Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners


Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners | Learn watercolor techniques! #winter #forest #watercolor #beginners

This forest painting is very easy and you’ll learn several watercolor techniques along the way! Download a convenient pdf of the project in my Etsy shop here. Great for personal use or for teaching a watercolor workshop! For best results when painting with watercolor use watercolor paper. I used Arches 140 lb. cold pressed for this project. See a complete list of the supplies you’ll need at the end of the post.

**Note – My paper is still attached to a pad so I took a shortcut. When painting in watercolor on a loose sheet it is best to tape it to a larger piece of cardboard. Tape all four sides of the paper. This prevents the paper from buckling when it gets wet.
Watercolor best practices - tape your paper to a piece of paper to prevent bucking

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Step 1 – Use painter’s tape to mask the trees. I cut the tape for the smaller branches. Notice some of my tape strips don’t go all the way to the bottom of the paper.

Step 2 – Using a very wet brush and the color of your choice paint parts of the area not covered by the tape – except the bottom of the paper. No need to be too careful, the tape will protect the tree areas.

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Step 3 – Use a different color and paint around the first color, touching the first color so the colors bleed into each other. Leave the bottom area.

Step 4 – Use a brush that is less wet (less water) and more saturated paint and dip it in several areas. You can splash it too.

Step 5 – Paint the bottom area with grey – using a dry brush for a textured uneven look.

Step 6 – Sprinkle salt in parts of the wet areas. Wait for paint to dry.

Step 7 – When paint is dry, brush salt off the painting.

Step 8 – Peel up the tape slowly, being careful not to rip the paper.

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Step 9 – Using black or grey, add detail strokes to the trees. A flat brush works best. If the stroke is too defined go over with a wet brush (water no paint) to soften.

Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Step 10 – Once the painting is completely dry use a thin black marker or pen – I use a Uniball signo gel pen – to outline the trees. I made my lines wobbly to look more natural.

Watercolor techniques used:

  • Masking areas with tape
  • Wet on wet painting
  • Dry on dry
  • Using salt
  • Softening lines with water

Supplies you’ll need:

I’d love to see your forest! Tag me on Instagram @eileenmckenna.
Download the “Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners” pdf in my Etsy shop.
Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

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Author: Eileen McKenna {my creative resolution}

Watercolor Artist, seascape painter, collector of creative inspiration. Sign up for my newsletter!

22 thoughts on “Easy Forest Watercolor Painting for Beginners

  1. Oh wow this looks like a great idea! Yes the tape is a good idea! Wow I need to remember this.

  2. Hi Eileen,

    beautiful pictures.

  3. Pingback: InkTober days 9-12 |

  4. Looks like fun and easy…think I’ll try it….thanks🎨🎨

  5. Hi!

    I work at a public library and was wondering if we could use this tutorial for a watercolor paint night in July. The event is free. I’d be happy to post pictures when we’re done!

  6. I’m confused about when to take the tape off. Step 5 implies the tape is off because you’re adding brush strokes to the tree trunks. But it doesn’t say to Take the tape for until step 8. Can you clarify? I want to do this!

  7. Hello,
    I am going to paint this wonderful painting with my staff and residents tomorrow at the nursing home where I work at. I am volunteering to help them become wonderful artists. A lot of them are looking foward to it. Ill send you the results of their paintings.
    Thank you,
    Timothy Fulton
    Housekeeper at StoneRidge Health Care

  8. Pingback: 10 “How to” Posts on Painting, Graphic Design, Creativity and more! |

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