Simple Trees. A Loose Beginner's Watercolour Class with Jane Davies | Jane Davies | Skillshare

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Simple Trees. A Loose Beginner's Watercolour Class with Jane Davies

teacher avatar Jane Davies, Professional Artist and Teacher

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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

7 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Sketching Out

    • 4. Treetops

    • 5. Trunks

    • 6. Ground

    • 7. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Let me show you how to paint these fun, simple but effective trees. It’s a wonderful introduction to loose, flowing wet on wet technique 

Have you fancied having a bash at watercolour painting but are not sure where to start? 

Would you like to learn how to paint in a loose flowing watercolour style without too much fussing? 

Then this is the perfect beginning class to get you started! 

I’ve taught this very simple short class to many artists, some just starting out their watercolour journey others wanting to loosen up their own style. So I know you will take many tips and inspiration away from this class as many of my students have already done!


I will show you:

  • How best to apply paint onto wet paper without over fussing 
  • Learn to tilt paper and have the confidence to allow paint to move 
  • Add water to create new interesting marks 
  • Discover some of my favourite paints and paper
  • The simple joy of allowing paint to create beautiful and unique marks

You will be creating a wonderful, loose, simple tree line and be inspired that in a short time you’ve been able to produce something you are proud of. It will get your creative juices flowing and enable you to see all possibilities of using these simple techniques

So come and join me!

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Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jane Davies

Professional Artist and Teacher


Let me tell you a bit about myself...

I’m an international selling artist specialising in painting pet portraits and wildlife. I live, paint, teach and walk my lovely spaniels in the beautiful South Downs National Park, England

Over the last fifteen years, I’ve taught myself the watercolour techniques you see today. Not having been to art school, finding my own way has been fun and sometimes daunting but has allowed me to develop my own unique style




In 2016 I began teaching my free flow methods to small groups of beginner artists. After a move in 2018, I wa... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Welcome to this simple beginners watercolour class. I'm really excited to be able to show you how to paint these fun, but effective trees. They are a great way for me to introduce you to my loose flowing wet on wet technique. In this short class, I'll be showing you how to add paint onto wet paper without fussing too much. How to tilt the paper and allow paint to run to produce some lovely soft, natural lines and shapes. I will also share with you some of my favourite paints and paper. I'm Jane Davies. I live paint, teach and walk my lovely spaniel in the beautiful south downs National Park, England. Over the last ten years, I've taught myself the watercolour techniques that you see today. Not having been to art school, finding my own way has been fun and sometimes daunting, but has allowed me to develop my own style. This has led me to teaching others, either on a one-to-one basis or as part of a group in a wonderful studio in the heart of the South Downs. I also run a successful commission-based business, painting pet portraits and wildlife art in my own home studio. In all my classes, you will follow along in real-time. where I can guide you to keep your work loose and fresh without over-fussing. I'll be sharing lots of tips and tricks along the way too. If you'd like to learn more about me or my work, please pop over to my website at This can be found on my profile along with links to my Instagram and Facebook pages. I'm very active on my social media pages. where I love sharing my art, especially on stories with many ideas, works in progress and tails of studio life. I really hope you will share all your paintings on the project pages. As I love seeing your masterpieces. And don't forget, I'm here to help if you get stuck or have any questions. I want you to experience that buzz of painting in this liberating wet on wet, loose style. So come and join me. 2. Materials: So here we have our little mini tree landscape we're going to be painting together today. So I'm going to run through some of the materials you're going to need. Some of these more color paints. Your newspaper flushes, little pot of water and some kitchen role. So the paints I'm using today are all Daniel Smith. Again, appreciate you may not necessarily have these exact shades or even any Daniel Smith. So whichever page you have watercolour paint, you have grabbed those. That be absolutely if I'm my paper is blocking for 200 pound naught is quite a heavy paper. If you have anything that's terribly light, it will buckle when you add a lot of water and we do use quasi loss of water, little Mount is not necessary. It's just it just mounting my medical PC, you can say, but it is a ten by ten or think when aperture of 7-by-7 in soil. From thinking quickly, a little pencil. And we have two brushes and got a size ten here. Have a little small rigor, but whatever two brushes you have a large and a small will be absolutely fine. I think that's all you need. So let's get and gluten painting. 3. Sketching Out: Okay, are you ready? Okay. So what monkeys paper ready? I'm just going to pop oncology there. Love scrappy mounts. I'm just gonna put that down and I'm going to draw another line inside my books. If you haven't got amount, don't worry. It doesn't matter if it just got something for me to working in side off. Okay. So what I'm going to do is do a wiki line, a pencil that think about weedy on too much. This is going to be your g top line. Now that we gave on the bottom of the ground, simple loses that. Sudan. 4. Treetops: And in pickup? Yeah. No, it's big brush. Load of waters and nicer lots of water on your brush. And we're going to what always treat IN down. Now this is over the Western white techniques. So he's, oh, I do use it also osha. Nice and wet. You don't want it bubbling. So if he if he got moved to sitting on the top in puddles, you want to soak that upset little tick without uses to clean you brush off, take any excess water off via Bosch, and just just touched the puddle Wadia tippy abortion. That's who just suck up your Bush. Okay, I think that's nice and wet and you can tell if you bobbing your head up and down, you'll see if you've left any dry patches you really want to join, you would order. So what I'm just going to grab on to me, thanks to the GREP. If to start with my favorite, one of my favorites, I have many of these waves. So I'm just touching lives. She just touched to the bush. And that's the joy of western wages we did across the paper. If it's not moving very much into that, a little bit more water on land that she'd, who most beginning students as they got movies, was beginning to join. If you, if you find yours isn't moving, you just need to add more water. Simple is that I'm going to grab some satellite genuine. This was a lovely, strong color. Moves around a little bit better. Let's just beautiful. I'm not doing any, no great plan where I'm gonna put my paint. Just what Avi offensively. He just placing them, try not to do any brushstrokes are wiggling around, just, just place you can place on top of one another and you find that you don't want to sort of muddle them up too much. But telling his eyes at it allow because faced off. Let's let's crop it a little bit of time, burnt sienna booms up a little bit. I am tending to try and stay underneath these two will be the Boston Review tree line that just give an idea of some shadow in a bit of strength from the bottom it's got an ultra violet and going wherever fancy note we want to try and do is get your Satya subconscious to wake up and you want your thinking brain to take a backseat ritual, but let your mind wander. Something a little bit stronger than you can do some deal. We gave it to the Boston slide pressure. There might be some leaves that. And before it over fiddle, he's always very easy to put color. I'm going to leave it now. I'm just going to tilt. 5. Trunks: And it'll fold up little bit pipe up. Just got a little such little hotlink or husband made me just enough to fill a piece of paper. Can we can then run some chunks. Then the paper say, I've came a brush, nice lots of water, and we're just gonna make some trunks. So you're just touching the bottom of this tree line, wiggling down. And hopefully it's painters are one up here, which is nice and wet wall weeds down these nitwit lines. Going. Don't think about these too much and too regimented. Another one down here will give me my retreat ions. Moves, any paler ones will look like they're receding backwards. And any ones that a little bit stronger, hello, that they're putting forward a little bit. So I'm just going to add is a little bit more paint on the strong gone though the more forward crops. I always stand to work. If you're sitting or standing is the stops. You sort of hunching over your work and looking at it too, too closely. So you stand up and look away from it and you'll, you'll get a different sort of sense. Try, try standing. Maybe not necessarily for this one if you're not feeling confident, butter, give our passion at the time. So I have just picked up my little brush and I'm going to wiggles a little branches out. So hopefully you zoonoses where it still is. Only thing is to work quite quickly and Zidel exercise because you want everything to stay, stay wet. So I'm just pulling everyone eventually. And I'm actually going to start using my finger now. So this is quite, quite funny. You can get some really corner would really was no little punchy. Branches, branches. Just layman at now flat and just putting the paint out and get too carried away because it's quite satisfied. I think that's all my step to going to pull out a couple of whatever we taught them. Join up to the canopy, would do before I overfit or I'm just going to lay these Fluxicon and nucleic material. People went away. And we're going to. 6. Ground: Exactly as we did with the top of the tree lung gonna do for the bottom. We're just going to whittle that down to the nice, not dig what Bush. Gone outside that pencil line as well as pool nice and wet zone, no gaps, no dry bits. Pick up stupidly universe again, kind of just just placing, just, just touching the paper with a paintbrush. Kenya. For sure. We got some Bernstein. Is I here? Just, just popping wherever I fancy. Say every, whatever paints you have at the time, they all have their own little character. So find what works for one paint doesn't work for the other. So you, you learn there that it'll traits in their ways as you build up your repertoire with paints. A little bit there too. So like genuine as a bit of punch. To do. Now, I'm going to just hold this up, a slight tilt here. What Bashar is UGA. And I'm going to just touch that then let that someone that R1. And this is a technique we use in a future class. And I have a funny budget, Linux that's quite fun. In effect, you just washing paint away from paper. It gives you, gives an Aquinas effect. And you go, you find you've got a big bottle of water here. So either suck that up, we get paint brush, brush, and just let it run to you and the other way. It's just, just by tilting, it is letting everything, all that, both these paints that we just have a slight gradient down. See how that could be a Paul thick, just some coming through the trees. In this possibilities. Flattening again and pull out some, some stems, some girls, same as you did with little branches. Don't overthink it. And you can do again, you can do your fingernails scratching. And actually by scratching your, your leave smocks down here as well. So that will dry weather can affect think for get too carried away with doing lots of twig, leave it, almost it. Back again. I said You just about got little mini landscape done. You need to do too much, too much more with that little milk mandate so you can see what it looks like. Mount round. And that's actually quite sweet only. So I really hope you enjoyed this first middle class. And this is a fun 11. I love doing this little Kuan sigma. You enjoyed it. 7. Final Thoughts: So I hope you enjoy painting the fairly simple trees and it's given you insight into just letting the paint do its thing. He's quite magical, just watching those colors bend to get business. Nobody deliberating, thinking you don't need to over faster. If it's your first time painting wet into wet, you may find it a bit scary, but don't worry. You can take a few Goes to gain the competency. You don't always need to be in control to get some wonderful results. To try doing it again, there's no one judging. We look forward to seeing you in the next class. Okay.