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Woods Path Painting Tutorial
Watercolor Painting Tutorial

by Jennifer Branch
YouTube Watercolor Painting Tutorial
Take a walk in the woods today and paint a peaceful path. This is such a fun painting to do. There are multiple layers and a range of techniques - definitely a painting to play with!
Woods Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting tutorial

Painting Tutorial Level

Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced

Skill Building

Painting Trees
Texture

Art Supplies

18" x 23"
Twinrocker Cold Press
Isabey Pointed Round Sable, no.14
Isabey Mop, no.14
Isabey Mop, no.6
Isabey Rigger, no.1

Paints

(M. Graham transparent watercolors)

Azo Yellow
Cadmium Yellow
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Teal
Cobalt Violet
Quinacridone Rust
Wax Crayon

Painting Demonstration 1

Woods Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Lesson 1

I begin with a pale golden loose wash on the upper part of the painting. I want the backlit area to glow.

I paint a cooler, cobalt blue and cobalt violet, wash on the lower part of the painting. This area will be shady woods.

Tree trunks connect the two areas.

Woods Path Painting Tutorial Reference Photo
Woods Path Painting Tutorial Reference Photo

Painting Demonstration 2

Woods Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Lesson 2

After it's dried slightly, I start with the first of many texture layers. The woods have wonderful dappled lights and shadows, layered on each other. So I need to paint many layers to achieve that texture.

I loosely paint the tree limbs and leaves in the correct shapes, but I'm more worried about texture and warm, rich colors at this point.

Painting Demonstration 3

Woods Path Painting Tutorial Painting Tutorial 3

I'm starting to add a little detail and some more intense darks in this layer. Notice how the cool, luminous tree trunks connect the cool and warm areas of the painting.

A lot of the tree trunks and leaves in this layer are more detailed, but a lot will be buried under later layers, so this isn't the time to get fussy. Just keep the bottom area cool colors and the top part glowing golds.

Artist's Tips

Build up texture in many layers.

Painting Demonstration 4

Woods Path Painting Tutorial Painting Tutorial 4

A few more darks in this layer. I want more texture and contrast at my center of interest. The edges outside that area should blur a bit.

Painting Demonstration 5

Woods Path Painting Tutorial Painting Tutorial 5

A few of the darks have been softened here, as I planned. The layers of the beech leaves and a few lingering green leaves are getting deeper.

Painting Demonstration 6

Woods Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Tutorial 6

Loblolly pines reflect a lot of what's around them. The flat plates of their bark act like dull mirrors. So I need a lot of hit and miss texture to get the rich darks - but with reflecting planes.


Painting Demonstration 7

Woods Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Tutorial 7

Time to finish up the path with a lot more texture and detail at the far end, since it's my center of interest.

I want deep, horizontal shadows across the path, but I don't want them to misdirect the viewer's path through the painting. The answer is a lot of texture and hit and miss strokes to break them up slightly.

Woods Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting demonstration

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Woods Path Painting Tutorial Final Watercolor Painting!

This painting really takes me on a path through the woods. The areas of dappled light and shadows and the rich tapestry of the leaves are just what I wanted.

I live in a house in the woods. I could paint them all day, every day, and always find something different and lovely to paint. I urge anyone near woods, even a small grove of trees, to sketch them. It doesn't matter whether they're snowy firs or palmetto fronds. You will learn something new and wonderful every time.

I think I'll go hiking with my sketchbook now!



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Woods Path Painting Tutorial watercolor painting tutorial by Jennifer Branch




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