A Simple Winter Watercolor Painting

It is the week before Christmas and I have spent the past several weeks busy and not having time to paint.  I prepared art for 2 Fine Art Fairs, finished the painting I will be raffling off (my next blog will have all the details on my annual raffle), ordered 250 cards & envelops, completed any on-line orders and shopped & baked gifts for friends & family. Today I went to the studio and made time for me. It’s a great feeling when I have no obligations and I can paint just for me!

I decided I wanted to paint a simple snow scene, something I could post on my FaceBook page to say Merry Christmas to all.

Knowing I would be flooding the paper with water I taped the paper down on a board. I completely wet the paper and gave it a moment to be absorbed, then I adding a little more water. I wanted my first wash to be soft with no hard edges. I used an ultra marine blue paint and a Quinn Crimson paint. Because the paper was wet I used very little water on my brush as I loaded the brush with pigment. I wanted strong color knowing that the water on the paper would dilute the pigment and it would dry lighter. Don’t be afraid of it being too dark at this stage.

Next I allowed the shine to leave the paper. Don’t be tempted to use a blow dryer you will most likely over dry the paper. Be patient. When the shine is gone use a small brush, I used a very small synthetic rigger which wouldn’t carry too much water, and drop in tiny spots of clear water. These drops will spread and lighten giving the illusion of a snowy sky.

I added a ridge line of distant trees in a very light value.

Christmas 2017a

When the paper was completely dry I painted the tree. I used a mixture of thalo green & ultra marine blue and very little water. I wanted a very dark value but still wanted the tree to have interest and not just be a dark blob. As the paint started to dry I dropped in a few drops of clear water to adjust the value within the tree shape.

A shadow grounds the tree and gives shape to the snow it’s sitting on. The addition of a few weeds poking out of the snow and their shadows again give form to the ground.

Christmas 2017b

To complete the painting it needed to have a sprinkling of snow. I used Titanium white mixed with just enough water to allow it to splatter off my paint brush. Always test this over scrap paper before you do it over your painting. Tap the wet brush on the handle of a dry brush and watch the snow fall. See how much snow falls and what size flakes come off your brush. Try different size brushes until you are happy with the results.  Here is where you will definitely need self-control because it’s not only fun to do but you might have the tendency to feel that a little sprinkle is good and more may be better but watch out you do not get carried away with the snow. Force yourself to stop before your tree is lost in a blizzard!

Christmas 2017c

I added a few words to express my joy of the Christmas holiday. Don’t forget to add a few words of your own to you painting and share it with friends and family.

Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night……


~ by Lorraine Rimmelin on December 19, 2017.

4 Responses to “A Simple Winter Watercolor Painting”

  1. What a wonderful tutorial! Thank you.


  2. Glad you like it! Thanks Dinah

  3. Dear Lorraine – just found your blog. Your winter watercolor is just beautiful. Have enjoyed reading some of your other wonderful posts. So glad I can now follow you. Have a great New Year.

  4. Hi Debbie, thanks for you kind words. I wish you a great year too filled with bright colors flowing from your brush!
    Keep in touch, Lorraine

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