Mention the painter Gustav Klimt and people are more likely to think of paintings with gold leaf such as The Kiss or Hope II, rather than paintings of forests and trees. But Klimt was also a painter of landscapes. My favorites are his moody paintings of forests or groups of trees, such as these:tonal gradations. Klimt is also known to have used a viewfinder or binoculars to select a part of a landscape to paint.3
The painting in this step-by-step demo was inspired by Klimt's forest paintings and a pine forest in a nature reserve near to where I used to live. Although as this reference photo shows, it's dominated by dark tree trunks and a bright forest floor covered in dead pine needles, it was just a starting point, and the final painting ended up far more of an autumnal forest. The first step was to sketch in the composition...
1. Gustav Klimt Landscapes by Johannes Dobai (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1988), p11.
2. Ibid, p12.
3. Ibid, p28.