A simple, free household utensil may help watercolor beginners achieve lovely fine detailing of trees and branches.  The humble skewer.  Besides my hands and fingers,  the skewer is one of the most useful painting tools I’ve found!

painting watercolor trees, beginners techniques, debiriley.com
Watercolor tree techniques


Watercolor Techniques: Trees in the Landscapes


Painting trees and landscapes in watercolors can be done in a multitude of techniques. This time, I’m featuring a little known ‘secret’ technique I love to use.

In all of the examples shown, I’ve simply used the skewer to draw gently, into the wet sloppy watercolor tree foliage wash – creating the very fine curved random branching shapes.


fun and easy, Watercolor landscape and tree Technique, debiriley.com
Lovely Skewer Trees


This watercolor landscape painting technique for trees is extremely fun to just play and practice. It is easy to get carried away… line up a multitude of pieces of paper, like I do, so that you don’t spoil them!


painting watercolor tree techniques, debiriley.com
Detail of Cobalt Teal Reflections



Beginners Easy Watercolor Trees, The Process:


#1    Lay a wash of any green foliage color down on the dry paper, then gently draw the tree trunk and branch shapes.

#2    Take care not to ‘dig’ or to be rough.  Just ….let the very tip guide the paint along….

#3     Make sure trees and branches aren’t too Rigid, too straight,  too evenly spaced apart.

#4     In the forest, tree shapes are random. Chaotic.    Curving and gnarled, bent, and twisted.    Some lean to the right, some to the left.  Try,   not to  have ‘straight lines.’

That is, Generally speaking, unless we happen to be in a tall fir forest…..


watercolor fir trees, techniques tips for beginners, debiriley.com
watercolor fir trees



If,  you’d like to see more watercolor trees and read about foliage greens,  plus learn a bit about depth in the landscape,  click on those links.


I have a section devoted to watercolour tips here,  and  a wonderful Pinterest collection of Watercolour Landscapes from some amazing artists I’m sure you’ll find appealing.


Also,  if you are looking in my website for specific things  (watercolour paper, brushes, acrylics, Trees, prussian blue, …etc.)   just go to my  ‘search’  button to look.

IF,  its not there,  why don’t you ask me to address it in a post!?

I’d be happy to!