How to Paint a Palmetto Tree

by Art Anthology

Using Art Anthology's Sorbet and Velvet paints and gesso, create this beautiful symbol of summer and South Carolina.


  • Baby Blue Eyes Sorbet
  • Viridian Sorbet
  • Pixie Sorbet
  • Leaf Sorbet
  • Kenyan Copper Sorbet
  • Bronze Metal Effects
  • Reef Velvet
  • Mardi Gras Velvet
  • Orchid Velvet
  • Limeade Velvet
  • Shamrock Velvet
  • Basil Velvet
  • Tango Velvet
  • Kona Velvet
  • Portobello Velvet
  • Heavy Gesso
  • Black Gesso
  • Terra Cotta Velvet
  • 10" x 20" Canvas
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    To build the layers for the background, start with Reef Velvet, Baby Blue Eyes Sorbet, and heavy gesso.

    Step 2

    Pick up a generous amount of Reef and gesso on a palette knife and spread onto canvas. I like to start with the darker colors first to create depth. Then layer the lighter colors over the darker.

    Step 3

    Alternate applying the two blues and gesso. till the canvas is covered. Don't be stingy with the paint and gesso. I really clumped it on!

    Step 4

    Add Pixie and gesso using the same technique.

    Step 5

    Here is the canvas so far. But we are not done with the background yet! We are creating yummy layers!

    Step 6

    Add Mardi Gras, Orchid and gesso using a 1/2" brush to the top, sides and bottom. I also added the blues and more gesso with a brush as well to add even more texture to the background.

    Step 7

    I wanted to see the brush strokes so I kept adding color and gesso with a brush till I liked the result. I kept the middle blue and white. Let dry completely. Here is the finished background.

    Step 8

    Mixing Art Anthology paints and heavy gesso can stretch your paints while creating beautiful pastels colors and great textural effects.

    Step 9

    For the trunk of the Palmetto tree I put Kona, Terra Cotta Velvet, Bronze Metal Effects and black gesso on my palette.

    Step 10

    The palmetto tree has a different trunk than a palm tree. Its bark grows in a criss-cross pattern. So I used a small, flat brush to recreate this pattern, alternating different colors.

    Step 11

    I used the edge of a key card to create more of a criss-cross pattern while the paint was still wet. I also added highlights using Tango Velvet and Kenyan Copper to parts of the trunk.

    Step 12

    For the leaves I used Limeade, Shamrock and Basil Velvet, and Viridian Sorbet.

    Step 13

    Using a small, round brush, apply Basil for the stems and shadows and Shamrock and Limeade for the leaves and highlights. I created the leaves by twirling the round brush and using long strokes.

    Step 14

    After the leaves were finished I mixed black gesso and Kona Velvet together with a bit of water and splattered it around the tree. I often do this as a finishing touch to add texture and interest.

    Step 15

    Here is a detail of the trunk and leaves. By leaving the middle of the painting mostly blue and white, it brings the eye's attention to the center of the painting.