Painting Winter Trees In Watercolor

Winter Trees

Bare winter trees really stand out in winter paintings. They offer contrast and surprising amounts of subtle color to what can otherwise be very subdued scenes. This lesson uses easy wet-into-wet technique and encourages color mixing on the paper for fresh, bright and subtle light effects. 
how to paint winter trees in watercolor online tutorial

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Subtle Beauty In The Winter Bare Tree

We often think of winter as a dull, colorless season.  But, if you look close, the season holds a great deal of subtle color among all that grey and brown.  

One of the ways to let neutral color sing and to produce subtle light effects, is to let the colors mix on the paper using wet-into-wet technique. That’s what this lesson is about. 

To be sure, color in winter is subdued, but it is there.  We’ll do this quick exercise with only three colors – and two of them are neutrals. 

Note On The Drawing Layout

The drawing for this painting is pretty simple.  The layout includes lines placed on the pomegranate to mark the location of an area of highlight and to show the edge where light meets the shade on the surface.  This is helpful, especially when working fast. An alternative is to develop these edges by observing the subject – either directly or from a photo. T

What you’ll need

  • Brushes – Large, Medium and Small Rounds
  • Colors -Cobalt Blue or Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna.    Substitutes: Yellow Ochre or Raw Umber can be substituted for Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber for Burnt Sienna
  • Watercolor paper – preferably Arches 140lb Cold Press cut to about 7″ x 11″ or so

Related Lessons

“How To Paint” Sky, Clouds, Trees and Water