Simple Watercolor Aspen Trees | Kolbie Blume | Skillshare

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Simple Watercolor Aspen Trees

teacher avatar Kolbie Blume, Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (1h 20m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Watercolor Techniques

    • 4. Outlining the Trunk

    • 5. Shading the Trunk

    • 6. Painting the Bark: Part 1

    • 7. Painting the Bark: Part 2

    • 8. Final Project: Sketch the Forest

    • 9. Final Project: Background Trees

    • 10. Final Project: Foreground Trees

    • 11. Final Project: Abstract Autumn Background

    • 12. Recap

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About This Class

Are you dreaming of autumn in the mountains? Always wanted to learn watercolor techniques but too scared to try? This simple watercolor class is perfect for artists of all levels! 

Join me as I take you through my step-by-step process to creating simple but stunning watercolor aspen trees! I'll take you through the painting techniques to successfully create one tree, and then for the final project, we'll work together to make an autumn forest, perfect for hanging in your home to bring the magic of an autumn forest all year long. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Kolbie Blume





If you're pretty sure you're terrible at art...'re in the right place, my friend. 



Hi there! My name is Kolbie, and I'm a full-time artist, writer, and online educator -- but up until a few years ago, I was working a 9-5 desk job and thought my artistic ability maxed out at poorly-drawn stick figures. 

In my early 20s, I stumbled on mesmerizing Instagram videos with luminous watercolor paintings and flourishing calligraphy pieces, and ... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, My name is Colby, and I love to paint using watercolor, but more than I love to paint using watercolor. I love to teach other people simple techniques for them to create beautiful watercolor landscape, landscape elements and sometimes even landscape, full landscape paintings. And I fully believe with my whole heart that you don't have to have this big background in art in order to create beautiful things on. And I know from experience because I was not classically trained in art, and I just discovered this talent a few years ago and have sense loved it and become a firm believer that anybody could do this. So in today's class, we're going to learn how to paint beautiful aspen trees like this one. And I'm gonna go step by step through all of the processes that I have honed and explored throughout my watercolor journey, so that it is so easy and simple for you to paint something like this four. Something like this. And then, by the end, our final project is going to be, Ah, watercolor aspen tree forest that includes depth and multiple trees and a fun autumn background. So if you are ready to get started and joined this class and learn how to paint aspen trees than turn tune into the next video. Because that's where we gather all the materials and I just can't wait. See you soon. 2. Materials: welcome to the materials section of this class on painting watercolor aspen trees. So before we get started in the actual painting, I just want to go over the materials that I need. And so I think you'll need to excel in this class first. I mean, I don't want to say any of them are most important, because I think it's important to have, oh, quality materials. But I think one of the most important materials in any watercolor course, especially landscape, is your paintbrush. So for this class, I would recommend getting a size six round watercolor paint brush. Let's just see if I can show you this little bit better. Yeah, so a six round watercolor paint brush. This is Princeton, uh, one of my favorite brands, Princeton, And is the heritage Siri's you can know by the Red Handle. And so I would recommend getting a size six and a size zero for detail work. We're gonna need both of these. So those were the paintbrushes. Uh, next. Most important, I think, is probably paper. Not all papers are created equal, as I have talked about lots of my other classes, but we also know that It's not always feasible for beginners and people learning. Teoh have professional watercolor paper on hand all the time. That said, I would recommend if you have. If you do have access to professional watercolor paper, my favorites are arches and Blix Premier Block both you need at least £140 which means that when you have 500 sheets that weighs £140 in case you're wondering, what if you always wondered what that meant? Um, and I often times these prices are pretty comfortable. Sometimes arches are a little bit more expensive. Um, and Blick. If you you can only buy them at Blix Art supply you they often have pretty good deals on them, but I've found them to be pretty comparable, and I really enjoy working with both of them for the project. The last video of the end of this class. I'm gonna be using my my blood premier block, but have you also used charges in the past? So if you don't have access to professional watercolor paper, though, I would recommend for landscape painting like we're doing either getting Strathmore student grade paper or this cancer in our quarrel pick Aw, Quarrel paper. You've also You may have also heard me talk about Cans and Excel and that student grade and I love canceled Excel for lettering. But for watercolor landscape, this little notebook I got for $5 on Amazon has 20 sheets and it's just has a little bit more tooth than Kansan Excel does, Which makes it a little better for landscape painting in my experience. So, um, for today, I'm gonna using both Kansan and Blick just so you know, and I'll let you know when that happens. Okay, Next paint. Now, I have talked about the benefits in other classes of professional using professional grade watercolor paint, and I'm gonna say it again. When you use professional watercolor paint, the pigments are more pure, which means your colors are brighter, and when you mix them together, they don't. They're not quite as money Now. There are lots of what there are lots of professional watercolor paints out there, and just because something says artist grade doesn't mean it's just as good as every artist grade paint out there. So I've used lots of different kinds. When we've done these classes today, I'm gonna talk about Kara talkie, uh, guns, I Tom b watercolor paint. And I bought these on Amazon. They came in a big set of, like, 27 or 28 or something of these pains, and I really like them a lot. So for this class, who you need either black paint or dark, dark brown like c p a paint. Okay. Those air for the aspen trees. Typically, I feel like aspen trees. Um, probably you would go with black, but I've also done them with dark, dark brown. Uh, because sometimes I think black and nature actually is dark, dark brown. So, um, you can dio you can choose whatever you want black or C p A. Or burnt number is another paint color. And then for a final project background, we're going to be using fall colors. So whatever love means to you, I just grabbed a whole bunch of colors that write me fall. Um, okay, Those were all the most important things, But briefly, I would grab a pencil on a razor because I just think those air always important to have I like to have a few Q tips. Teoh, control my water Sometimes I like to have an empty palette, just in case I don't want to use use. This is used. The's paints is a palate, but I also like to put like little droplets of water and just make a well inside inside the the paint. So it's kind of up to you and then, as always, two cups of water, one that's going to stay clean, one that's going to stay dirty and a paper towel. You can see mine as well used. I usually use the same paper towel for a few weeks, Um, and then, if you want, you can grab some kind of lettering tool. There's gonna be an option. Teoh make perhaps letter quote after we have done our projects. So I think that about sums it up for materials. So why don't you gather everything you need and head back here to watch the first painting video? All right, let's go 3. Watercolor Techniques: in this video, we're going to talk about one of the most important techniques, I think, for painting watercolor aspen trees. And it will serve as crucial foundational knowledge before we go into the next video, which is beginning to actually paint the aspen tree. So we're going to be talking about water methods. And what I mean by water methods is ways to use water on paint and your paintbrush to paint with watercolors. So you may have already heard about these methods, but we're just going to go over them, and I'm going to demonstrate them right now. So the first method that we're going to talk about is wet on wet. What that means is I'm going to load my brush with water and make my paper wet before I start painting. So watercolor paint is already what when it starts, right? Um, and so that's what the first wet means is that you have wet paint to use, which is why both of these message start with ah, wet paint, but went on What means that you're using what paint to color a dry and I mean to color a wet piece of paper. So I'm gonna load up this brush with paint and just see how wet on wet the paint blooms out because it's touching water in addition to paper, right? And so the water naturally makes it go in whatever direction it makes ago. And honestly, I think that's why watercolor. It's such a fun medium because, I mean, there's definitely ways. There are definitely ways for you to learn how to control it. But it also just kind of does its own thing right, And you can get beautiful, natural looking paintings. And so it's like you. It's a combination of you utilizing control and watercolor, just kind of creating its own beauty and chaos. Um, so anyway, that's my little spiel on while of watercolor so much, and that is also a demonstration of the wet on wet technique. Okay, so wet on dry, as you might imagine, is when and for this I'm going to use. I'm going to use this paintbrush what on dry as when I load my paintbrush up. I love my paper shop with walk with paint, but the paper is not wet, so the line's air more defined the water that the paint doesn't go anywhere except where the paintbrush, which is already wet, makes it wet. Right? So within this stroke, you can see it blooming out like it did up here. But Onley where my paintbrush touched the paper everywhere else it has defined lines. And if you have a really good paintbrush like the Princeton heritage Siri's that I recommended, uh, see this number six, even though I can get really wide strokes with it, um, I can also use the tip to paint really tiny lines. And what on dry just means you're making a defined shape with your paintbrush, right? Okay, So why don't you, if you haven't been already give both of these techniques to try and just play a little bit playing with color experiment? I always think this is one of the funnest parts of doing watercolors. Just experimenting and honestly experimenting is how I developed the 10 techniques that I did for these landscapes that I teach you on skill share. So, um, have fun. And we're going to use both of these techniques as we learn how to paint in Aspen tree in the next videos. So why don't you get to it and see you soon 4. Outlining the Trunk: So we've made it through materials. We've made it through the different methods of using water and witness within watercolor. So now we're going to jump in to the steps to painting an aspen tree. And like I mentioned in the material section, I'm gonna using both Blick, my Blick Premier watercolor block and this trusty cancer an awkward row watercolor sketch book. So I'm gonna be using this the sketchbook, which is slightly less quality paper, though it's still good paper. Teoh, uh, while we practice the aspen trees and then when we go into our final project mood, that's what I'm gonna bust out my Blick premier block. I feel like that's always a good method if you two have both watercolor paper, professional watercolor paper and still good watercolor paper or student. Great. But that's definitely less expensive to use for practice versus final product. OK, so step one in painting in Aspen tree is so simple. First, grab your paint. I'm using black. You can use brown or black or honestly, whatever color you want. That's up the other cool thing about art. You can do whatever the heck you feel like, um and I'm just gonna put some water into my black pan. I mentioned that I often just like to use the pans as a palate, but I will say that I'm using my size six brush here because I'm going to use the very tip , but sometimes t to make sure that the very tip actually gives me a thin line. I like to take a palette and just paint a little bit on it. So that takes off some of the, like, big, heavier water droplets, but leaves a little bit, but leaves amount enough paint so that I can still do what I want. So step one in painting in Aspen Tree is to outline it. So we're gonna take the thin line of our paintbrush, and we're going to draw one line this way and remember that we're gonna make this one thicker. But in other, um, in our final one, we're going to make them, like, smaller, like what they actually look like. But this is gonna be like an up close view what an Aspen tree looks like. Okay, so we're gonna be outlining like that, and I'm also just gonna, like, paint a little branch up here And if you're thinking like, 01 of my lines aren't straight, dude, trees are not. Trees do not have straight lines. So I'm painting a branch up there and painting a little knob right here. Okay? Yeah, that's step one. That's it. Go on to the next video to find out what's after Step one. It's gonna blow your mind. OK, See you soon. 5. Shading the Trunk: so you've drawn the outline of your tree. The next step is to utilize the paint in the outline to shade your tree. Okay, and it's really important. Teoh. Try to do this while the paint is still wet. That makes sense because if it's dry, it's fine paint, watercolor paint you can rehydrate, and it just doesn't always work the same on. Sometimes you get dry lines, so we're I'm taking my what? My number six watercolor brush, as you can see. And I'm just taking dipping in the water and then moving the water up to my line of paint so that I still have a little bit of a line for the outline so that that still exists. But I'm using the water to push the pigment to go farther so that it's lighter because, as you all know, Aspen trees have, like basically white bark right. But in nature, nothing is just one color. It's always a little bit something else, and by shading, we also create around it effect of the tree without having to do anything else more complicated to make it look like it's a little bit more realistic. And not just in two d, which is the other cool thing about watercolor just the way that it naturally shades things I to make, then look slightly more realistic. So, as you can see, I'm just dipping my brush in the watercolor in the water and it looks like I had a pool of water over there. So I'm bringing it down here and I'm just barely touching my brush to the edges so that the color blooms out. And if it doesn't blow up by us by itself, I'm gonna make it bloom out because my paper is starting to buckle just a little bit. I often get lots of questions of how do you make sure your paper doesn't buckle? Well, there are methods, but mostly the paper's gonna buckle unless you stretch it out a lot. So I'm also going to do this method up here, and if you're smart enough to draw the knob without that line in the middle, at first you won't have to get rid of it. But since I wasn't this time around, I'm just very patiently making pushing this pigment out so that it's thinner up here and so that it looks like the knob is along with the tree. Right? So same exact thing for this branch that we did up here. Same thing. And if I rub enough, I can mostly get rid of this line mostly with our paint. Later on, when we actually do more things with Aspen Tree, that'll probably does it like it'll be, um, shaded in. You won't be able to see it camouflaged. Okay, So OK, so this is an interesting development. It kind of looks like here. I wasn't quite able to get rid of that kind of bulky wine. And it I also wasn't quite able to maintain the, um, the line outlining this branch. So you don't eso I'm taking just a little bit of paint, a tiny, tiny bit of paint and going over the water line again. Um, just the tiniest bit and then pushing it out so that it looks like more of a natural outline right here. Okay. Okay. That is Step two. Now we're in the next video prepared to use one of the water techniques that we learned about in the in the other video. Are you ready? Okay. Watch the next video 6. Painting the Bark: Part 1: welcome, Teoh, the video in which we put the wet on wet technique into practice. So, like I just said, we're going to be utilizing the wet on wet technique. And so you should look at your paper right now, your beginnings of your birch, your aspen tree trunk to see if it's still wet. And if it's not, then just dip your paintbrush and some water and re wet this little guy because the next step to making an aspen tree look like an aspen tree requires this method. Okay, so mostly it looks like minus what again? So for what we're doing here, you can either continue using the size six brushing. Just use the tip, or you can bust out your size zero brush like I'm doing right now. Whatever one were expressed for you is totally fine. And you're gonna dip it in some paint and some black paint. And over here I'm just like I did before. I don't want tons like globs of it, so I'm using utilizing my palate. Teoh read some of it of it, and you're going to draw some lines with this black paint and just watch as the watercolor does its thing. Now I am going to say that not all went on. What? Um, environments are created equal. The more water you have, the more it's going to bloom out. So you'll see up here. There's more water up here, so it bloomed out a little bit more own. It's a little bit dry right there. So anyway, um, but basically, we're just going to create some natural lines with using this wet on wet technique because aspen trees, if you look at them, almost look like they have, like openings or burns kind of in the bark, which I think makes them look so pretty. But they're not always super defined in straight lines, right? And so we know that in water color the way to knock it straight lines and to have things Blue Mountain is to use the wet on wet technique. So that's what we're doing, and you don't want to go too overboard. I mean, some aspen trees. I feel like have more of these than others, but just be aware of that and doesn't have to look necessarily equal, right? So I'm gonna put knob got a little bit dry, and that's Okay, If you're going to paint and you expect it to be wet, you can totally just re wet it. And that looks fine. So I'm re wedding it because I was expecting What on what? But then the knob was dry, so I'm just re wedding it a little bit, taking a little bit of paint because I want just a little bit right there, Okay? For this tree, that is what we're gonna dio for. The what? On what technique? Honestly, I didn't have, like, our rhyme or reason. I know that nature sometimes has patterns, and sometimes it just looks. It just is the way that it is. So I just kind of put down the paint wherever I felt like it was gonna work the best and honestly, that kind of meant I just put it down randomly. And then after I was done, I would I saw it like, Oh, maybe there's a space up here that I could feel up, but I don't necessarily want it to look even, um, So it's just ah, fun experiment for you to try. And you can exactly copy me with this video as we're learning how to paint aspen trees. Or you can do your own experiments and figure out which random way too paintings, Aspen trees works for you. Or you can pull up a picture of an Aspen tree and try to mimic the picture. I've done all three, so, um, but that is the step we're working on now. Stay tuned for the next step. You might want to either wait for your paper to dry or get a handy dryer like I often use to dry it quickly. So that's my That's my clue. It's with what the next step is. All right, Happy painting. See you soon. 7. Painting the Bark: Part 2: welcome, Teoh the wet on dry technique video. And in order for us to fully utilize the wet on dry technique, we're gonna have to have a dry paper. So, like I said in the other video, you can either wait for your paper to dry on its own, or you can take out one of these dryers that I often use. It says Doris Heat Tool. It's typically used for in bossing, but I'm more most often use it to dry my watercolors. So I'm going to keep talking. But this might just hopefully this sound won't be too annoying. Oh, my gosh, my he tools not plugged in rial life real life. Okay, here we go. So I'm just gonna really quickly driving. Honestly, you didn't have to dry it too much because I love you just, like, absolutely loaded your paper with water. And it's using to drive often when I paint aspen trees. I don't even have to use my feet. Cool. The water just drives paint water, right? Really? So you use cases, but I like to drive front and the back because one of our paper, because so the water. Okay, guys, drawing enough for me. So now again, you can either use the six the size six paintbrush and just use the tip. Or you can use your size zero, which is what I'm gonna do here and has indicated this is the wet on dry technique and I still have some paint left over here in my palette. So I'm gonna load up my brush. You really don't need that much pigment in order to use a size zero brush, especially. So I'm gonna load up my brush, and I'm going to draw some lines just across like this. And again, this is, like, totally random. I'm not really and yeah, I'm like, trailing off. I'm not real. I don't have a plan. I'm just painting wherever I feel like it should wherever, if you like, um, and it's in nature, so the line shouldn't always be straight. But aspen trees have both the cracks, like the big blending in cracks and sometimes straight lines like this, and sometimes, like up here, I'm using a straight line and then putting a little more pressure so that it just creates So these natural differences and variations. Okay, you know, that one maybe wasn't so good, but is what this? Maybe I'll just turn us into, like, a world. So that's something else. With the wet on dry technique, Sometimes trees have little worlds in them, right, So we're just gonna create a little world right there. And I'm just using my tiny, tiny brush to make circles really just like paint in a circle stroke. And maybe I don't need that much. It kind of is looking like a rose, but I think that looks pretty good. So, um yeah, I'm gonna do so these lines up here in the same direction as where the branches going. And I'm just kind of honestly, sometimes painting and chaos like this with no order takes practice toe feel like it actually looks fine. And not just, like, not fine. But, um, I love painting aspen trees because I feel like there really is no right or wrong, uh, from where you put the things you can put as you can put even more black lines if you want , or you can put less and make it look more sparse. But, um, that's it. This is as this is how you paint a simple aspen tree and I. I was shocked when I was experimenting, and I was like, Can it really be this easy? And yes, it can. There's your aspen tree, And so before you go on to your final project, if you want to try experimenting Mawr and painting Mawr Aspen trees like this go for it. But in the next couple videos, we're going to go step by step through how to take these techniques to paint in Aspen Tree and turn it into a lovely, simple autumn scene. Okay, because I am all about simple techniques that make painting stunning landscapes easy and fulfilling. So this is the's on the steps of the Aspen tree practice. And then when you're ready, go on to the next video, and if you're ready now, that's totally fine. Go into the next video and we're going to paint our aspen tree forest. Let's go 8. Final Project: Sketch the Forest: Welcome back whether you decide to take some time to practice your aspen trees or you just barreled right on through because you just wanna You just want to attack this challenge and totally succeed. That is great. Here are all of the the rest of the materials that were going to use to paint this scene. And they're honestly, most just most materials that you haven't seen yet. So, um, here is my black paint that we've used before. And then my autumn color paints, which we're going to use to make a beautiful autumn autumn colored background and my trusty pencil and eraser because a lot of good watercolor landscape paintings start with some pencil sketches and then I have my palate on a side if in case I want to use it. So first step Teoh painting your final project is sketching out how you want your trees toe Look, So one thing to remember and we've talked about this in the misty forest class and in the night sky class if you've taken those classes. One thing to remember is that the bigger something is, the more it looks like it's closer, right? So if you want to create depth and a forest That means you need to make big trees and smaller trees. Right. So here's what I'm gonna dio Aspen trees air. Also pretty skinny, right? Often. So I'm gonna make one, like, big focal point. And this is it. This is my Blackwater color block, so I'm not even see how it's taped together. This is my blood watercolor blocks. And so I don't even need to tape it to the table because it's taped to these are the other papers in the book. So I am going Teoh, draw one of my trunks and light lightly because while pencil often erases with watercolor, sometimes it doesn't erase quite as much as you want it to, so just lightly draw and pencil. That's one of my trunks. I'm gonna make this drunk, have a true have a branch similar to the one that we did before and yet we're gonna make We're gonna make this tree very similar to the tree that we drew in practice. OK, so this is gonna be the biggest closest tree. Maybe I'll just try a little something like that too. Right? Okay, Now I'm going to draw trees that are still kind of big, but not as much. That was just a little smaller. And you need to make the branches smaller, too. And just remember if your trees don't look perfect again, nature is not perfect. So sometimes you might. It might take some practice, like drawing the branches and feeling well, Maybe that branch isn't exactly the way that I wanted it. So not is totally fine. That's why you have an eraser, right? Right. So I'm gonna draw this branch like that. It's going gonna go behind this tree, kind of to go up here, I guess, And maybe a little bit like that. Okay, so this tree is farther away, and maybe I'm going to draw one more. That's, like, fairly close. Not as close is that huge one, but fairly close. And this one is gonna have a little knob, actually, right here. And branches that go like that. Just kind of fear of like that. And no, I'm not gonna have a branch right there. Don't mind me as I'm talking to myself. Um, this is how I teach classes. So I'm just kind of meandering my way through. So those are my three trees that I'm doing for the main foreground Now, it's also important, Teoh do some, like we said, some smaller trees in the background. So that's one of my background trees. That's one of my background. I'm just doing some branches here. And maybe these branches should be even skinnier that I made them. Yeah, so don't worry. This will all be great when we when we finish this. So Okay, uh, I am drawing another tree that IHS skinny, which means it's farther away. And I'm gonna say this one has We won't need to necessarily worry about the branches up here because a lot of the background for the autumn leaves we're gonna be back there. So I'm so gonna destroy awesome branches. Okay, so I have a tree right here at tree right here, and I'm going to draw just like a really tiny tree back here, right? And these branches could even just be like tiny little sticks. Okay, so I have a tree. Right? So let's count our trees. 123456 I like to have an odd number of things, so I'm going to draw just one more tree like right here. So it's almost right behind this tree. Now again, your lines, you know, have to be straight. Trees often aren't a straight as they seem, so that's just something to keep in mind. Right? Okay, so I have a tree here in case you can't see, I know that these pencil lines or super light so you might not be able to see where I'm drawing. So hopefully you've been following along visually. And, um, and listening to my voice. But I have a big tree right here, and I have a big tree. Right? How man is even sometimes hard for me to see where exactly where they are, right here. Yeah, because this is empty space. A big tree right here with a smaller tree right here and here and here and here. And then this is my other big tree. Okay, Okay. So just make sure to get them straight. So maybe you draw little numbers down at the bottom that shows where your trees are so that you can remember, and then you're gonna erase them. So 123 for five, six, seven. And that is just for reference for you as you are continuing on this landscape journey. Okay, that's the first step onto the next step, which is painting the trees. Okay, let's go. 9. Final Project: Background Trees: Okay, We've sketched out our forest, and now it's time to paint the trees. So the most important part about any landscape painting is utilizing layers. So our first layer is going to be the first layer that we're going to paint right now is going to be the skinnier trees because I usually like to go back to front, though we're gonna do the rial background, Probably last. So we're gonna go back to front, So I'm gonna paint the skinny trees first. Okay. So that, honestly, me and yeah, So I'm gonna load up my brush with I'm going to use my zero size zero brush to do our first step in painting trees, which is given a minute. I'm giving you a minute to remember what the first episode surveyed the outline. Okay, so I have my black paint, and I'm going to use just a little bit more on here. I'm putting more paint on to my palate because some of it had dried from when I used it before on my palette. So, um, and I wanted to be wet so that when I go through and shaded, it is still lens. So it was skinnier trees. You have to remember that you even need less pigment, then with the other trees. Because you don't. The pigment doesn't have as many more as many places to go, right? This is the law, skinnier than the first tree that we painted. So I might even be putting too much figment on. But we'll see. And maybe the trick is I'm not going to use my size six brush to just go like that. I'm not gonna use my size six brush to shade it. I'm gonna use that. I'm gonna keep using this one. So without skipping and be and it's already leg started to dry a little. I'm going Teoh shade this and it's okay if you go outside the lines a little bit. I'm not picking up any more pigment. When I go when my brush leaves the paper, I'm Onley getting water to spread the pigment and spreading it. Um, I just it started like this because this looks pretty gray. Not quite the white that we were wanting, But here's what I'm going to say about that the's air in the background and so they don't need to be quite as defined as the trees in the foreground. Okay, here's another thing too, about professional watercolor papers that sometimes the pigment dries faster on em stays on the paper better than it does on student grade watercolor paper, which can be have its benefits and its down sides. So OK, this looks pretty great to me. So I'm gonna just take my Q tip. And now that I have mixed in some of the pigment, I'm gonna pick it up again so that I can see the paper. And then after I've done that blended together, This is what really this is what real artist I was telling my brother in law this the other day that honestly, are a lot of art is looking at the mistakes you've made it being like doesn't look quite like I was hoping it would. And figuring out a way Teoh make it look like it wasn't a mistake that you actually want to do that the whole time. So there's my little trade secret that I'm giving you. Um, yeah. So the most important thing is to make sure that these lines, like, just aren't is defined as they were before and that we get a little bit of pigment on the trunk, but we don't want tons. So I'm just doing this, that I'm just having my Q tip on my paper again to pick up some of this pigment. So it doesn't look quite as just start. Great as it did before. Okay, so next step is to re wet hit with clean water and not too much. You don't want it to pool. You want to be damp. Okay, so we're rewarding it with clean water, and we're not going to be, like, necessarily as detailed on again these background trees as we are on the foreground trees. So keep that in mind on the next tree. I think I'm going to use less pigment. So we've got our background. I mean, we've got it wet, and now I'm picking up some pigment so I can do this wet on wet technique, right? Remember? And I'm just barely tapping. I'm barely barely tapping because we have so little real estate to work with here with these tiny trees that if you push down too much, you're gonna just like what? You're gonna just make the whole thing black. So I'm just barely tapping. Okay. And for these background trees, that's where I'm going to stop. I'm not going to do more defined lines for the background trees because they should look a little blurry. OK, so I am going to keep working on these trees and maybe I'll paint one more with you, and then I'll paint the other is not on this video so that you can paint them yourself and don't have to constantly listen to my voice because otherwise this video would be like 20 minutes long. Okay, So I am going to try to learn from my mistakes from last time and paint this little tree right here. And here's what I'm going to say since we noticed that it dried really fast last time. Maybe instead of painting the whole trunk, I'm gonna paint part of the trunk and push it out right now. Yeah, I think that works pretty well and I'm not gonna use I'm not gonna I'm not even gonna put pigment on the other side. I'm just going to keep pushing out this pigment right here, because remember, this is a tiny tree that's in the very, very back, right? So it's OK if it doesn't look quite as defined as the other trees, because this is probably the smallest tree. So I'm gonna paint pigment, and then I'm gonna use my water to push it out and bring it to the other side of the trunk . Okay, That is also what art is about is looking at what you do and what methods work and how to twist the methods that you use and that you know, Teoh make them work even better for next time for specific scenarios. Because not every technique is going to be exactly perfect for every scenario, right? So I hope that what the's, that's I hope that these classes teach you more than anything that every artist, I mean artiste, can learn the rules, and they should learn rules and know that art is that creativity does have some structure to it, and it should. But that was so cool about creativity in life and in art is that when you learn the rules, you also learn when you need to bend them a little and break them in order to come up with the best techniques that are available to you, right? So that's just That's what I'm going to say about that. Oh, I don't want to do that. Um, I'm probably gonna pick up some of that. Well, it kind of looks cool, I guess. Just like a big aren't part burned is not the right word. That's what it reminds me of. Um, I'm gonna pick up some of that with my Q tip in just a second from this water here and pigment, I'm gonna pick up. Okay. Yeah, I kind of actually kind of like how that looks. I don't know if it's necessarily accurate, but who cares? Not me. Some people might, but I'm not painting birch. Birch. I mean, asking number Trees looked really similar in my painting Aspen trees so that they can look exactly right. Right? Okay. Next part final part is to re wet this lovely tree so that we can dio some wet on wet action. So it is. Now. I have a little drop there. Okay, Good. It is now re what I'm gonna pick up just the time has better figment. And just so I put a little bit too much down here, it's better of here so that it blooms not at blooms like in a really random way. So I picked up some of that water with my Q tip, and we still cause we still want with the wet on wet technique. With this, we still want to look not so much. That's okay. We still want it to look like it's a line as much as we can. And it's really hard, Dario. Just kind of using my Q tip to make that happen. It can be hard when you feel like your paintbrushes and doing the job quite as well as you want to. Ah ha. Here we go. I'm getting some lines here. Maybe, just, like, barely pressed down, Get more pigment, but make sure to take most of it off. And then those kind of bloomed out more than I wanted to. So I'm going to get my Q tip in. Pick them up a little bit more. Yeah, that's that looks about right. So for this tiny, tiny tree, I'm gonna draw on some branches, but they're like, because it's so far in the distance, they don't need to be big trunks. Right, Right, right, Colby. Okay. All right. So I'm gonna finish painting these background trees, and you should do the same and maybe listen to some music while you paint. And then when you're done with these four background trees So we have this tiny tree, this tiny tree on these two tiny trees then come back to the next video on. We're going to paint the bigger trees. Okay, Great. Sounds awesome. See you soon. 10. Final Project: Foreground Trees: Okay, As you can see, I went ahead and I did the same thing that I did with these two trees for these two trees, which which are are four background trees and just to recap in case you haven't watched that video or it's been a while or you're interested, I we discovered, as we did this background tree that the technique for bigger trees doesn't doesn't always war quite as well for smaller trees. So meaning when we painted the trunks of the background first and then try Teoh shade it out. We found out that it could be a combination of being on professional watercolor paper because this is my Blix premier artists, quarter color people Plock Ah, combination of that and just not as much real estate. The paint dried faster, and so it left thes lines more often than in our other tree, right, and there's not as much real estate here, and so we had to go back with our Q tip, and I did it a lot. As you can see, my Q tip is very dirty. Now I did on all of these trees. I had to go back with my Q tip and pick up the pigment that I didn't want because we don't want aspen trees, the black right, Or like super dark grey. They are super light gray or white with, in contrast, the black. Okay, so with this next tree, we decided to take a slightly different approach. And on Lee put, uh, we did the trunk a little bit. We did the tree the trunk of the tree a little bit at a time. So we put some black paint toe outline just to right here. And then we got rid of our paint and loaded our brush with water and just brought the pigment out that way. And we didn't even put pigment on this side of the trunk on Lee on this side. So that seemed to work a lot better. I still had to use my Q tip toe pick up some of the pigment on the water. Um, but for the week for these background trees, since we don't need them in the background, something is usually more blurry and smaller, so we don't need them to be quite as defined as our foreground trees. So we only did the wet on wet technique, so you can only see how, Ah, we have some blurry spots of black, right? And then for the street. Since it's the smallest, I just did some quick branches, Um, and then so I use the same techniques to build the's trees, the other two trees. Now, since this one, you might be like, What is that white thing? Since this one is right next to this tree, which I built a branch for right here. I want this tree to be in the foreground and this branch to go in front. So that's why I did it that way. And, um so just make sure to pay attention to where your sketches are. There's a lot of lines, so you might get them mixed up. Which is why I wrote these little numbers on the bottom right and so faded so that even if though I didn't erase them yet, you can't even see them at the bottom. Okay, so now that's a quick recap. Now we're going to paint our foreground trees using the techniques that we use before, So I'm going to get some black paint, and I am going to I think these air dry. Well, I, um I'm gonna drive these super quick because you should definitely have your trees. Be dry your background trees be dry before you paint your foreground trees. So listen to me. And not to the annoying sound of my feet tool as I am drying my freeze so that I don't accidentally make it so I don't accidentally grew in the shape of one of my trees. Right. Okay. Okay, so I'm going to start go left to right. So I'm gonna start with this tree. So we're going to start at the bottom and do the same techniques that we do before you can use more pigment. And in order to ensure that the pigment doesn't dry while you are painting is to make sure it stays wet. I'm so just because I might be a little nervous, that's gonna do the same thing that did with the other trees. I'm gonna go ahead and just start, and you might notice that I'm not using my I'm using my small brush again, though you can definitely use your number six. The point of your numbers expression. I might do that for the rest of it. So I am going to just for the sake of consistency, keep do the same technique that I did for these trees. Okay, Right now I'm going to switch to my six brush because for these, I think it might be a little bit better, so but on this side, we don't have toe. We still want to have this site have its own line of pigment, okay? And it might be we might not need to do it. Um, like to the trunk in parts when we use this brush, because it puts down a little a lot more water. Um, so we're just shading right now is the shading portion. And we want as much as possible the straight lines on here to disappear, because in real life, trunks don't have, you know, outlines the shading and using the outline right there was mostly to so that we could try to make it look like it has a rounded effect as much as possible. Right? Right. That's right. Colby, I listened to you in your last video. Okay? I'm so I'm doing stop talking myself. Um, okay, so with my six brush, But remember, the trick is this looks like it has a lot of pigment. You can still see the point, but it has a lot of pigments. So I'm gonna take my palate and I have this pigment and I'm just gonna paint on my palette to get rid of a little bit so I can see the point a little bit better. Okay, so I'm going to draw, and that's okay if that happens, because we're gonna do some of that anyway. So I'm doing this in steps because we discovered that's the best way to do it on this kind of paper. And it might be the best way for you to do it on your other paper. I've used it both ways. As you can see, it worked the other way where we dressed in the trunk, and then we did the shading after we did the whole outline of the trunk. That worked pretty well too. So that's just experimenting and figuring out what is going to be the best for what you're doing specifically. Okay, so as you'll probably say, like away. But you didn't do the outline on this side, and that's because I noticed that pigment was gonna be there already like because I was tapping my my paintbrush on this part of the paper where this was what, and this was dry. I knew it was Some of the paint was gonna bloom out this way, and so I would be able to do shade it in like that. But I want the middle to be a little more light, and I want the side to be more shaded. So I'm just pushing the pigment to the side like that, just pushing it to the side, and then I'm gonna draw in this little knob, right? Pushed to the side. I seem to myself a lot. Well, sorry, it starting to come out in the videos. Um, I like to make these videos, just showing you my how I paint. So I'm going to read what? This because when we push that to the side, I'm sure this part dried, um, and you can still see the lines where did dry. So that's a little unfortunate bullet. See, if picking up. Yeah, we can pick up a bunch of it by doing that. Okay, so I just decided to pick up some of the pigment so that the line wasn't so stark. Okay, that looks pretty good for that side. So I'm just getting more water and shading it in, and as much as and we talked about this in the last video. As much as thes techniques are like, these are not know, technique is foolproof, and I always is going to take some experimenting and figuring out and knowing that nothing is ever gonna be perfect. But that's what makes art so fun. And especially that's what makes painting nature so fun. Because nature is probably the opposite of perfect right. It's chaotic and it does its own thing. And trees, especially just kind of do their own thing. You never really know what's happening. I feel like because I feel like when I painting trees, it's so hard because you try to go to chaotic and then you just ends up looking not realistic. But then, if you go to straight and to pattern, it doesn't look realistic than either. So no, no, these air, the rambling thoughts that I have when I paint. So I'm gonna paint this branch and I am gonna pick up some pigment and go up here that looks like it's not quite as dark as I might want it to be, So that's fine. What? We're gonna grow up here, and this is the branch that you will see that you should be able to see the most. So it gets its own. It goes over the top of all these trees. So I'm just gonna bloom this out, shade this shave, shave shade to this guy like we've been doing, and to be very careful. I mean, one's professional watercolor paint dries. It is harder to re wet and make it bloom again, which is good for layers, right? Because it means if I accidentally went over one of these trees with my wash of water, then I won't necessarily mess it up. But it is also frustrating when you accidentally didn't like you didn't want to dry, and it did. Anyway, so that's what we're discovering here. But that is, um, Step one. What a step, too. I'm giving you a hint as I'm doing it right now. Wet on wet. That's right. That is our next step. And I'm sure most of you already knew. And so since we have been shading it, I think a bunch of the trunk is still wet, so hopefully we won't need that much. So I'm going to continue using this number six brush. Maybe not. I'm gonna put more painting here in my pilot, and maybe I'm gonna used my zero brush for this for this. So I'm picking out my zero brush, and we're doing the same thing. Just some randomized lines. I'm not really I don't really have ah rhyme or reason. Something can be bigger than others. Some of them can go along with where these dark shades are. Honestly, the coolest part about watercolor, like I said before, is how well you can get just like shades and shadows and use the values and the value is a lightness or darkness of one specific pigment. And, um, that's how you create beautiful, realistic, kind of like realistic, but also not works of art, especially doing nature by learning how to shade. So that looks mostly good to me. And I think my branch dried, so I'm gonna see if I can re wet that a little bit so I can put a little bit of this wet on wet technique on this branch. Okay. It's what So now I'm going to just not like a whole lot. But I still wanted to, like, be lying. Yeah. See, I barely put any water, and still the lines are a little more to find, right, Because that's what we talked about. Okay, So the next step on this tree and for all the other trees when we get to them, is what on dry? That's right for all those who you said wet on dry. That's exactly right. So I'm going Teoh, dry this for a little bit. You wait for it to dry if you want. If you have all day to do paintings like this, I don't always So I like to use my dryer, like I said, but we're almost done with this biggest foreground free. And I am so excited to show you I think that it's good enough to me. So now we're gonna do the wet on dry technique, which is loading my paintbrush up with wet water color paint so I can do some more defined lines on the trunk. Right? Okay. So I'm just doing the same thing that I did when we learned how to paint aspen trees and um when we did the wet on wet, I don't have a reimer reason. Really. I'm just kind of doing it. Sometimes it's along with the where the wet on wet was, and sometimes it's not. It just is kind of putting lines, and they're not always straight. Some are bumpy. And I did that on purpose. Sometimes my hand shakes. Um, and sometimes I put a little bit more pressure. Like there. Right trees are just so beautiful because you never really You can't. You can't guess how something is gonna. I mean, I think I feel like I'm not a botanist. I'm not. I don't study these things, so maybe you can guess, But I just What's what makes nature so beautiful is it's randomness and how beauty can erupt from that, how you can erupt from that. And it's so beautiful because you wouldn't have guessed for it to turn out like that, in my opinion, So yeah, and then we talked about worlds. It's all first. I'm going to do some wings here, and maybe this is where I will do my world. So if you didn't watch the video where we did this a lot of trees have little world's right . I was kind of big, but it's just drawing circles, like half circles in the circle shape so that it's just this little natural saying happening right here. Single shape. OK, so that tree done next are the other trees. And I'm gonna leave that to you to paint the other trees, and then we're going to come back and I'm gonna paint the other trees to And then we're gonna come back and do our fun. Autumn background. Okay. Are you ready? Great. So keep painting your trees. There should be two more one right here and one right here. If you exactly copied me and, uh, the next video is going to be all about the background. I'm so excited. Ok, see you soon. 11. Final Project: Abstract Autumn Background: Okay, we've made it to the final stage. We've painted all of our trees. You should have taken some time after the last video to paint your last two trees using the same method we used to paint this tree. And now, like I promised, we're going Teoh paint a lovely autumn background. Although, as you'll see honestly, without even without the background, I think these trees look pretty cool. This forest looks pretty cool, but we're going to try to make it look even cooler, using the wet on wet technique with all of the's fun autumn colors that I asked you to pull out. So what I'm gonna dio is very carefully painting around the trees and doing this space is a time so not necessarily all at once. Sometimes you'll do the background like this first and then leave spaces for the trees. But since this is since this is mostly about the aspen trees, I wanted to do the background last. So I'm carefully putting down a wash of water and in my mind, while I'm doing this because I know I don't want the water to dry. I'm deciding which colors I want to do. and honestly, we're not even really for this first background. Gonna make it look super realistic. It's just gonna be an abstract, kind of autumn color thing, because that's what I think makes often makes a really cool painting. OK, so I'm putting down my wash of water. I put down that first wash of light orange, and this whole background is just gonna be the autumn. Just whatever autumn color strikes your fancy and just please placing it on the paper like that. Okay, orange and red and pink, yellow. So with this technique, you wanna have a practice of like putting down some dots of water, I mean, some dots of paint and then washing off the paint and kind of hoping it makes together. Sometimes I like Teoh physically pick up my paper and watches, watch the paint fall and mixed together like that. But in this case, I'm just going to manually do it sometimes. So very careful not to get. That's why it's really important to get quality brushes for times like this so that I can not have to switch my brush when I'm doing large washes of paint to when I'm needing the very tip of it to go right to the edge. Right. Okay, so I'm gonna go more up here. And I had this branch kind of disappear on purpose so that it's like disappearing into the leaves because this background is a little more abstract. So I'm gonna pick up some more paint some more of this color, perhaps, and some of this yellow and going to physically carefully to stay within the confines that I created for myself. Mix these together and that is what you do for every part of this painting of the background. So wherever there's white, So I'm leaving a little white space around to kind of frame the edge of it. But where it's not the grey slash like the gray white of the tree, where it's not the tree you're going around and just turning the background into some fun autumn leave colors and even after they've dry and you can put some more dots so that there's layers so that it kind of looks like leaves here and there. OK, so that is one section, and I'm gonna dio this tiny section and then I'm gonna leave you to keep painting a sections because you have all the tools you need. And then I'll do one video at the end where we recap. So again, just, ah, go step by step through this process, it's putting down a wash of water of clean water. It's really important to have both to have two cups of water at your desk so that one of them can be clean and one of them can just be dirty water. And I'm doing this section first and then I'll do this little section and I'm gonna put down. Sometimes it's good to put the lighter colors down first, because you often can't see them if you put them over the top of the darker colors. But it just depends so glad. So I'm doing this time. I put down the lighter colors first, but it looks like I went a little bit over on this trunk part because I wasn't being careful. That's totally fine. It's all gonna look fine in the end, no matter what. So it looks like I have a little bit of pooled pigment up here, so I'm taking my Q tip and just mopping that up and mixing these together and There you go . All the sections don't have to look the same because I don't think they should. But as long as they're all fun, colorful autumn colors gonna get a look great. So tune into the next video to see my finished product and keep doing your thing to get to your finished product. And make sure when you finished to post your picture in the project, in the discussion board and on instagram because then I can feature you and we can all all of your classmates and me can give you some love and tell you just how well you did. I think these were gonna look so awesome. Okay. To name to the next video to see my finished product and just have a recap of the glass. Keep going. Such a section by section doing exactly what we did. All right. See you next time 12. Recap: you did it. You're done. If you are watching this video, hopefully that means you have gone through all of the steps to learn how to paint in Aspen Tree. And you have gone through the videos to paint your very own Aspen Tree forest and hopefully have come up with a painting that looks a little bit like this with a beautiful kind of abstract background with Autumn Lee Autumn leaves thought of the colors of autumn, and I hope you sincerely love and are proud of the work that you have done today during this class I more than anything. My goal with these classes is to show you that you don't have tohave dozens of years and years and years of experience in order to create beautiful art. You don't have to have been to art school, though I'm sure going to art school is an amazing experience. But you don't have Teoh be a quote on quote unquote expert to know what you're doing and to know that you can create beautiful things and be happy with what you created. I as I have said before, if you follow me here, if you watched my introductory video. I don't have ah, large background in art I For years, I thought that I couldn't do it. Actually, I thought I was good at a lot of other creative things. But doing physical art was something that I would never be good at. And how silly is that? I'm so happy that Ah, a couple of years ago I decided to try hand lettering, and that kind of morphed its way into, like, more sophisticated hand lettering until it got to watercolor. And it's brought so much joy into my life, and I know that it can bring so much joined to yours to Hopefully, this class was just a little part of that joyful experience that you've had doing. Watercolor and learning are and increasing your talent and your ability to create. So next steps, uh, post your work Any part of the work that you did in this class on the discussion board, I would love to give you some likes and some comments. And if you have any questions, please let me know. And, um also I am on instagram. My handle is this writing desk, and if you if you post your work on instagram and tag me. I would love to future you and to give you some love and to just tell everyone about how great you're doing. So keep me posted. And I hope this is only one small part of your our journey and maybe that some of months, maybe that I can be a part of it. And other clauses as well. So last thing if you loved this class, please, I would so appreciate it if you left me a comment and a review. Give me a thumbs up. It helps. The more positive reviews I have, the more reviews I have. The more likely other people confined my class and find Justus much happiness from it, as you have. So, uh, that's that's it for now. I hope you had a great time and see you next time.