Sparking Your Creativity!

impressionist watercolor landscapes, painting simple trees watercolours, autumn colors,

Take a walk with me!  Walk the watercolour pathway for just a moment……….

watercolour trees painting
Watercolour Trees painting
Spark of Creativity, watercolour trees techniques,
Spark of Creativity, watercolour trees

As some of you have read before,  I do tend to go for a lot of nature walks!

I love the feeling of being outside, with all that lovely space!  No four walls to close in on me.

As I walk along, I’m watching for different types of birds as well as listening to see if I can hear them, and how many I can hear.  These Perth nature parks are filled with cockatoos, parrots, lorikeets, willy wagtails, honey eaters, galahs and …The Crow.

And of course, I’m always looking at the trees.   The textures and colours of the trees’ bark  is amazing;  scribbly gum, angophora, iron bark, all sorts of ‘gum’ trees.  Dimpled lavender, fiery red and burgundy, soft pale umbers, ceruleans, butter lemon yellows…. and so many more colours its just fun to count them all.

watercolour sky and tree landscape,
Morning Breaks, watercolour landscape

Jade Ridge, watercolour landscape
Jade Ridge, watercolour landscape,


Creative Artistic License

I took a great deal of Creative artistic license with all these Tree themed scenes.   I fired up some of the auburn red foliage, deleted some trees, changed other trees.  I tore paper. I flattened out the tone of the sky.  I wanted the final images to remind me… of the places I walk, not be the exact duplication.

And,  to share with you how “with a smidgen” of imagination and creativity,  you can alter a subject and make it special,  make it …….. magical.

"Dimly" Creative photograph of a tree,
Dimly, Through a Looking Glass; photograph digitally manipulated,

I can recommend reading books by Nita Leland and Tony Smibert as they are amazing encouragers of self expression and art process experimentation.

Creating Depth in Watercolours

In the very  top painting, “Watercolour Trees”   I created a sense of depth by using cooler colours in the background of the forest, progressively becoming darker and much warmer in the foreground.    By keeping the back area soft and quiet I’ve increased the illusion of distance.

The background  tree foliage was done using a brush movement upwards, slightly splaying the brush hairs just a bit.  Enough to create that rough, lacy, uneven topline of the trees’ foliage.   This is so much better than plain old smooth rounded edges, which will look unnatural.

Let it dry, then use a dark tone to create the barren tree trunks in a swift and sure upwards stroke. Be bold. Be brave. Timid and tentative will destroy the ‘natural flow’ of the landscape.

Having a nice little “lead the eye in”  helps direct viewers’  into the painting.  From the lower left diagonally upwards and right, I’ve led the eye towards the main tree.


Playtime and a bit of Creative Fun

I mixed terre verte, burnt umber and prussian blue ground pigments with water and gum arabic to create my paints for this image. Just for fun!

white trees watercolour landscapes
White Trees Watercolour landscapes

Dusk.     The sun has set, the sky has changed to a cerulean blue green hue.   Now, the foreground, the nearest foliage is in the dark, and an almost ominous intense pigment, prussian blue.

To counterbalance such a dark scene I have had to use white to add light tone into that area and create light tree trunks.

The other thing I’ve done is to set the image in a very large expanse of white paper to create the illusion that there is more Light in the composition than there really is.

The ground pigments burnt umber and prussian blue came out 3x darker than I’d planned; I could have used white to lighten them up, but I wanted to keep the paint more transparent.   The terre verte pigment, came out just lovely and I was very happy with it.

Next time –   when I mix up the other two, I’m going to add more water.


references and  sources I have been encouraged and influenced by:


Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

14 thoughts on “Sparking Your Creativity!

  1. I love the trees in the top best of all, because they remind me of landscapes here around and in Sweden. Beautiful and interesting as usual, Debi. Have a wonderful day, regards Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mitza, thank you again 🙂 haven’t been to Sweden, but did tour Norway for a few weeks. Pretty sure, there is a world of difference! And that top one, was the most conservative of the lot..more representational; I had a feeling more would ‘enjoy’ that one for that reason as well. but I had to spark – creativity, with the others! have a great weekend, cheers, Debi


      1. You are really able to spark people with your creativity, Debi. I will post some textures for you right now. Hope you will like them. Cheers Mitza

        Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Jennifer, thanks so much! I’ve always been an outdoors person, rather go hiking than baking or ‘cleaning’! so I guess I have years to draw upon when its time to paint 🙂 again, thank you for your comments, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These are great Debi, and have certainly sparked my creativity at just the right time. I am about to go to a new nature preserve in a little while, and was just looking at one of my latest paintings, and thinking that I seem to get stuck painting trees green, and that I need to add some excitement to them. This was just what I needed to read! Great post, and as always, lovely work! ~Rita

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rita. And have a great time in the nature preserve ! when you come back shoot me a message with how many other colours of tree foliage/bark colours you saw ! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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