Painting Early Spring Weeping Willow Trees

A Harbinger of Spring Done With Easy Watercolor Painting Techniques

Weeping willows are large, tall and graceful trees and wonderful additions to your paintings.  The willow’s long, drooping terminal branches are a wonderful warm yellow color all winter. But, with the coming of Spring, these branches really brighten up as they swell with the buds that will become the beautiful slender leaves of summer.

This short focused lesson will show you how to depict these special trees in early spring using the basic watercolor drybrush technique.

A Sure Sign Of Spring

Weeping willows are large, tall and graceful trees and wonderful additions to your paintings.

Here in the northern climates, they are a harbinger of spring. Their long, drooping terminal branches are a wonderful warm yellow color all winter. But, with the coming of Spring, these branches really brighten up as they swell with the buds that will become the beautiful slender leaves of summer.

Painting The Willow Tree With Easy Techniques

The trunk and main branch structure of the weeping willow is complex. Usually a weeping willow has a short main trunk with many branches that split off, not far from the ground. The branches bend and tilt and further divide as they grow taller and taller. The bending, twisting branches create the graceful beauty of this tree, but also make for a bit of complex drawing.

The drybrush technique works really well for getting the look of the bright, drooping end branches as they look in early spring. We’ll use a lot of it in this painting exercise.

Note On The Drawing Layout

The drawing for this painting is simple and can be traced or drawn free-hand.  You’ll see that the lines on my drawing layout are fairly dark so that you can see them on the screen. But, I recommend drawing them lightly since we will be using mostly light colors and values in this painting.  It isn’t a big problem if the pencil lines show through a watercolor painting, but sometimes they are distracting.

What You’ll Need:

  • a small sheet of watercolor paper, approx. 6″ x1 0″ – use cold press or rough paper because the texture will help with the drybrush technique.
  • Paint – Cadmium Yellow Medium, Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna
  • Brushes – Small Round and a Rigger; a square ended rigger will work well if you have one.

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Learn To Paint Willow Trees

watercolor painting of a spring landscape with willow treesThey are a sure sign that Spring in the change in the branches of the weeping willow trees.,

The long, slender terminal branches that hold the leaves have a yellow-ish cast all winter. As the light gets brighter, the color of these branches brightens up as they prepare to leaf out for the summer.

In this lesson, put the practice from the lesson above to good use as you learn to paint those early spring willows ina an early spring landscape scene.

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