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.