Watercolour Trees Part II Relaxing

watercolour landscape debiriley.com

Relaxing on a rainy day listening to Zen nature music, dabbling with my watercolour paints.  Just what I needed. To have a little play, experimenting and creating many different types of trees in the process.

watercolour landscape debiriley.com
Trees watercolour landscape debiriley.com

Watercolour Painting: The Creation of Trees

I’d played with watercolour paints blues and greens in the top image, with overlapping hill shapes.  There are 4 quite visible overlapping shapes, with the 5th barely seen here.   Five  is a great number for beginners to start with, as its not too many to get things complicated before they are ready.

This image was on slightly damp paper, to have the edges just barely blur off. I did not want them sharp.   Staying with a dominant cool palette of greys, cool blues and greens help to keep the image unified. The colours were in aerial perspective sequence, cool behind,  warms in front.

Watercolour Technique for Creating More Depth

Overlapping  is one of the easiest methods you can use to help create more depth in your watercolour landscape paintings.  Just keep placing one shape in front of another until you reach the foreground.


 Watercolour Technique Dry Brush

The watercolour Tree Bark was created by a series of dry brush layers, at this point I have 12 layers of watercolours using dry brush technique on the tree trunk.

Its very time consuming, tedious if you’re not in that kind of mood. I wanted something a bit monotonous and repetitive; this was it!   Apply dry brush paint to dry paper. Let dry.  Apply next layer.  Repeat.


Looking to the right of the trunk, the colours of grey green, russet, charcoal and green-yellow have been applied in the background using a charging technique.  I deliberately left the left hand side white, so you can visually see the impact the background makes.

Also, note that where the light is hitting the trunk – that is where the sharpest edges should go.  Where the shadows are, thats where you want to soften and blur the edges much more.

I was after a very Wabi Sabi feel.  Natural, weathered, simple, subtle, free, calming, asymmetrical.

tree bark dry brush watercolours debiriley.com
Watercolour Tree Bark Dry Brush debiriley.com


 Watercolour Technique wet in wet

Firestorm  – wet in wet start with very judicious charging as the watercolours just start to dry a bit and aren’t quite matte yet. The tree shapes in the foreground started to emerge and I decided to keep them soft and loose.   I loved playing with the vibrant scarlets again. I couldn’t resist.

watercolour landscape Firestorm debiriley.com
Firestorm watercolour landscape debiriley.com



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 society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

8 thoughts on “Watercolour Trees Part II Relaxing

    1. afternoon Laura 🙂 thank you, the tree bark is actually kind of fun esp. when you’re not in a hurry – but I still have 2-3 images ‘on the go’ to keep my fiddling urges occupied !!

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