Watercolour Greenery: How to Paint Trees | Sharone Stevens | Skillshare

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Watercolour Greenery: How to Paint Trees

teacher avatar Sharone Stevens, Watercolour, Illustration & Lettering

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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

17 Lessons (1h 32m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Practice Part 1 Simplifying Tree Shapes

    • 4. Practice Part 2 Sunlight

    • 5. Practice Part 3 Values

    • 6. Practice Part 4 Colours

    • 7. Practice Part 5 Brush Techniques

    • 8. Your Project

    • 9. Example 1 Wet on Wet

    • 10. Example 2 Wet on Wet

    • 11. Example 3 Wet on Wet

    • 12. Example 4 Dry Brush

    • 13. Example 5 Dry Brush

    • 14. Example 6 Dry Brush

    • 15. Example 7 Dabbing

    • 16. Example 8 Dabbing

    • 17. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


In this class, I will show you the different techniques I use to paint watercolour trees. 

This class is great for beginners or improvers if you want to spend some time playing around with your watercolours painting a really fun subject!

I start by giving you an overview of the supplies that I use and then I will walk you through the steps to painting different trees, from simplifying the shape, to understanding highlights and shadows, to values, colours and a variety of brush techniques to get different effects. These include dabbing, dry brushing, wet on wet, wet on dry and lifting. I will then take you through my process, step by step in real time, for painting the eight different trees, with tips and guidance along the way.  

I hope this class will allow you to feel more confident using watercolours and that you will be able to create a page of wonderful trees, that you are really proud of, by the end of it! 


Meet Your Teacher

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Sharone Stevens

Watercolour, Illustration & Lettering

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I'm Sharone - a watercolour artist, illustrator and modern calligrapher. Welcome to my little corner of Skillshare, I'm so glad you're here!

My biggest passions in life are creating beautiful artwork and lettering...and sharing all of my knowledge with you so you can do the same! 

I find painting and lettering to be both fun and also incredibly therapeutic, allowing me to calm my mind by focusing on each pen or brush stroke. And throughout my classes I hope to share that with you. Most of my classes are in real time so you can paint right along with me as I explain exactly what I'm doing and give you tips to help you progress.

I'm always learning myself and welcome any feedback and suggestions for future classes and would love to ... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, my name's Sharon, and I specialize in watercolor, modern calligraphy, and illustration. This class is all about how to paint watercolor trees. Trees is such a fun subject to paint, and they are a great way to learn how to simplify very detailed subjects and learn how to suggest details in just a few minutes. This class is the third class in my watercolor greenery series. In the first class, I covered how to mix greens in watercolor, with a focus on mixing greens for botanical paintings. So if you haven't seen it already and want to understand greens better, I would highly recommend it as it would help you with your colors for this class. In this class, as always, I will start by taking you through the supplies that I use in the class, and my recommendations for you. We will then move on to a practice session where I take you through step-by-step, how to approach painting trees with lots of tips. This section includes counter simplify the tree shapes, how to use sunlight for highlights and shadows, how we can use values and colors to represent these highlights and shadows, and finally, I'll take you through a practice session on different brush techniques that you can use to create different effects. By the end of this first practice session, you will have much more knowledge and confidence for how to approach painting watercolor trees. We will then move on to our projects, where I will take you through eight different examples, step-by-step in real time, which you can paint along with me. This is a great subject for people who are fairly new towards color, or who have a bit more experience, and are new painting in this style. I explain everything I'm doing as I go along, giving you tips and guidance every step of the way. So even if your are a beginner give it a go. Whether you want to practice new techniques, spend some time on winding, painting, a fun subject, or you want to specifically learn how to paint trees for your landscapes, I think this class is going to be great for you. So grab your supplies, and let's get started. 2. Supplies: In this video, I'll be taking you through the supplies that I use and that I recommend for you for this class. You need watercolor paper. I'll be using this block of Saunders Waterford cold pressed watercolor paper. I would recommend cold pressed for this class, and I would recommend as always, at least 140-pound thickness or 300 grams per square meter, so it can absorb the water. You will also either need some paper or a sketch book and a pencil for the first part of the practice session, where we will be looking at practicing, sketching out some tree shapes and working on the light and dark areas. You will need some watercolor brushes. I'll be using my Princeton Aqua Elite round brushes, which I'd highly recommend. I'll be mostly using my size four and six for the main parts of the trees, and then, my smaller size zero for some of the finer details. They're all round brushes so they can hold a good amount of paint and water and they come to a nice fine point. You need some watercolor paints. I'll be using my Winsor and Newton professional tubes, but you can use pens if you prefer. You will need to be able to make a variety of grains and at least one brown for the trunk. I'll be using my Winsor yellow, burnt umber, indigo, and sap green for these mixes. You will also need some water and a paper towel for taking off any excess water or paint from your brush. Okay, let's start our practice session. 3. Practice Part 1 Simplifying Tree Shapes: The first thing we want to do is to simplify our tree shape. Whether you have a tree in front of you that you want to draw in picture or from real life, or you're just making a tree from imagination, the easiest thing to do is to start with the basic shape. For the generic trees we're focusing on in this class, this will usually be a circle, a semi-circle, or an oval. Before we start painting, just grab your sketchbook or a piece of paper and a pencil to practice this first. When I'm painting trees, I usually don't do much pencil work beforehand, if any. It's up to you how much sketching you want to do to lay down the form of your painting. This session is mostly just an exercise to get you familiar with the shapes before we start painting. I'm going to start by drawing these three simple shapes, the circle, the semicircle, and oval. I start with a circle. These can just be really quick and rough sketches. They do not need to be really neat. Don't worry about making them perfect. I draw a trunk at the bottom, making sure to keep it balanced in the center of the tree. Next, let's draw a semicircle. Again, add a new trunk, and then finally the oval. Now we have our three basic shapes. We can look at how to start adding the next step of detail. Starting with this round tree first, I'm just going to quickly draw this again so you can see how we progress from that basic shape. You can compare the two. Now, we can work around the edge, making it a bit more tree-like with jaggedy curves. Everything we're doing is going to suggest the detail rather than have the detail in it. That's what these uneven edges will do as they will represent the leaves on the edge. Let's repeat that for the semicircle and the oval. [inaudible] we sketch in the trees out fast unless you want to, of course. The aim of this is to get you familiar with the shape on the edges. I would always recommend keeping a sketchbook because your regular drawing practice will really help you watercolor paintings as you become more comfortable shapes and forms. Now we can go into a bit more detail. I'm going to draw an outline circle again, and then this time, we can start adding groups of leaves and branches within this circle by adding smaller circles and shapes. Try to keep the edges fairly rough and jaggedy, not too smooth or uniform. Then in any of these gaps, we can add in extra branches. Let's do the same thing for the other two shapes. Hopefully, you can begin to see how these trees are starting to become more lifelike just with these simple shapes that we're using. In the next video, we'll be looking at sunlight and how to add light and shadow into our trees. 4. Practice Part 2 Sunlight: Now that we have the outline of our trees, the next thing we want to do is to think about where the sunlight is coming from for example, if we say the sunlight is going to come from this way, this area which is closest to the sun would be the lightest and the areas farthest away would be the darkest. We can just add some shade here on these edges on the left and the bottom and this would get lighter the closer it gets to the sun. Remember this is a very simplified way of approaching it, but it will help give your work some more realism and consistency when we're painting in this way. This bit here is the darkest. If we keep the sunlight coming from that direction and to shade in those areas farthest away. Do the same on the Eiffel tray. You can add some shade to the trunk as well. So it will be in my shadow directly underneath the leaves and on the left side. With these ones which have a bit more detail, you would do the same by starting with the areas farthest away and shading them in and then you can also shade it in the edge on each of these clumps of branches as well. The area that's farthest away from the sunlight in each of those clumps. So the bottom left corner of each of these circles we can shade into. I'm just going to go back and add some shadow to that trunk too. Do the same with this one by starting with those edges farthest away and then shade in the smaller areas. Let's do the same with the last one. You can sketch as many of these as you want to, to give you different shape ideas for your paintings. Have a look at photos of trees on Google or on Pinterest, or when you're around next, take some photos of any trees you see and like, and sketch them out in this very simplified way. Look at the shape of the tree I have drawn, you can squint your eyes and look at what shapes are inside that tree. Look at how the branch is set on the trunk but just remember to simplify as much as possible, because otherwise they would quickly become really complicated and you could spend days painting a tree to try make it realistic. Whereas I'm going to be showing you these quick ways to paint where we can suggest the detail instead, and they still look really interesting and alive. If you want to spend some more time practicing these different tree shapes, adding in different levels of detail. Here is an example page of mine for some inspiration, and you can see they've all got slightly different shapes and levels of detail. This one I've worked a bit more on making the trunk wider and more interesting. You can make lots of small changes which will make them look different and interesting. It's really useful to have pages like this to refer to and give you inspiration when you're painting. Okay, in the next video, we will be picking up our paints and moving on to looking at valleys. 5. Practice Part 3 Values: Just quickly going back to our sketches. To achieve these light areas closest to the sunlight, we can use a lighter value or you can use a lighter color, for example, a yellowy-green rather than a darker bluey-green. We'll start by looking at values first and then move on to the color in the next video. Knowing how to use values is one of the most important things to learn with watercolor and it can have such a big transformational effect on your work, helping to give it much more depth and dimensionality. Values are basically, the range of tones from light to dark and you can change these with watercolor by adding or reducing the water in your mix. In these lighter areas, where the sun is hitting, we would want more water to dilute the paint and in the darker areas we would want less water. Let's just take some time to practice manipulating these values. Start by loading your brush up with as much pigment as you can, whether you're using tubes like me or you're using pans, just make sure your brush is wet so that it can pick up the paint, but don't add too much water just yet. I'm just loading my brush up and you can see the pigment to water ratio here is definitely in favor of the pigment. When I put this to the paper, it's going to be nice and dark. In the darkest areas of our trays, we will use both value and color to get that contrast, which will really make an impact on our paintings. Now, let's dilute this a little to make it lighter. So I'm adding a bit more water to my brush. I'm pooling it out on my palette. Ideally, you'll have plenty of space on your palette to do this as the more we dilute it, the more we can pool it out across the palette, it's much easier to do it that way and you can see now that that's a little bit lighter. Again, let's add some more water. So just to repeat, we don't want a puddle of water or lots of excess water in our brush, we just want to dilute the pigment. So either pull it out more on the palette or use your paper towel or clothe to take out the excess water if you need to. Otherwise you might end up with a puddle on your page. Keep practicing these values as much as you need to. They're definitely worth mastering and spending the time over because it will really make such a difference to your work. In the next video, we'll be looking at colors. 6. Practice Part 4 Colours: In this video, we're going to be looking at colors. One of my biggest tips is to use a variety of greens in your trays, and by using a variety of greens, you can paint an infinite amount of trays, that will all look different and interesting. You'll be able to achieve those lighter, brighter sunlit areas, those darker shadow areas, and create a greater level of realism and detailed just by suggestion. Looking at these trees as examples, you can say that I have not only varied my values, but I have also used a few different greens in here. So where the leaves are closer to the sun, I have used a much more yellowy green. For example, this first tray, the sun is coming from the right, so you can see that that yellowy green is at the top right, where the sun is hitting it first. Then, I have some mid greens in there, and then some much darker bluey greens in the shadowy areas farthest from the sunlight. But these aren't blocked colors. You can see lots of different colors coming through, which give that suggestion of those leaves. We'll look at the techniques to do that later on. In the middle tree, the sunlight is coming more from above, so those darker bluey green areas are sitting at the bottom of each of those clumps of leaves. On the last tree, the sunlight is coming from the left. So again, the sunlight areas, those yellowy greens are on the top left of the tree, and the shadowy bluey green dark areas are at the bottom right. Hopefully, you will have watched my mixing greens class, and have a good understanding of how to mix different greens like these, and make more neutral, realistic greens. In that class, we made a color chart that we can use as a reference for our work, which if you haven't done this, I would really recommend as not only is it a great way to understand your paints more and know how many variations you can make, but it can save you so much time by helping you to decide what color to mix. Looking at this chart, we can use these yellowy greens on the left side for those light areas, where the sunlight is hitting the tree. We've got a whole choice there, so we can just choose what we want, and then just grab our colors. We could go for these middle greens for the mid value areas, and then these darker, are the bluey greens or these more neutral dark greens, for the more shadowy parts of the trees. These really dark colors will give you that woody nice contrast to make the tree stand out, and have that wild factor. Now is a good time to choose what greens you want to use in your tree. I'm going to be using sap green as my base color. I've got my Winsor yellow from my warmer, brighter yellowy greens, my indigo to make those really dark bluey greens, and then I've got my burnt amber, which I use for the trunks with some indigo to mix a darker green. I'll also be mixing a bit of my burnt amber with my sap green for a mid neutral greeny color. Once these colors are all out on my palette, and I've started mixing them, I'll be out to get a variety of different colors through the values as well, and through the ratios of the mixes. We'll start with yellowy green. So I'm just going to pull some of that out and add some of the green to it. You can use whatever colors you like. Just spend this time practicing mixing to find a few colors that you like. I'm going to make that more yellowy, and add some more yellow to that mix. I like that. That's much brighter, and would be great for those sunlit areas of the tree. Next, practice finding some mid greens, and you can have a couple of variety of these as that all really help bring out those leaves, and that suggestion of detail. I'm going to add my burnt amber to this. That's a bit too much. That's quite dark, so I'm just going to dilute this a little. That's a nice mid green. Then, for the darkest green, we want a really concentrated bluey green, and indigo is great for this, because it's such a deep color and will really give you that contrast for these shadows. We can go much darker than that, so I'm going to add some more pigment. Just play around until you find your favorite colors too. That's much darker and will work well for the darkest areas. You can also make some more neutral green, so I'm just going to mix some of my brown and yellow with my green. That's going to dull it down a bit to make it more realistic. So those are pretty much the colors I'm going to be using for my leaves today. For the trunk of the tree and for the branches, I'll be using my burnt amber, which is this lovely redy brown. I'll also be mixing this with some of my indigo to make it darker. You may have a premix brown that you like, or a mix that you know how to make up. Or if you want to look at mixing browns in a bit more detail, you can check out the beginning of my wood class, where I take you through how to mix a variety of browns. In the next video, we will start to look at the different techniques that we can use for our trees. 7. Practice Part 5 Brush Techniques: There are a number of different techniques that we can use to paint our trees. We'll be using these techniques to suggest details, rather than spending too much time adding lots of detail which would take us a really long time. The first technique I want to show you is dabbing. Pick up your paint, and then just touch it to the paper with varying amounts of pressure. Moving around quite quickly. That would be the edge of the tree, where you can see all these marks. Then you can fill this in a bit more. Around the edge you can see the suggestion of leaves and then turnaround I've left [inaudible] white coming through. Showing that the tree is not just a solid block of color, but creates the illusion of the light from behind a tree coming through. Just practice that a few times. I'll try and do it a bit slower now. I'm just pressing my brush down with different amounts of pressure. Just stabbing it onto the paper. Then when I get towards the center, I'm holding it down longer and making it more around to get more coverage, but still in a fairly rough way to leave some of these little patches of light coming through. Again, start with the edge. Make your brush around in different directions so your stripes are too uniform and consistent. You want them to be fairly scattered around in different shapes and sizes. The second technique we can use for our leaves is dry brushing. Which is where we take a lot of the moisture out brush, so that it lays a patch effect on the paper. You start by loading up your brush with paint, and then take off the excess water with your paper towel. Then just use the side of your brush to lay the paint down. This is much more patchy and kind of look like scattered leaves. It's a really nice effect. Let's just try that again. The third technique we can use for the leaves is wet on wet, which gives a soft blended effect. It's really nice for trees that will have less detail, which may be further away. Or if you just want to paint some really quick [inaudible] trees. Start with your yellowy green. Then we can build on that with dark greens. So you always start with the lightest color fast. Then pick up a darker green and darker and on the bottom edge and right side. This will give you trees, a much looser and quicker, but can still look really good and effective. You can also use wet and dry. Going back to those first leaves that we painted using the dabbing technique. Make sure they're dry and then you can use a darker green to layer over the top. Leave the top left so that it's lighter for where the sun is hitting. I'm just going to use the same dabbing technique just a bit further down. Then once it's dry, you can build on that more with an even darker green a bit further down. Let's do that again with the other leaves. Then you can use a dark blue-green on this lower area. So now we can move onto the tree trunk. Grab your brown and paint a rough shape of a trunk. One technique that you can use this to get a nice effect is to lift some of the paint. So clean your brush, and draw on your paper towel. Then just lift up some of that paint from one side. I'm doing this on the right side. I'm doing this in individual strikes, so it's a bit patchy. Now let's leave that one to dry. If we come back to this later, once it's dry, and add in some details that's going to give it a really nice effect with that patchiness in the background. Let's paint another trunk and this time lift the paint all the way up on one side, as more of a consistent highlight. Then using wet and wet, you can use a darker brown to run down the edges, as a bit of a shadow, to give it more dimension and make it look a bit more cylindrical like the shape of tree trunks are. That's quite a bit darker so you can use a dry brush to just blend out a bit, if you need to. Let me try the first one, once it's dry you can add in a bit detail. Next, again, using wet and dry as we want it to be nice and crisp. You can practice painting some branches. I'm going to take out any excess water, so my brushes nice and pointy, allowing me to get those nice fine lines. You can have these split off into a bit of a fork. We can add these in between the lays on the tree if we have some gaps. If we want that level of detail in there. You can add a little darker brown in some areas that these branches, to give it a bit more effect [inaudible]. Then you can use the dabbing technique again, to add some leaves around the end of these branches. Then you can get back in again with some dark green to add some variety of color into those leaves. The final thing I want to show you, is a couple of ways that you can do the ground or the grass. Here are some examples. You can do it really simple and paint small areas of grass like these. Or you can paint some more brown soily finishes like these ones. Start by picking up your brown and just keep it really simple painting some lines, and then softening it with a wet brush. You can then add in a bit of dark color on the top. Let's do this again this time with the green. Another way to do grass, which I like and is really simple, is to paint lots of little blades of grass like this. You can vary the height of the blade to make it look more interesting. Then with a dump brush, just run your brush along underneath to soften it. Then you can go back and add some darker blades too, if you want to. let's just practice that one more time. That brings us to the end of a practice session. I hope you found it useful. In the next video, I'll be talking to you about your project for this class. 8. Your Project: Your project for this class is to use the tips and techniques that we have gone through in the practice session to paint a tree or a variety of different trees. In the next videos, I'll be showing you step-by-step, in real time how to paint a number of different styles of trees using everything we've gone through so far. So, you can follow through these examples and paint along with me, and then you can go on to design your own trees using your preferred techniques. First, let's just have a quick recap on what we've covered so far, and what will be useful for you to bear in mind as we continue. So, we have looked at how we can approach painting the tree by first simplifying the tree shape into either a circle, semicircle, or an oval. And this is really going to make it so much easier to approach the subject, as trees can be quite daunting if you're trying to make them realistic. So whilst we're not necessarily going to be sketching out our trees first, it's just useful to bear these shapes in mind when you start painting. We then looked at how we can use sunlight to create consistency in our light and shadowy areas. And hopefully you now have a page of trees sketched out that you can refer back to when you're painting, and you can use these as inspiration. And these sketches don't need to take long and they're a really useful way to get started. We then looked at how we can use values and a variety of colors to create highlights and shadows to make the trees look interesting and more dimensional. And I would really encourage you to choose at least three different greens to bring your trees alive, from those bright yellowy-greens, where the sun is shining on them, to the dark blue-greens in the shadow. And the contrast of those colors is really going to give you a painting that wow factor. Finally, we covered various brush techniques that we can use when we're painting the trees, including dabbing, dry brush, wet on wet, lifting and blending, as well as wet on dry. These techniques can give you very different results depending on what effect you were going for. And I think it's a brilliant thing to do to practice all of these different ways of doing something so that you can get to know what works well for you, especially when you're fairly new toward color, or you're still learning as we all are. You can also use these techniques in combination with each other, which will really make your trees interesting and textured. So, in the next few videos, I'm going to take you through some examples of wet on wet trees, which are quick and loose, some examples of dry brush trees, which are much more textured and give a very different effect of scattered leaves, and then some examples using the dabbing technique, which are great for a bit more realism. I can't wait to see your projects and hear what you thought of this class. Okay, let's start painting some trees. 9. Example 1 Wet on Wet: In this video and the next two videos, I will take you through how to paint wet on wet trees. We'll start with this simple basic shape, and then progress in detail with the next two. For this first one, the light is shining from the top-left. The lightest areas are at the top left and the dark areas are at the bottom right. As we're using the wet in wet technique for these trees, I would recommend making sure you have all of your colors, all mixed up and ready on your palette so that the paint doesn't dry washed your mixing the next color. I have my yellow, a green up here for the first layer, and my mid-green, which will go next, and my dark blue-green down here. I also have this brownie green here which I can use to add some extra shadow and contrast. Starting with your yellow, a green, make sure this has got enough water in it and start on the top left of the tree, working around in a circle, making those edges a bit jaggedy. Don't make them too smooth, otherwise it might end up looking a bit like a lollipop instead. Pick up your mid-green and lay this on top, leaving some space on the top-left, use dabbing motion to lay the paint down. Now we can pick up our darkest green. If you lay some of this down on the dry paper, it will give you its full effect and a really good contrast, and then you can also add it into the paint that's still wet as well so it all blends in. Use that dabbing technique around the edges for the suggestion of those leaves and just keep building up that color. You can also use a bit of a brownie green like this to add in some extra shadow and contrasting color. Add in anymore green while it's still wet, I'm going to add a little more of that mid-green at the top. Now grab your brown and paint the trunk. I'm blending this out a little, so it's not just a flat color, and this will give it some dimension while it's still keeping it really simple. Use that lifting technique that we practiced earlier. If you need to take away some of that brown to give it more of a highlight. That's our first tree complete. How did you find it? I'd love to know. Let me know. Next we'll be moving on to another wet on wet tree with a little bit more detail. 10. Example 2 Wet on Wet: This time, we're going to break the tree down a bit more into branches and groups of leaves. We will also be using the dabbing technique for some of those leaves and wet and dry for a fine branches, which will be in the gaps. Make sure to leave a couple of little gaps as you're painting this one so that you have some space to paint in those branches. We'll also be adding some grass to the bottom of this one. The sunlight is coming from above or slightly towards the left. Start with your yellowy green again. We're going to paint the tops of those clumps of leaves first and just do one or two to start with so that aren't dry out before we add the next color. Grab your next green and start adding the end, and then your darker green, add the end to the bottom. Now, add in the next clump with your lightest screen. Then just go through the process again, adding in your next green. I'm going to need to mix up a little bit more now and then add another one at the bottom. Now, we can use our darkest colors to add to these bottom areas. Our dark brownie green and our dark bluey green. Adding these leaves around the edges too with your dark green, wet and dry so they really stand out. Now, we can add another trunk, so it grab your brown. Then just using the tip of your brush out in some fine branches, then add in some more branches in the gaps between these leaves. You want this to be crisp and so they need to be on dry paper. If you need to wait a bit longer for your leaves to dry, then just pause the video. You can keep working on these branches and the trunk a little more to make them stand out and give the trunk of bit of shadow and dimension. I'm going to paint a couple of branches coming out the top as well and at the side and underneath. Then we can pick up a green and gently dabs and small leaves around these tweaks. That's going to give a lovely bit of extra detail on realism. Finally, we can paint in the ground and our grass. Just finish your trunk off if you need to, then grab your green. Then we're just going to paints some tiny blades of grass. Then you can just run your brush underneath to soften it. That's our second tree complete. I'd love to see your progress so far. Please do share your work by uploading to the project gallery. I'd really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a review to let me know what you think of the class. I do read them all and they mean so much to me and I take all feedback on board. Next, we'll be painting the final work to my tree, where we'll be focusing on more of a semicircular shape and adding more shape to the trunk this time. 11. Example 3 Wet on Wet: For this tree, we will again be mainly easing the wet on wet technique, for the bulk of the tree leaves and then also using the dabbing technique for the edges and some extra lays at the bottom. This is a bit of a wider tree and more semicircular shape, and the light is coming from the same angle above, slightly to the left. We've got these light areas at the top left and the darker shadow areas underneath. Start with your yellow or green again, starting with that top left edge and then fill it in. Then pick up your next green and that blend in, thus looking fairly light I'm going to make this slightly darker green, because it will be too much to jumped to go straight to the dark green right now. Now I'm going to go to that dark blue green for these bottom edges and you can darken this around a bit farther up so it blends in. Also add it to the dry paper at the edge for these crisp contrasting leaves. Just taking time to step back every so often and taking a look at how your tree is progressing on what it needs. I think mine needs a little more mid green at the top now. I'm just going to scatter this about. Keep adding your darkest green for the contrast as a paint dries, the less it will be diluted on the page and so the more it will stand out. If you need to pause the video here, and continue working on your leaves, then do so otherwise, let's pick up a brown and start working on trunk now. Am going to paint in the outline fast and then fill it in. If you're more comfortable drawing this in fast with a pencil then go ahead and do that. Now we can just gradually build up the layers and detail in this trunk and then add some extra leaves to some of the tweaks. Next, we'll paint in the grass, so paint your blaze of grass fast and then soften now underneath. Then you can add in some darker green for some extra definition. We finished our wet on wet trees, for the next group of trees that we will be painting, we will be using the dry brush technique. 12. Example 4 Dry Brush: In this video and the next two videos, I will take you through how to paint trees using the dry brush technique. As with the last trees, we'll start with the simple basic shape, and then progress in detail. The third tree will be a bit more sparse and patchy, so you'll end up with three quite different trees. Let's start with the simplest one. You'll be using your paper towel quite a lot with these ones, so you might want to make sure you've got a fresh one handy. You start by loading your brush out with your yellowy green, take out the excess on your paper towel, and then use the side of your brush to get that dry patchy effect, and start painting that top left corner. We're painting this one in the shape of a circle, so just make sure you're working with that curve. We want to build up these layers so they're crisp. We want to make sure that all the paint underneath is dry before we add anything on top. There should be much moisture in there anyway, so it won't take long to dry. Just keep working your way down that circle and building that color up. I'm mixing up a slightly darker green now, and just building up that dark green in that shadowy area towards the bottom right. As we build out these layers of dry brush, you can see all of the lighter colors under this still coming through. So it has this lovely patchy effect with all of these colors. Now pick up your brown for the trunk, and we'll keep this quite simple, so just paint this in. Try and keep a highlight in there for that dimension, and you can add a little bit of a darker brown underneath the leaves and down the side for shadow, and you can just use the lifting technique to pick up any paint if you've added too much. Now, I can just use a little bit of green to add some grass on the ground, keeping it really simple, still using this dry brush technique. That's our first dry brush tree complete, now we can move on to a slightly more detailed one. 13. Example 5 Dry Brush: For this next tree, we'll be using the dry brush technique again. This is going to be slightly more detailed with more of those clumps of leaves. Again, start with the yellowy green and this time we're going to do the top-left of all of those clumps of leaves first. Now pick up your next green and you can start building up that color slightly further down. Now I'm just mixing up the darker green with a bit of my brown in, and this is going to give it a really nice contrast. Try and leave a couple of small gaps so that we can fill in with some branches later on. Then you can add in some more green around the edges for those leaves or if you need to darken up any areas at all, then you can go to your darkest bluey green for the bottom areas. Next, pick up your brown and we'll paint the trunk. We can add in some branches at the bottom here as well. Hopefully you've got a couple of gaps up here in the leaves so we can add some more branches in with some fine lines. Just keep working on that trunk until you're happy, adding some shadow, lifting to create some highlights. Then you can add in some more leaves to those branches at the bottom. I'm going to add a couple more fine lines for branches on the right side as well. Now I can just add a little bit of color for the ground. Now stand back, have a look, and add any more details in that you need to. That's the second dry brush tree complete. For the third tree, we'll be painting more of a sparser, taller tree. 14. Example 6 Dry Brush: For this third and final tree using this dry brush technique, we'll be painting a slightly tall tree and the leaves will be a bit sparser and the trunk will be a bit more prominent with more branches showing through. We'll follow the same method as last time by painting with a lighter green at the tops of the patches of each of these clumps of leaves first, but the clumps are going to be less defined because the leaves will be sparser, so there'll be a bit more of a subtlety with this tree. Now we can start building up that green. Now we can use a darker blue green for the lower parts of each of those groups of leaves. Now we can grab a brown and start painting in this longer trunk. We can always add more leaves later on. It doesn't really look like we've got too many now, which is fine. Once we've painted in those branches, we might want to add more. Try and keep these branches really nice and fine, so make sure you take out any excess water in your brush, so your brush is a nice fine tip. You just use a tip with very little pressure to paint the fine lines. Just keep painting in those branches, wherever you think needs it. Then we can grab some more of our green and add any more leaves especially the ends of any of these branches that we've added in, whereas looking a bit too sparse. I'm just darkening up the edge of this trunk to give it a bit more contrast and make it stand out a bit more, then I'm just going to add some final leaves in at the top and around the edges. Finally, I'm going to pick up some of that darker green again just to bring out some of these leaves a bit more, as it's looking a little bit pale at the moment. That's our fade dry brush tree finish. The next and final two trees we'll be painting, we'll be using the dabbing technique. 15. Example 7 Dabbing: The next two trees that we will be painting, will be with the dabbing technique that we practiced. The first tree will be very simple, and the second will be a bit more detailed, and realistic. Start with your yellowy green, which we will be using for the top left, and start dabbing around the edge of this curve fast. Then fill it in a bit more as you work inwards, try not to use too much water, as we want this to dry fairly quickly. We don't want it to blend in too much, we want to be able to see most of those marks that we are making, they're a bit more crisp, and they don't blend in as softly as they did for the wet. As before, just work your way down at circle, building up the color with your dark greens as you go. This technique creates lots of lovely texture, and is great for suggesting all of those leaves, and details without having to spend too long on the painting. Now pick up your darkest blue green, and just work around that bottom edge,now really working on adding that contrast, and depth. The dry the paper is or,the paint underneath the more contrasting that color would be, because it wouldn't be dilated on the page. Now pick up your brown, and painting the trunk, and you can add a bit of extra brown to the edges as in the shadow. Then we can add a little color for the ground as well. I'm going to finished with this tree. This is such a simple method using the shape, but it can still be really effective, and you can still make subtle changes that will make it look quite different. You could try painting this type of tree again in different shapes like a more of a semicircle with symmetric detailed to the trunk, or you can make it more of an oval shape. Here are a couple of sped up examples to give you a bit more inspiration. The next, and final tree in this class that we are going to paint is a more detailed version of this using the dabbing technique, with more definition around the leaves and branches. 16. Example 8 Dabbing: For this final tree, we will be using the dubbing technique to create a bit more of a detailed study of tree. Starting with our yellow, a green as always, we will be painting The top left edges of each of these groups leaves. I painted these in a slight curve, living space underneath to continue with the dark greens and we're going to have seven of these clumps of leaves. I'm just going to add a bit more of that yellow, green to the top, as it's quite grainy as is. We can start layering and moving on each group of leaves. I'm just using lots of quick tabs in different directions with varying amounts of pressure to create lots of different marks to represent these leaves. Now, glop your even darker green, and continue adding this to the bottom of each column of leaves. You can already see that the contrast is really giving it much more depth. I'm going to leave a couple of gaps, the trunk is going to come quite high up and I am going to put some round chosen here so I'm going to light that blank leave for now. Let's start with the trunk, we want a nice balance down the center, so we I'm going to bring from the side. But at least we have the shape for now that we can build on. I'm going to add some more branches underneath here first and a few on this side as well. Now, I'm switching to smaller size zero brush so that I can paint the fine line for branches and this small gap in the leaves. Now, we can start adding more color to that trunk where I can carefully underneath these leaves. Now, we can go with this purely green and really give it some contrast in the darkest areas and because it's drying out, it will stand out much more. If it's starting to look a bit too segmented with these clumps of leaves, then you can go in with your mid green and add some more leaves throughout, just to even out a little bit more. Its not sectioned off. We're almost done now. We can just add some detail to the trunk, and then we can add a bit of grass at the bottom. I'm just going to add a little more of this trunk as well. I'm way finished. I painted one more example of this start of this trough here with the sunlight coming from the right. Here is the time-lapse of that if you wanted to check out as well. Thank you so much for watching and I hope you've enjoyed painting these trees with me and stay tuned for the next and last video where I share some final tips with you. 17. Final Thoughts: In this final video, I want to share some final thoughts and tips with you to round up the class. Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the class, and I really hope you've enjoyed it. I really enjoyed making it for you. I love painting trees because they can be so much fun, and so quick to paint, and have so much character. You can use all of these different techniques which I have shown you in the class to create such different effects. I'd love to hear what your favorite technique was and why. I would love to see your works, so please do share your projects with me and the rest of the students. You can upload them to the Project Gallery via the website. If you're on Instagram, you can also tag me in your work there. You will find me at Sharone Stevens Design. If you use the hashtag, #learnwithsharone, you can find other students work there as well. Just don't forget the e on the end of Sharone. I would be really grateful if you could take a minute to leave me a review if you haven't already done so. I do read them all and they mean so much to me. They're also really helpful for other students to see when deciding whether to take the class or not. They also let me know if I'm on the right track with these classes and encourage me to make lots more. I take all of your feedback on board, so I can continually strive to improve my classes and make them as valuable as possible for you. Okay, so thank you in advance for sharing your work and leaving me some feedback. I really appreciate it. Now I want to share some final concluding tips with you about this class. A lot of the tips I've shared with you in this class can be transferred to other types of work. For example, the first tip about simplifying the shape of the trees is a great way to approach any subject to make it less daunting. Any subject can be broken down into simple shapes, whether it be circles, ovals, squares, triangles. They usually form the basis for most subjects. Always start by simplifying your subject first, either in a sketch or at least in your mind so you know where to start and then you can build up the detail from there. It's always a good idea to think about which direction the sunlight is coming from with most of your subjects, so that you can be consistent with any highlights and shadows and make your work a little bit more realistic. Even if you're going for quickly style. These shadows and highlights are going to give you much more depth and dimension and just generally make your work look less flat and much more interesting. As I've mentioned in the class, working with values along with a variety of colors is one of the most important things that you can work on and understand with watercolor, because it can really have a transformational effect on your paintings, allowing you to create those highlights and shadows. Finally, we've used quite few techniques in this class which transferable to other pieces of your work. The dabbing technique, which allows us to make lots of different marks and create different textures. The dry brush technique, which has that lovely, patchy, textured effect, which is useful for lots of different things. Then also the wet on wet and wet on dry, which are basic techniques which are really useful to understand. Lifting not only allows you to create highlights and contrast and interesting effects, but it also helps you to fix mistakes. It's a really useful technique to practice as well. Hopefully, throughout this class, you've feel like you've had a lot of practice now in these different techniques and you've grown confidence using them. Finally, if you fancy practicing these techniques more or practicing in different subjects, I have quite a few other classes now on Skillshare, which you can check out. Happy painting and I hope to see you again soon.