Watercolor Forest Painting: Advanced Techniques Painting Light Filtering Through Trees | Katrina Pete | Skillshare

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Watercolor Forest Painting: Advanced Techniques Painting Light Filtering Through Trees

teacher avatar Katrina Pete, Watercolor Artist

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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

    • 1.

      Introduction to Watercolor Forest


    • 2.

      Welcome and Hello from my Studio!


    • 3.

      My Painting Set Up


    • 4.

      Supplies Part 1 Lighted Forest


    • 5.

      Supplies Part 2


    • 6.

      Masking Fluid Application


    • 7.

      Painting the background


    • 8.

      Painting the Sun Rays


    • 9.

      Painting the Grass


    • 10.

      Creating a Halo of light in the trees


    • 11.

      Painting the Background Trees


    • 12.

      More Background Trees


    • 13.

      Final Background Tree


    • 14.

      Foreground Trees part one


    • 15.

      Foreground Trees part two


    • 16.

      Finishing final touches and masking fluid removal


    • 17.

      Bonus Practice Tips (thirsty brush technique)


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About This Class

Welcome to my class! In this hour long course we will paint this watercolor forest from start to finish! We will go in depth exploring advanced watercolor techniques that bring light and atmosphere to your paintings. I share all of my favorite tools and supplies used for the course as well as a look at my studio set up.

This method of watercolor painting is unique in that we allow the paint to have a bit of freedom in order to achieve some natural looking light effects. By incorporating wet into wet technique with dry brush and masking fluid, we can create depth and atmosphere and the illusion of light filtering through a forest of trees. Once you learn these skills and tricks, this method can be applied to so many other watercolor scenes. After this class, you will have acquired some important watercolor techniques and skills to add to your toolbox. 

I absolutely LOVE teaching and would love to hear your feedback or any questions you may have. Please share your beautiful artwork on skillshare or on instagram! It is my goal to help you achieve your watercolor goals by teaching advanced techniques that can make a huge impact on your watercolor journey.

Meet Your Teacher

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Katrina Pete

Watercolor Artist


All of my paintings and illustrations are dreamed up in my happy little home studio in Minnesota. My painting career began with my Etsy Shop, and soon turned into commissioned work and illustration for a large card company. I love teaching, and I love helping other artists improve their skills and techniques. Please contact me if you have any questions. I hope you enjoy my video tutorials!

I love the way the colors blend into one another, hard and soft lines on textured paper, the luminosity of the pigment and the meditative state that happens with good coffee, sunshine and a paint brush.

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Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction to Watercolor Forest: in this class, I will share with you my tips and tricks to create atmosphere and light filtering through trees in a forest. I will show you how to incorporate atmosphere and light into your painting by establishing a loose background wash with directional rays of light. I'll share with you some of my tips for using masking fluid in order to preserve detail on sparkle in your painting. And finally, I will show you some dry brush techniques in order to create beautiful, realistic trees that stand out from the background. By the end of this class, you will have a beautiful watercolor painting ready to be framed. 2. Welcome and Hello from my Studio!: Hello, everyone, and welcome to my class. My name is Katrina Pete's and today we will be working on a watercolor painting. Ah, delighted forests. I will be showing you a variety of really fun and useful techniques that you can use for a variety of watercolor applications, and one of them is how to paint light filtering through trees. I'll show you different ways to create atmosphere by lifting pigments and by working wet into wet and also layering so that you achieve depth and your paintings. Now this technique of watercolor painting involves multiple layers of paint, and you have to be careful to let each layer dry completely before moving on to the next step. With each layer of paint, we will get progressively darker and more saturated with our pigment, and this will just help to define your painting and create more contrast. Once you have this technique down, you can apply it to so many other methods of watercolor painting like this one here of a meadow in the light. One of the big reasons why I love watercolor is because I'm just drawn to the light and the luminosity that you can achieve with this medium. It's unlike almost any other way of painting because it has a mind of its own and it's very meditative. So by the end of this class, we will have developed some very useful techniques to create light and depth and luminosity in your watercolor paintings. I think I probably made three or four of these paintings before I had one that I really liked. This is a technique that doesn't just happen overnight. But once you learn the few key concepts of creating light and lifting pigment to create beams of light and adding darker pigment to define those beams of light, it really comes together and you can make so many beautiful paintings with these techniques . 3. My Painting Set Up: So this is my typical set up when I'm working on a watercolor painting. Usually all have my painting tapes down to a board, but because this one is finished, it's just sitting here. If you don't have a board and you wanna paint directly on a watercolor paper pad, Arches makes a really beautiful one. Here it comes with 20 pages of £140 cold pressed watercolor paper, and it stays nice and tight and flat. So when you're working wet into wet, the paper won't buckle. But you can get the same effect using watercolor paper taped down to a board. I like to have a glass of clean water and a glass of dirty water, and I use the clean water for just making my paper nice and damp when I'm preparing to work wet into wet and I keep ah, value sketch nearby just so I can get an idea of where my lights and darks are now, I paint right next to a north facing windows. A little light that I get coming through is pretty neutral. It's not warm or not too cool, but I really like to have a white cardboard sitting right next to my painting. And this one is, Ah, trifled piece of cardboard. It's really cheap. You can get it at Target or WalMart. It's It might even be in the kids craft section. It's just to reflect the light and bounce it back onto my paper so I can see the color is really clearly. 4. Supplies Part 1 Lighted Forest: I'm rate. So let's talk supplies and fresh is so I used a variety of different brushes here, and I don't have all of them. But here are some of the important ones that I think you should know about. I used a number 12 round brush, and this one is a natural haired brush by flick, and it holds quite a bit of water. I recently switched over to some synthetic brushes by Princeton, the Neptune Siri's, which I really love because I'm trying to get away from using natural haired brushes because I love animals. But these were I've had these brushes for so long, and I will continue to use them. They're just Some of them are getting a little afraid. And so it it was about time toe look for some new brushes. Another brush I recommend, is by silver black velvet. I have a number eight, a number 10 in the number six, and any of those would work well for this painting because the nice thing about these is they come to a really find tip. So if you confined a brush that comes to a really nice tip, that will be pretty useful for so many different watercolor applications. Again, these brands air just, you know, I'm not super particular, but I just use these two brushes a lot, quite a bit in this painting and then for the grass. For some of the smaller, detailed areas, I use this zero by cop. It's a Windsor and Newton Cotman brush. I'm not sure exactly what it's called. Um, I think it's a liner or a rigor, and basically it has a really fine long bristle to it, and that just allows you to get some really nice details. When it's wet, it has a nice snap, so when you flick it, you can get some irregular shapes and interesting looking grass shapes. So it's wonderful for painting grass in detail. Now this other brushes just a cheap cracked brush, and you can get these almost anywhere hardware stores. Um, but what I really like about it are the bristles there really sick, their regular there stiff, and they work really well for just some abstract suggestion of grass. So I use this for the grass in the painting and a few other areas 5. Supplies Part 2: I recommend getting a spray bottle that is a fine mist sprayer if you can, because it's really easy to re wet your paper with instead of having to use a brush all the time. I just spritz the sun and it doesn't leave any big globs. It's really smooth. So I got this at Hobby Lobby, and I'm sure you can find it at other craft stores or art stores. Blix. I think Carrie's Thies, too, But it's wonderful. I love it and I have a fuse, just soft brushes. I used to apply my water. It doesn't really matter what kind, just as long as they're soft and not too stiff. So you don't leave marks in your paper. But then, of course, I have masking fluid, and I can't seem to find it at the moment. But I use Windsor and Newton, and I have both colorless and one that's kind of a pale yellow color, which is, I think, what I ended up using in this painting it doesn't really matter. It doesn't leave any lasting color on your paper after you remove it. It's just so that you can see you can see a little bit better where you applied your masking fluid. So I like those. I like that brand. I also like PB oh, drying gum, and I think there's a few other brands. So those are just the ones that I'm familiar with. And then, of course, a rubber nib to remove your masking fluid. Let's talk colors. So I found this great book called Mixing Greens, and it just It's wonderful. I got it a used bookstore, and I will put a link on the about section so you can try and find it, too. It was just wonderful. It tells you all the different shades of blue and yellow and how they combined to mix different types of green warm, cool, bright, um, dull. So anyway, I found it very useful because I did a few different versions of this painting, and I found that I really had a lot of fun testing out different combinations of blue and yellow. So for one of them, I used Halo blue and Hansa yellow and just touches of yellow Oakar and a bit of Payne's gray here and there. But I found that this combination of these two produced a really bright David, almost other worldly green. But it was It was really beautiful, and I just really like the freshness of it. 6. Masking Fluid Application: masking fluid is such a useful tool for my watercolor painting. I use it with almost every painting I make now, and in this case I'm just using it to create little butterflies that air flying in the background. And you can choose to paint anything you like, whether it's some birds. Or maybe it's a deer or whatever it is or even a person, and I also use it to spatter on tiny little dots to create some glow. Or maybe it's just some some artifact of light filtering through the forest. I'm using Windsor and Newton colorless masking fluid. But there are plenty of other great brands like PB Oh, drawing gum, and I highly recommend you pour it off into a small container and then cap it right away. Because that dries so quickly it tends to gum up your container, so I found it useful to just pour it off. Now it also dries very quickly on your brushes, and that's why I use pretty cheap, inexpensive synthetic brushes to apply it. And I also keep ah, container of soapy water nearby, and every couple of minutes I rinse off my brush and then I continue now, in order to get those tiny white dots or speckles that you see, I just take a stiff brush and I just spatter it on by hitting the back of the brush. You can also use a toothbrush and flick it on. There's lots of different ways to do this. With the bigger brush, you get larger droplets, so I like that variation with the tiny in the small droplets. See me turn my brush in all different directions, and this just encourages a random spatter. Now, in order to paint the butterflies, I use a smaller, pointy round brush, and I don't have them all drawn in. But you can either draw them in or just eyeball it, but I'm making them a little bit bigger than the largest drops that you see. 7. Painting the background: So this painting begins with a soft background wash. In the key to starting that soft hazy wash is to use a wet into wet technique. So I'm just covering my paper evenly with a clear code of water. I'm using a soft brush and you can also use a spray bottle, but the key is just to make sure your papers evenly damp and that you don't see any saturated or pooling areas of water. And you can take a tissue and just sap up the edges along where your tape meets your paper. So I'm going to start with a warm yellow color and just a light wash of yellow and the top right of this paper. You'll see me tilt my paper board around quite a bit. And this just encourages the pigments to flow into each other naturally. So I know it's a little bit distracting, but for this first wash, I found it pretty useful technique in order to get the colors to blend. Now keep in mind that this is very loose. It's going to be a very soft and hazy so you don't have to worry too much about your beams of light quite yet because we will be putting them in on the second layer. Now as I move away from the yellow toward the left side, I'm using coolers tones, I'm going to be using more blue. And when this mixes with the yellow, it'll create a nice greenie Hayes. I'm going to drop in some yellow to mix with this blue and just turn it into a beautiful green. And you can see how that paint just mixes really seamlessly into the paper. And I'm starting to use upward strokes toward my light source. Now as I continue to move over to the left-hand side of the paper, I want it to be cooler and a little bit darker and tone. So I'm putting in some more deeper blue and just letting it blend into my yellow below. Now I'm tilting my board up so it's maybe at a 30 degree angle. And this just allows the paint to sink below and sink into those, those yellows to create that beautiful green color. Now when you are all finished, just carefully go around the edges with a tissue and sop up any excess drops or moisture that you see. Alright, so now that we've completed our first background wash, we're going to just let it dry completely. And then once it's dry, we'll move on and we'll get started with those beautiful soft beams of light that you see filtering through the trees. Now I won't be tilting my board as much or at all for the rest of this painting. It was just in the beginning to get the colors to mix on the paper fluidly. 8. Painting the Sun Rays: now we're still going to be working wet into wet for this background wash, and this just allows you to get really beautiful atmospheric rays of light filtering through the trees. So let's begin by wedding the top 2/3 of our paper, because this is the part we're going to be focusing on right now, So I'm using two different spray bottles. As you can see, I just used a heavier droplet bottle for the bottom of my paper, and then I went over with a fine mist spray battle for the top up toward the sky. And this just allows me to get a little bit of texture where the grass meets the tree line and then I'm just smoothing out any sort of blatch is, or spots that are too saturated with water with a soft brush. You just want to make sure it's evenly coated and that you don't have any excess water pooling. You can tell your paper and then just soak up any excess along the edges. Now the light source is coming from the top right of the painting, and so I want to keep this diagonal from the top right over to the bottom left. Ah, lighter value. So I'm starting with a darker blue toward the top left corner. And then as I move closer to the right side of the painting, I'm gonna be using lighter values and warmer tones like green and yellow mixtures using a number 12 round here. And this just allows me to hold more pigment in my brush for these these soft, whiter strokes. And keep in mind that you're doing these strokes over toured the top right of your page. And they're all going in this someone of the same direction, sort of like rays of the sun. No, you'll see me take a thirsty brush and just remove a little bit of pigment. And this is another way to create lighter bands filtering through. Keep some of the brushstrokes wider and some shorter and skinnier. This'll just add variation and atmosphere once it dries. Now, as I move toward the right of my paper, the sunlight is more direct and lighter in color here. So I'm using warmer shades of green and yellow and yellow Oakar just to get those lighter beams. Now, this would be a good time to refer to your value sketch. I'm just looking at my sketch, and the forest floor is a little bit darker, so I want to add just a little bit more pigment in this case than using some green, and I'm just loosely putting it in along the forest floor. Now I want to add some texture and contrast where my grass meets the tree line. So I'm just flicking on some splotches of green in this area, and some of the splotches will blend into my wash, and some will just stay hard edged on that dry bottom third of the page. Now I'm also taking a clean tissue, and I'm just lightning some of the areas along the bottom, just a few areas, and then I'm also using it to sop up the excess paint along the edge is because if you leave your your paint to dry and its own along the edges, a lot of times it can create thes back runs and blooms on the edges of your painting. So just go over very carefully and try and stop up any excess water you see there 9. Painting the Grass: So we're going to get started on our foreground, grassy area at the bottom third of this painting, and I'm using a few different brushes. I'm starting with my really rough, cheap craft brush. I really like this brush because it's irregular. It's got some wonky hairs sticking every which way, and it just gives you really good texture. So I painted in this grass while the top 2/3 of my painting was still slightly damp, and this just allowed me to blend some of the pigment into that layer of paint. If your area dried yuk unjust, re wet it a little bit the top 2/3 only. And then that way, when you touch a few areas with your grass, it'll it'll just kind of blend that pigment right up into the Sunbeams. As I moved toward the left side of my painting, I'm adding in a little bit more blue and getting cooler and tone and a little bit darker. Now I'm using my round wash my number six brush, and I'm just dropping in some darker neutral blue. So it's just my blue mixed with my yellow joker to create a neutral kind of grayish blue and these air just suggesting shadows within the grass now where the sunlight is hitting the bottom right of the grass. I'm keeping that area a little bit lighter and warmer and tone, some using just a pale green and yellow Oakar. Now, as I paint in the lower third of this grassy area, I'm leaving some areas white and dry, and that just allows me to get some detailed grass blades poking through. I'm adding in just a little bit more shadow and dark bluey green color, and I'm keeping the very bottom simple and not very detailed. So I'm going to just flick up a few small grass blades using that cheap craft brush, and I'm just going to zoom in, and here I'm dropping in some darker blue just to create even more depth and more shadows. So while my grassy area is still wet, I'm using my fine liner brush. It's also called a rigger, and I'm just drawing in some small grass blades. This brush works beautifully for fine detail. You can create really skinny blades of grass, and I'm just in some areas. I'm just pulling up the pigment that's already there and I'm pulling it through over that dry white paper and into another wash, and you can see how it just creates some beautiful, natural grassy brushstrokes. 10. Creating a Halo of light in the trees: So for this next part of the painting, we're going to just be grating a little halo effect in the top right where the light is filtering through the trees. So I want you to begin by just wedding the top 2/3 again. But leave Ah, circle like a dry circle area, and I'll post a picture of that here. Leave a circle maybe a couple inches or three inches in diameter in the top, right. And just leave that section of your paper dry because what we're doing is just dropping in some abstract, distant leaves where the light is beginning to filter through in the background. I'm using an inexpensive bristle brush that I got at a craft store, probably Michaels, and this works really well for just creating texture, especially leafy texture of trees. And I smooth out some areas with e softer brush like the one I have here. It doesn't matter. What kind is just it's just a brush to soak up any extra pigment that you don't want on your paper. Now, while this background is still wet, I'm just going to further define a few of those sun rays coming through and maybe I'll add one here over to the right. I just want this area to be a little bit darker, and you can mist your paper if it's starting to dry in some areas. Now, what I want to do is create just a little bit more light coming through, so I'm taking a thirsty brush and just removing a little bit of pigment. You can also use a damp tissue. This works well also now, because I left my imaginary circle nice and dry. I can get some pretty good definition of abstract leaves in the background where the late is poking through. You'll see I'm holding my board up at an angle, and that just allows the pigment to flow into my wet wash below. 11. Painting the Background Trees: This next section of the video is really fun, because we're going to be putting in our trees with just a few simple techniques. I'll share with you my tricks on how a paint, branches and foliage and changes in color throughout these trees. As a general rule, I'm going to keep my trees toward the center of the light source a lighter value, and as a move toward the left of the painting, the trees will get progressively darker. So I'm painting my first tree with a mixture of yellow joker and my green, and I'm going to keep it darker at the top. And as I move toward the bottom, where the tree trunk meets the lighter grass, I'm going toe. Lighten it up a bit. I'm using appointed round brush here, and this one is from the silver Black Velvet Siri's. But you can use any pointed round brush. I just think they're pretty versatile. You can get ah, thicker stroke for the trunk, and you can get really fine detail in the branches and leaves. Now. The key here is not to get too detailed, and don't spend a huge amount of time on the foliage you just want to paint your tree within a few minutes so that when you add in your colors, though, blend seamlessly into the wet paint. Now you'll see me just dab in some blue here and there, and that just creates some variation and the illusion of shadows within your tree, and that I can do because the area is still wet. Now, as I continue to move down my tree trunk, I'm going to be adding just a few little branches sticking out here and there. And these particular trees tend to be bear near the ground, and they have more foliage up high toward their tops as I continue to move down the tree trunk. I'm now in the area where the beam of light is hitting the tree, so I'm keeping this area lighter and warmer and tone. So I used a little bit of my pale green with yellow ochre mixture. I'm using a different brush here. This is an angled brush, and it's just kind of fun to try out different brushes. I don't always use my pointed round. Sometimes I like the variation and brush strokes with switching it up a bit. No as I moved down to the lower part of the trunk. I'm just going to keep it nice and light where that sunlight is hitting the tree. And I'm also just going to remove ah bit of the bottom with a dry tissue, and that just creates the illusion of missed at the bottom of the tree. Now, while my tree is still a little bit damp, I'm going to just drop in Ah, little bit darker color near the top and some using some green and maybe adding a few tiny little branches here and there. Now I overdid it just a little bit right here, where I'm adding in just a little bit too dark of color. I'm not really happy with that, so I'm just going to remove it with my dry tissue. Now, in order to get some super fine lines and detail, I am using a fine liner brush. It's also called a script liner. I've even seen it called a rigor, and they're just a very skinny long brush that can hold enough paint to create a really fine line. I love this brush because it works really great for these tiny little branches and you can get some organic looking shapes and branches with it. So as a final touch, while my tree is still a little bit damp, I like to remove just a few areas of pigment just to lighten it up. And I'm removing it where those beams off white are hitting the tree. So where you see those lighter areas is where I'm just removing a tiny bit of pigment. 12. More Background Trees: I'm going to be adding in my second tree. And just to create some variation, I'm going to make the trunk a little bit skinnier than the first tree. And I'm also going to have it lean just a little bit because not all trees in the forests air straight up and down. This will just give it a more natural appearance. I'm using a few different brushes here again. I like to switch it up just to create some different textures, so I'm still continuing to use my number 10 pointed round. But I'm also using my trusty number six round brush by Blix, and I've had this one for years and years, and I just love it so And here, um, using a tissue just to remove a bit of that excess paint from the bottom of the tree trunk , and that just creates the illusion of mist. I'm starting to do some branch detail ing toward the top of the tree, and you'll notice that the second tree is just darker in value. It's more blue, and as I continue to move toward the left hand side of the paper, the trees will be getting darker and bluer and tone. There's a little beam of light hitting the very top of that tree. So I'm keeping that part of the tree a little bit lighter in color, and I'm keeping the foliage at the top just a little fuller. And as I moved toward the bottom where the trunk is, I'm trying to keep it a little more bear a little more sparse. Let's put in 1/3 tree. Now. I am going to be doing something different. I'm just going to put in the whole trunk, and I'm using my favorite trustee number six round. This brush is a little bit crooked, and I think that's why I like it, because it gives me some imperfectly lines and brush strokes just the way some trees look in nature. You'll also see where that lighter beam is hitting the tree trunk. I'm keeping that part of the trunk a little bit lighter, and as they move into the darker shadows or or darker beams coming through the trunk is getting darker. So I'm trying to match the value of my tree toward the value of the background just a little bit. I think that you get a really nice effect and you really get the illusion of light hitting the tree. Now I'm just going to repeat this segment of video because I think there's another really important step that I needed to describe. And what I'm doing is I'm using two different brushes. So I have one that is holding all of my paint in my pigment and then my second brush, which is that pointed round that that black brush you see me use. That one is just a brush with plain water, and what I'm doing is I'm just pulling some of that pigment into the lighter area, and that just keeps that part of the trunk a little bit lighter in color without adding any more paint. So I'm doing it again right there. It just creates sort of fade into a lighter section. 13. Final Background Tree: I want to dark in the left side of this painting. So I'm going to be adding another tree on the left side, and I'm going to show you how I get the treat of blend seamlessly into that background wash . So in order to create the illusion of light and watercolor, it's important to really get your darks in place. So in this particular piece, my focus is to create these darker areas on the left side of the painting, and that just allows that beautiful light to come through on the top rate. I'll start by pre wedding this area with my fine mist spray bottle. The area and red is going to be damp so that when I paint that tree, the branches will fade into that damp background. I'm using my fine mist spray bottle just to get that area nice and damp. You don't want it super saturated, just damp enough so that when you paint in your tree, the branches will feed into that area. Then, in order to get some random texture and leafy branches, I'm using some plastic wrap, and I just dipped it in my mixture of blue, and I'm just dabbing it in and out of that area of damp paper and dry paper. And I'm just going throughout the rest of my trees and just dabbing in a few random textured areas here and there. Now I want to soften up that corner, so I'm just going over it with my spray bottle. Okay, So while everything is still plenty damp, I am going to just drop in. Ah, bit more blue. Just to darken up this area even more, you'll notice I'm dropping in that blue where those raise our darkest and that will just enhance that light beam coming in between the trees. Then I'm taking my pointed round brush, and I'm just dragging some color up over that dry paper to create my final tree on the left side, and you can see how it just fades from the bottom to the top into the background. When painting in watercolor, we often start with the lightest layers first and gradually move to progressively darker and darker layers. And in this particular painting, you can just see how that develops with each progressive layer. And here again, while everything is still damp, I'm dropping in yet some more blue just too deep in those tones and strengthen that contrast 14. Foreground Trees part one: all right, well, let's get started on our next to trees thes air going to be carried all the way down to the foreground. So instead of stopping and creating an effect of missed, we're going to carry the trunks all the way down into the grass and just blend that together with the base of the tree. So I'm using a mixture of my hansa yellow and my fellow blue to be a really pale green color, and I'm starting at the top of the tree, and this is where the light is brightest and latest. So I want this to be kind of a paler color so you can see I started the top with my pointed round brush, and I'm just going to make a few little branches in irregular shapes. Now the key here again is to paint one tree at a time and to do it fairly quickly, so that when you add in color or when you drop in more saturated color, it'll blend seamlessly into the branches of the trunk. So I'm just going to carry down this green mixture that I've made and add a few branches here and there, and I might drop in a little bit more concentrated color. Now, as I move further down the tree, I'm going to make it a little bit darker, especially in some areas where there's shadows where the beams of light are hitting the tree. So it's just a more concentrated mixture of my hansa yellow and pale blue. And I'm just going to rinse my brush and water here and just pull that color down. And that just creates a faded effect so that it looks like the light is hitting the tree in that area of the trunk. So as we move toward the base of the tree, I'm going to be adding some deeper blue, and I'm just going to be blending this in with the grass at the very bottom. Now, in order to get a darker, deeper blue, you can either use some pains, great, or you can add in some indigo, which is also a really beautiful color, and I believe I used both in this painting. But indigo is gorgeous, and it would work really well now, although you can't see it in this video, I'm spraying just the bottom right section of my paper with some water using my fine mist spray bottle. And this is just the area of the grass that meets the trees. And you can tell how the base of the tree just softened right into that spray that I just missed it on. If you don't have a spray bottle, you could also just use a soft brush and go over that little section with some clear water . I'm also just softening a few hard edges that you can see, and I want the grass to be very soft and fluffy looking, and you'll see me dab in some darker blue. This is a mixture of indigo, I believe, with my Hansa yellow and my fellow blue. This darker mixture just suggests a shadow under this tree. I'm going to paint in just a few small, skinny strands of grass using my liner brush, and I'm just flicking that color up over the dry paper 15. Foreground Trees part two: no. In this next section, I want to show you another way of painting trees by using different brushes and using saran wrap or some sort of a sponge for texture. Now, since I created that first tree at sort of an angle, I want to make the second tree more upright. Now the brush I'm using here is called an oval wash, and it's by Princeton, the Neptune Siri's, and this works really well for creating broader foliage, and it also comes to a really fine point. So it's a fun brush to use, And I'm also using Saran wrap to just blood in some irregular shapes to suggest foliage, and you can crinkle it up and dab it in your paint and then just stabbed on your paper and you can see it leaves thes little puddles on your paper. So then, while they're still wet, you can dry in your tree trunk with a brush, and right here I'm using a flat wash. It's ah, quarter inch flat brush, and I'm making the trunk irregular shaped as they moved down. I have been holed a few different brushes in my hand so that I can switch quickly between different styles, and this just allows me to get a tree shape in while the rest of the tree is still damp. As you can see, I'm using my pointed round to get some really skinny, irregular branch shapes, and I used my more broad oval wash to get some broader leaf shapes. I don't know if you can tell in this video, but the bottom right corner where the grass is in the paper is still damp. So when I move into that base of the tree, it's going to blend right into the grass. Know if your bottom right section of your paper is dry, just go over it with some clear water and just dampen that up a bit, because then you'll be able to blend your tree trunk seamlessly into that grass below. 16. Finishing final touches and masking fluid removal: So I'm at a spot in my painting now where I could just leave it as is, and I would be happy with it. But I wanted to add just one more small tree closer to the light. And this tree is a little bit greener and yellow er in color because it's closest to that warm sunlight coming in so you can see my little butterflies that still have masking fluid on them. I'm just going to paint right over them, and because the trees a little bit darker, I just want the butterflies to stand out more So as I carry this tree on down toward the grass. I'm trying to make sure that I overlap that butterfly, and that way, when I remove all the masking fluid, it'll just be that much brighter and whiter and contrast with the background tree. Now I'm keeping the street pretty light in value and tone. I don't want it to be too dark, because this tree is the one that's closest to that Sunlight Coming in I wanted to appear is if it's being bathed in warm sunlight and the thing I love about this pointed round brush is that I can get really fine detail in the branches and stems of the tree if you don't have a really sharp point on your round brush than I suggest using ah liner or a rigger brush to get that really intricate detail ing. So here's the really fun part. Once you're painting is completely dry, you can take either a pencil eraser or a rubber nib like the one I have here and just remove all your masking fluid. As a general rule, it's best not to let your masking fluid sit on your paper for too long. I wouldn't let it sit on there for weeks and weeks. I believe I finished this painting and under a week so the masking fluid should peel right off pretty easily now. Another tip is to use artists tape, which is Ph neutral, and it won't harm your paper over time. In this case, I ran out of my special Artists tapes, so in a pinch you can use masking tape. The only problem with that is that sometimes it tears your paper up on, and sometimes it sticks on for too long, and it's hard to remove. So if you are going to use masking tape. Just be careful and try not to let it sit on your paper for too long. I hope you've enjoyed this class and I'd love to connect with you on Instagram or Facebook . So if you've enjoyed this class, just let me know and please post a photo of your painting either on skill share or on Instagram. And I would just love to see your work. And if you'd like to try this painting using different shades of blue and green, go right ahead because it's so much fun to see all the different results you can get in this particular piece, I use sap green, yellow, Oakar, Payne's gray and cobalt blue. And in this main piece that you saw throughout, I used mostly honza or hands, a yellow, some yellow Oakar and I used halo blue and touches of either Indigo or Payne's gray for the darkest areas. Please let me know if you have any questions. I love teaching, and I just absolutely love, watercolor and love sharing my knowledge with you all. So if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask, and I would try my best to answer them as best as I can 17. Bonus Practice Tips (thirsty brush technique): All right, so let's get started. I'm just going to demonstrate how I lift off color to make beams of light. So I'm just putting down some clean Clearwire Just a small section of this piece. You can see it reflecting here, change the light re be. So, anyway, I just wanna mix up here they will blue with your your yellow to make a nice little green And we're just gonna put in some color, make it nice and even. And what I'm gonna do is add in some beams. This is where you do a thirsty brush. So you're gonna soak up any excess water first room of all your pigments, and then you stop up any excess water, and then you're just going to take your brush and drag it, uh, ringing off the pigment. Stop up any excess water and do it again. And while this is still wet, you can take your brush and some more pigments and blue some green and just put in a couple raise and then maybe darken up in area and then remove any excess pigment again. Who is just an example