skyboard and the crest of your hills using white glue, or hairspray.

    That should do the trick. However, if you want more detail in your background, the time to paint it is after you've made your sky lighter at the horizon. Use very light colors, with a touch of blue or purple...more purple the further away things are...but also much lighter.

    The idea is to "represent" scenery, not create a Grandma Moses painting with lots of details. You do not want your backgrounds to detract from your foreground scenery, but compliment it.

    A good way to determine if your skyboards look good, is to take track level photos using your layout lighting. Good skyboards will look like the scenery goes on past your actual scenery.

    That's a short overview of a complicated subject.

    I forgot to mention that you can also use craft acrylics you buy at WalMart or Michaels. It's cheap and seems to last well.

    Bob Gilmore

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