Paint Sunlit Fall Foliage In Watercolor

 This watercolor lesson shows you how to get the look of beautiful, bright foliage in sunlight. We’ll use a bit of a different process in this one to help keep the yellow leaves bright and clean. As always, we’ll use easy, basic watercolor painting techniques. It’s an easy lesson that we’ll work through step-by-step.


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Painting Fall Foliage

Fall scenes are one of the most popular subjects for landscape paintings. Artists love to paint them, and buyers like to buy them. Surprisingly, the brightly lit foliage is one of the most difficult parts of the painting to get right in watercolor. Often, the leaves are a light, bright yellow or yellow-orange. Beautiful colors that are very easy to sully with something else.

The key to getting the look of brightly lit foliage is to make sure the colors stay light and bright.  Those bright yellows and yellow-oranges need to stay clean and transparent for the right look. That means, that they must be painted directly onto un-touched white paper and not covered or mingled with anything else – especially cool or neutral colors.

In this lesson we’ll use a different process that works with direct marks and avoids much layering.

Like all of our lessons, we’ll use very easy, basic techniques through the whole painting – but using them for good effect.

Drawing Layout For Any Painting

One note on the drawing layout. The downloadable layouts are done with heavy lines to make it easy to see and copy onto your watercolor paper. It is best not to draw the lines too heavy on your paper, especially in the sky, since there is a good chance the lines will show through the paint. It’s not a deal-breaker, but those heavy pencil lines are sometimes a distraction.

What you’ll need

 Get ready, turn on the video and let’s jump in!

Related Lessons

Landscape Painting Lessons

Painting Fall Scenes