This watercolor painting project is a new spin on a my original birch forest painting tutorial. The woodland creatures – an owl, a fox and a bunny – make this new beginner project fun for all ages!
It’s easier than it looks! The final painting may look complex but the instructions – with photos – walk you through the entire project step by step. It’s a great project for home schooling, for a group, or even painting on your own.
Watercolor techniques used:
Masking areas with tape
Wet on wet painting
Dry on dry painting
Supplies you’ll need:
Watercolor paper. I use 9” x 12” Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper.
Watercolor paint. Colors: orange, yellow, cobalt blue, black
It’s hard to commit to a daily painting challenge but every time I do, and stick with it, I’m always happy with the results. The first few times I did my Christmas countdown (daily watercolor illustrations counting down to Christmas) I followed prompts. Last year and this year, I’ve allowed myself the freedom to paint whatever fits into the Christmas/winter/holiday theme. I love the flexibility to explore.
The first few days of a daily challenge can feel a little awkward, or stiff. But after that you open up to the inspiration around you. Flipping through a skiing catalog I saw a Telluride ad that I thought would be so cool to paint. It was totally outside of the normal thing I would do. I enjoyed the process and was pleased with the results. The thing I get most excited about are the ideas. Last year I painted a girl with a record player in front of a tinsel covered tree – me as a kid, playing a favorite gift.
Daily painting or drawing is hard, especially during the busy holiday season. But the break from the busyness and the interesting creative process of coming up with new ideas is so worth it!
It’s hard to get out there and run in the Winter – too cold, too windy, too icy. I think of a million excuses. Even when I decide, “I’m going,” I procrastinate. I sketch my sneakers, I catch up on other blogs. Finally I get going. When I’m done, no matter how good or bad it felt, I’m always glad I did it.
I’m somewhat obsessed with the Winter sky – the different colors at sunrise, sunset, the clouds throughout the day. All of this shown through the bare branches of the trees. I love how the bare brown trees have a bluish tint to them.
A sunset from my window: Another pretty sky.
The start of the painting – watercolor. Letting it drip.
Adding the ink to the trees. I was hesitant to even do it, but the painting didn’t look complete without it and I wanted to follow through on my vision.
I’m really happy with how the sky turned out – although the salt wasn’t working as well as last time. I had to try it several times – I think the painting wasn’t wet enough. Some of the salt is stuck on there for good. It adds a bit of sparkle! Maybe I let it dry too long?
I’m not sure what made me start this Winter scene the day after Halloween. I guess I was thinking about the weather to come! I was inspired by my “ready to fall” painting, which started out as an ink drawing of a tree.
I drew a few simple tree shapes. Then I painted the sky and ground around them. On a whim, I salted the sky section to give it that frosted look. (If you’ve never used salt before it is a cool technique. Salt your painting when it is still wet. The salt absorbs some of the paint. Wait until it is completely dry and then brush off the salt.) I was happy with the effect. It reminds me of frost on a window. I added white to the trees and a few splatters of white for snow.