Friday, February 19, 2016

2016 Watercolor Technique Calendar - December

Today marks the final page in our watercolor calendar for 2016!  Hard to believe - it's gone by so quickly...  I know some of you have fallen behind but no worries - these pages will still be here when you can catch up.

Today's calendar page is probably going to be the most difficult for many people because there isn't much I can tell you other than to let your brush strokes be free....  Honestly it was difficult for me in the beginning.  You just have to practice random brush strokes and eventually you'll get it and once you do you'll love it!

Evergreens!  Yes, that's what we're painting today.  I know it sounds easy but it's much more difficult than you'd think.  For nice realistic looking pine trees you need flowing random sketchy lines. Free, loose designs is what it's all about.  

So I started off by practicing trees...  I painted a sketchy trunk for somewhere to begin.

Then I took my large flat brush and started working 2-3 colors of green, a charcoal and brown paints.  My first attempt was lots of straight lines back and forth. Very rigid and tight - not the look I'm going for.  Sort of looked like one of those fake Christmas trees you buy at a discount store - LOL!!

Adding snow made it look a bit better...

And some background color helped too but it's still not great. I then tried it with my 02 detail brush.  Much better - easier for me to get the sketchy look I was going for.  The green to the left was a miss step - I picked up the wrong green on my palette - shamrock green evergreen anyone?!?  NOT!

Wash that green off and add a few more trees here and there.  The longer I went the better they looked. 

Now for the calendar page...I started by making some sketchy trees here and there.  Remember this is about layers - make a sketchy start, move along and let it dry while you work on the next tree....  Eventually you will work yourself back around and can add more and more layers of greens, blacks, browns, white and even a touch of blue.

TIP - the further the trees are from you the darker they should be until they just fade into black.

Once you have your trees on there you can add some blue shadows and a darker shade of blue to the sky.  It was looking kind of bare so I flicked on a bit of the white, blue & grey/green over the panel.  I think it finished it off nicely.

All 3 attempts together....
You can really see the progression.

A couple of close ups of the finished calendar page trees...

Well, we're done - 2016 Watercolor Calendar in the books.
I hope you've enjoyed the techniques I've shared with you and give them a try.

Monday I will be posting a wrap up of all the links and finished pages together on one post.  I hope you will join me because I've got a special surprise for a lucky Ink Stained reader!!!

Have an inky weekend friends!


  1. Beautiful job on the evergreens! Love this calendar project Roni!

  2. Again, something to look forward to try. Thank you

  3. I love this one best of all! Thanks for 12 inspiring watercolor techniques to try this year!

  4. You just make them all look so easy. So glad you do this; it's very inspiring.

  5. again amazing step by steps... thank you for all your wonderful post....

  6. Roni, I adore this technique! You demystified the process of painting evergreen trees in a snowy setting using water colors. I can see how this technique can be applied to a variety of trees including the appearance of trees during the Fall season. Once again Roni, another spectacular tutorial!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!