Winter-inspired Trees

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Winter Trees in Watercolour

Winter Trees, a watercolour study by Kat Healy 2023

Enjoy this easy-to-follow watercolour study. All you need is two watercolours (one if you prefer to go full monochrome) and some white gouache.

I have chosen a simple seasonal subject. You can work with basic shapes and quick brushwork, adding layers of detail in stages.

It’s an ideal subject for warming up before getting into a bigger, more considered piece of work.

It shouldn’t take longer than one hour with drying breaks.

You can follow along with the video uploaded to my art channel. Please note the video is sped up X 2 — so take your time.

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Materials (Kat Healy)
  • Paynes Grey or Paynes Grey Blue watercolour

  • Ultramarine Blue (or Prussian/Cobalt Blue) watercolour

  • White gouache (highlights)

  • Watercolour brushes: small/detail (2/4), medium (10/12), large wash brush (can be round or flat)

  • Watercolour paper 140lbs 300gsm (‘Not’ or ‘Cold Pressed’ surface for texture)

  • Kraft tape to keep the paper stretched (no need if you use paper blocks)

  • Pencil

  • Small water spray bottle (optional)

  • A board or portable easel to work on (optional).

Approach this study in three stages

The techniques you’re practising are:

  • Creating depth by pushing a layer of trees into the background.

  • Wet into wet and wet into damp for the first wash.

  • Adding details and interest to your subject using a variety of pigment consistencies and white gouache.

Top Tips

  • Practice building different washes with a variety of consistencies first. Think very light/diluted wash (watery/skimmed milk), medium wash (semi-skimmed milk), and creamy wash (more dry pigment added to the medium wash).

  • Practice your trees and branches using your medium and smallest brush. Apply more pressure as you begin at the bottom of the trunks, and paint upwards to the tip of the tree. It should be a slow, flicking action. If you work too tightly, you’ll overthink it and get stressed.

Download the steps

Winter Trees Watercolour Study by Kat Healy
45.3KB ∙ PDF file
PDF instructions for winter trees watercolour study.

I hope you enjoy your painting session. Let me know if you have any questions — I’ll get back to you asap.

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‘Winter Woods’, Dody Kétyi, Getty Canva Pro

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