Painting Trees in Watercolor

Mountain Landscape - Painting TreesThis week we will be painting trees in our watercolor class. I think the most important thing to remember when painting trees in any medium is that if they are part of a larger landscape there will not be a lot of detail in the branches or leaves. The farther you are from the tree the less detail you will see. The focus is on the overall shape.

I like to use either a round or flat brush. A round brush is great for painting trees like maples, birches, or any type of deciduous tree. For evergreens and palm trees I prefer a flat brush. I always begin by painting the lightest color first, followed by 2 additional layers of color that increase in darkness. I don’t put each color in the exact same place because I want the trees to look like they have depth. It is important to leave white space so the sky can be seen through the greenery.

If you would like to try painting trees on your own I have a downloadable PDF that you can use as reference. I’ll be explaining how I made each of these trees in class and all participants will receive a copy of the handout. Please share links to your tree paintings in the comments section below or email them to me, I’d love to see what you create.

Cheers!

Kelli

Puppy Love in Watercolor

Puppy LoveI’ve been trying to incorporate more hand lettering into my art so this Valentine’s Day seemed the perfect opportunity to experiment. This was inspired by the designs that would have been found on the cards school kids would give to each other. The recipient of this card was my hubby and he loved it!

Hope your day was sweet…Cheers!

Kelli

Black-footed Ferret in Watercolor

Black-footed Ferret - Endangered
This is the second post in my newest painting series. Our subject for today is the Black-footed Ferret. There are approximately 295 of these animals living in 4 locations of the US and they are considered endangered. Loss of habitat and disease have contributed to their decline. Learn more about these animals by visiting the IUCN Red List. Until next time, I hope this cute little guy brightens your day.

Cheers!

Kelli

Painting Birds in Watercolor

European Roller - painting birdsThis week’s watercolor class will focus on painting birds. Our subject will be the European roller which is a bright blue bird with orange-brown wings. My style of painting is to paint some of the details while suggesting the rest. I like to use the wet-in-wet technique of adding paint to already wet paper so that the paint moves around. This helps me create the initial color patterns. I may give the paint a nudge in the direction I want it to go in but for the most part I let the water do the work for me. Once the paint is dry I use a smaller brush to refine the painting. I like to soften some of the lines so that I don’t have too many hard edges. This helps create the illusion of the bird having lots of feathers.

I perched this chubby guy on a post and used a drier brush to paint the wood texture. Additional dark gray lines were added to make the wood look like it has split in places. Next week we will be painting different types of trees so check back again soon.

Cheers!

Kelli

P.S. You can purchase this painting from my art shop.

American Pika Watercolor

American Pika - Threatened/Endangered Animal Series
The American pika is a smaller relative of the rabbit and hare. They live in the mountains of western North America and feed on grasses, sedges, thistles, and fireweed. They are very sensitive to high temperatures and are considered to be an early warning system for global warming [ref.]. This cute American pika is the first in a new series of paintings I will be doing on threatened and endangered species. He can be purchased from my art shop.

Cheers!

Kelli