I am going to begin to move on to actually painting these trees we have been dissecting. I use the word dissecting because what I have been writing about is tree anatomy. In the comments we have discussed a book written in the early 20th century by an artist named Rex Vicat Cole called "The Artistic Anatomy of Trees". I learned a lot there, if there were a bibliography for this series of posts, Cole would be at the top. It is not easily read though and goes into a lot of detail that is extraneous.
Here is a grouping of trees that we might set up to paint. Below is the same group of trees with the general lines indicated.
In order to get this scene onto my canvas I would draw their outlines something like this. There are about five big shapes there. One of the reasons this scene is attractive is because each of those areas is a different size and shape. As the artist trying to get the picture up and running I need to plan out the simplest "blueprint" of my shapes I can. Now,I drew these lines on the picture with photoshop, which is for me a pretty clumsy affair. If I were working in paint on canvas the lines would be softer. Theses lines look a little like coat hangers, but I think you get the idea. This is a summary, here's another.
Above is the scene and below are the summary lines that would start a block in of the painting. These lines are merely the greatest simplification of where the landscape is and carry the least amount of detail. The details of the edges of the forms are averaged or rounded off. However if you can get this much information onto your canvas you are well on your way to "taming" a scene like this.
Below is the same photo with a few more lines on it. They show the larger " hidden" lines in the forms. You want to look for these and lightly indicate them.
Notice the relationship between 1 and 2, by finding that line between the two and checking its angle you find a lot about about their placement. Look at line 3, see what happens if you imagine it running behind that central group of trees and emerging on the other side. Notice where it would intersect that foreground diagonal were that extended. These continuation of existing lines show relationships between different objects in the scene. Look for them. It is a helpful way to avoid working piecemeal, which is where you have everything on the canvas, but not in its right relationship to everything else. This is a geometric measuring system.