Woodlands Watercolor

watercolor woodland forest, oil pastel textures, debiriley.com

“Woodlands”  is my experimental watercolor forest.

Soft and cool,  the blue greens harmonise with prussian blue in the shadow depths.   Hints of lilac, lime and mint filter through the canopy. Creating a lovely Woodland retreat.


watercolor woodland forest, oil pastel textures, debiriley.com
Woodlands watercolor, debiriley.com



The original image was done plein air while hiking, in a small notepad.

I felt that the watercolor foundation was just a little too flat.


doodlewash.com, watercolor landscape, #world watercolor month, debiriley.com watercolors, tree paintings
‘snippet detail of the original’ 

The “snippet”  shown, I’ve cropped to highlight its assets. It doesn’t look too awful here, but the background was pretty bad.  Very very dull and flat.    I do like the tree here.


It lacked sufficient depth.

It needed life and a lot more Texture.



watercolor landscape, oil pastel texture, debiriley.com
watercolor and oil pastel


I chose to use oil pastels to create some rough textures over the watercolor foundation.

I was trying to be careful not to overwhelm and cover up my beautiful whispers of lilac, mint, dove greys in the forest woodland.

I liked those!



woodland foliage watercolor, oil pastel texture, debiriley.com
Woodland foliage, watercolor




I really do love the textural effects the oil pastels gave.

These pastels may not have been the perfect choice for this. I’d like to have softened and blended them a lot more.

I could have chose soft pastels which are so easy to blend and soften; but, no.  I went for the Challenge.



  • I enjoyed the physical act of painting and creating.
  • I always paint…. because I like to see what the colors will do.
  • And I always learn something new.  Every time I create.  Whether the painting is a flat out dud,  or a super star.


Thats my real goal: learn something new today!



For More Trees and great Tree Techniques –

Spectacle of Trees   

Tree Techniques

Watercolours: Red Dragon Maple Trees






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

25 thoughts on “Woodlands Watercolor

  1. Ah the journey and not the outcome. I was just talking with someone today about this concept in art. Often we value something that is completed, the end product. In the destination there is huge value in the learning, contemplation, the relationship with either another person or your painting (the act of painting). A relationship between you and the environment, reflecting that in a painting is the icing on the cake. Regardless if it is a masterpiece or a flat dud, the act of painting or the revelation found while painting and exploring that is what supersedes the actual end product. Your paintings reflect you, your experience, love the idea of oil pastels. I have that on my long list of to do’s and to gets, it will happen hopefully soon!

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    1. Revelations….. ahh, now that is a Word! oh don’t get me started on that theme LOL thank you Miss Margaret for such a wonderful comment today. I Appreciate it ie YOU!
      cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Now when I saw this I thought ‘ wow’ this so appeals to my eye, I love the colour choice, and the pastels work so well, I often use soft pastel over watercolour, but never oil, I think the reason is because the stay forever tacky?? Needing to be specially framed ( unless I have been told incorrectly)? Some of my fav paintings are the ones where I had a better journey…..or maybe they are the ones where I changed direction and took a different path, maybe I even came off the path. I suppose I look at my art and remember how I got there, and not how it ended up looking. The viewer only sees the end, and this end in your painting, I LOVE ❤️❤️❤️


  3. Beautiful Debi, great combination of colour – who would have thought to try that purplish colour on a tree? I also like the way you captured the ruggedness and kept it sort of abstract. Great post.

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  4. The coloring you are using is just beautiful. I’d love to see the original in order to get a feel of how the media, watercolor and pastel, you are using look together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Rich Thanks! I had a quick add on, and just put in a cropped version of the original…….. was the only pic I had of it.


    1. thanks! glad you enjoyed this woodlands scene and post 🙂 I’m not super familiar with Carla…. other than she does provide online lessons and has a lovely Illustrative approach! I’m glad you had a read and thank you for your comments…. Cheers, Debi


    1. hi Robyn, thank you very much! ps just sent out my see differently post. hoping I’d tagged it properly. but it was fun to do anyway 🙂


  5. 10.20 Pm Canadian time..How did I find Your blog?! Well, Debi, your water colours are stunning, and I love the way you describe your artistic process. There is just so much beauty in your creations. Thank you, again..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Joanne… thank you so much, I really appreciate you. Following and commenting, it is wonderful! I’m so happy that you find beauty here…. in my little zen gardens and forests of creativity 🙂 cheers, Debi

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  6. Beautiful work, Debi. I love how you put this together. I never would’ve thought purple could stand out so well on a watercolour painting, but you showed how it could do that and more. Very inspirational for my own art!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Millie, thank you for stopping in! I’m glad you enjoyed this image and post on woodlands 🙂 Thank you, for your lovely comments – I appreciate them. Cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

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