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Painting Oaks In Watercolor


Painting Oaks in Watercolor. Imagine you are standing in front of a tree, how about an Oak Tree.


Now look at the silhouette and the general shape, this is most important when Painting Oaks in Watercolor. Viewers of your painting will know this artist has painted an oak tree,.....not a Fir tree.....not a Weeping Willow. This is Watercolor Painting of an Oak Tree.


Maybe in the past you painted a Green Lollipop on a stick. For you this is coming to an end. Do these things: 1 - Start seeing trees instead of just looking at them. 2 - Don't take them for granted. 3 - Stop and smell the roses.


Do this and your Painting Oaks In Watercolor will improve, you can't paint what you have not seen. You are going to paint. Get the paints out. Mix 4 puddles about 1.1/2" dia. of Yellow, Green, Blue and Burnt Sienna paint. Always mix ample for any project you may do. Never, never run out of mixed paint. Your tree is going to be 6" x 6" , draw 4 or 5 clumps of foliage don't let them touch one another, note: no trunk yet.


Use 1/2" flat brush, paint one clump at a time. Start with Yellow, brush should be fairly dry, not dripping wet. Stop, maybe you should add some more color to the puddles, they all look too weak, too much water. Now that you have fixed it - that's better. No more wishy-washy Painting Oaks in watercolor. This is a very common error and problem, too much water

Hold the brush in the palm of your hand horizontal to the paper. Push the brush away from your body with a low scrubbing action, you are painting the top edge of the first clump producing texture.

Start with Yellow paint - don't let it dry, now quickly add the other colors. Leave gaps in the foliage for the birds to fly through. In other words don't paint a solid mass of green foliage, look at the above two clumps painted.


The silhouette must be rough texture, if by any chance it winds up with a hard line on the edge , the brush was too wet,dry scrubbing action is the way to go. Now paint the rest of the clumps, one at a time. This is fun, I'm painting along with you, relax it's only a piece of paper, if you mess up will your standard of living change? Paint lots and lots of trees, fill pages..... don't worry about getting his dinner just continue Painting Oaks In Watercolor.

We are now ready for the wooden parts of the tree (trunks, limbs etc.).

Mix up some greyish color, my favorite is Phthalo Green and Alizarin Crimson.

Notice I am using Alizarin Crimson Permanent PR206.  Alizarin Crimson PR 83 is a very bad fugitive pigment, don't ever use it in painting.  

You don't have to take my word for this look at Winsor Newtons color chart and you will see something strange They have two Alizarin Crimsons, they are not the only manufacturers that have two by any means.

Strange.......not really, they know the uneducated people buy and demand PR 83, the bad stuff. They also know the educated buy the good stuff, they call that in their catalogue Permanent Alizarin Crimson.

You demand the bad stuff - they supply it, they call that marketing.

If all the above is "news" to you, and you are really serious about painting in watercolor you should go directly to my Watercolor Club. You will thank me.

You will understand colors completely back to front. Maybe some of the colors you are using is not the very best choice. If you can make educated decisions on colors you may save a great deal of money.

You for sure will paint cleaner, brighter, more vibrant, glowing paintings than ever before. It's all there in the Watercolor Club.

Now with a liner (rigger, or script) brush, number 6 or 8, hold the brush , tip pointing toward your body, spread the hairs by pushing down then starting at the base of the trunk push the brush upward and away from you.


It would help to shake and wiggle the brush as you go upwards, I do this really well, something to do with getting old. You're trying to avoid a straight and vertical trunk.


Please don't forget the trunk width decreases as it goes skyward. Now put in the limbs and branches through the bird holes and gaps in the foliage. Don't paint limbs and branches across the foliage.

Now if you want to put in some details, bushes and fences, do so by all means.

You might not get it right the first time. The more you practice the better you become Painting Oaks In Watercolor..... isn't that strange.


I'm always asked "why and how " I paint trees fast. This is the "why" part, if you paint trees really slow it will look very contrived not in the least bit natural. This is the "how " part, I purchase several tree posters and copied and studied them many times over. Trust me you can't go wrong, it will work.

A viewer looking at a forest that I had painted remarked "I can feel the trees". I'm not sure how he managed that. I never asked, all I thought was thank-you posters. Keep painting.


Painting Fir Trees

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