Wednesday Watercolor: Tree Techniques

painting watercolor trees, beginners techniques,

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,
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,
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,
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,
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!





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,

42 thoughts on “Wednesday Watercolor: Tree Techniques

  1. Oh Yay! Some fun stuff to practice! Why oh why doesn’t it turn out as lovely as this though!? 🙂 I guess that is why YOU are the teacher and the artist! Thank you so so much for sharing so much wisdom and beauty Debi!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes! you can get those branches nice and fine!! 🙂 you’re welcome Jodi, glad you’re enthused….. hope to see some skewer trees ‘down the track’!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. hi Mitza, is the weather any better? or should I just not ask!! maybe you can go to Greece…. ? Thank you for having a look at the trees! glad you like them 🙂 stay warm!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes, that’s true and I guess any of my very much beloved Russian authors could start a story like this. I read about people who went with carriages in the winter-time when a snow storm came and they lost their way, wolves were creeping around – I nearly fell out of my bed reading this, hehe

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful pieces, love trees and yours are most wonderful. Love them all, they all have a different and distinctive atmosphere, some soft and light, some darker with more depth! Wonderful execution and techniques! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was planning to go to an art supply store–for varnish, nothing more. Now I’m sure I will be coming home with water color paper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t ever soak/stretch my paper; I tape it top to stay.
      blocks are way too spendy! I use a full sheet 22×30, and cut to size.
      and use Arches, or Saunders, or Fabriano 100% cotton rag CP or rough usually…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. just use masking tape to tape the paper in place on its top edge, so it doesn’t fall down when you’re painting..if you put it on top of board. Which I do. wc paper just on the table without an underlying board is too wobbly.


  4. Thank you for your advice. I love the simplicity and directness of your work. My sister was an accomplished water color artist… so this is close to my heart. I always think of her when I take out my water colors.
    One more question if you don’t mind… do you ever have a problem with the adhesive tape taking the surface of the paper with it when you take it off?


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: