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Painting trees with watercolor by Sandrine Pelissier on ARTiful, painting demos

The Trees Place : Layering watercolors to paint trees

When you paint with watercolors you have different ways of mixing your colors: You can mix them directly on your palette, mix them on the paper wet into wet, or layer them. Layering watercolor will produce rich and complex colors that are glowing in a way that would be impossible to achieve any other way

See how you can layer watercolor to paint trees

drawing the trees

Start by drawing the trees with pencil on watercolor paper that has been  either stretched or mounted on board.

You might also be interested in: Mounting watercolor paper on board

start by making a light drawing on watercolor paper

You don’t need to draw all the details, just the basic outlines of the trees and the foliage. You also need to know where you want to preserve some of the white of the paper.

applying masking fluid before painting with watercolor

Then you can apply masking fluid on a few areas where you would like to keep the paper un-painted. These can be areas that will stay white or areas that will be lighter against a dark background.

A silicon brush is a very convenient tool to apply masking fluid as you can just peel off the masking fluid from the brush once you are done.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

 

Daler-Rowney Masking Fluid

This fluid is used to create striking white highlights or to mask areas for overpainting at a later stage. It forms a fast-drying, water-resistant film on watercolor paper and board, and is easily removed when dry.

watercolor painting palette to paint a forest

This is my painting palette: Van Gogh :  Madder Lake; Da Vinci: Yellow Ocher, Sap Green, Cadmium Lemon yellow, Prussian Blue; Holbein : Cobalt Turquoise Light, Permanent Red, Ultramarine Deep, Daniel Smith : Burnt Sienna, Reeves : Payne’s Grey

painting the foliage in the background, mixing different shades of green and yellow wet into wet.

You can start by painting the foliage in the background, mixing different shades of green and yellow wet into wet.

You don’t need to mask the tree trunks as they are straight enough so you can paint around them.

painting the foliage in the background around the tree trunks without having to apply masking fluid

Paint the background foliage on your painting, here I did paint it on the three panels.

The background foliage has been painted on the 3 panels of the triptych.

The background foliage has been painted on the 3 panels of the triptych.

Mix of Cadmium Yellow and Yellow Ocher to paint the first yellow layers

Then you can start painting the trunks by adding numerous layers of paint, starting with layers of yellow then red then blue. For the yellow I am using a mix of Cadmium Yellow and Yellow Ocher.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

 

Da Vinci Artists’ Permanent Watercolors, 292 Yellow Ochre, 15 ml

Da Vinci paints are exciting, intense, and rated among the best in the world for quality. The paints are permanent, with the highest tinting strength and pigment concentration available, and a creamy consistency for smooth, easy dispersion with water.

The first yellow layers have been painted on the 3 panels of the triptych.

The first yellow layers have been painted on the 3 panels of the triptych.

Permanent Red and Madder Lake mixed to paint the red layer of watercolor

Then, paint a few layers of red, mixing Permanent Red and Madder Lake.

The red layers of watercolor have been painted on the 3 panels of the triptych.

The red layers of watercolor have been painted on the 3 panels of the triptych.

painting multiple layers of watercolor to paint a forest

I then add a few layers of blue, I also add multiple layers of red and yellow to adjust the colors until I am satisfied. Let the painting dry completely before going to the next step.

I then paint the areas that were preserved with liquid frisket.

At this stage, you can take off the masking fluid and paint the areas that have been preserved if you want them colored.

layering watercolor to paint a forest step by step painting tutorial by North Vancouver artist Sandrine Pelissier

The Trees Place, watercolor on paper mounted on board, 3 times 24 x 24 inches.

Here is a time lapse video that will show the painting process: