Watercolor Pines | Kolbie Blume | Skillshare

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Watercolor Pines

teacher avatar Kolbie Blume, 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.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Warm Up


    • 4.

      Pines: Method 1


    • 5.

      Pines: Method 2


    • 6.

      Pines: Method 3


    • 7.

      Pines: Method 4


    • 8.

      Pines: Method 5


    • 9.

      Pines: Method 6


    • 10.

      Pines: Method 7


    • 11.

      Pines: Method 8


    • 12.

      Depth + Color Value


    • 13.

      Final Project: Layer 1


    • 14.

      Final Project: Layer 2


    • 15.

      Final Project: Layer 3


    • 16.



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About This Class

Learn to paint loose watercolor pine trees using 8 easy-to-learn methods! With a variety of styles to choose from, you're sure to find your perfect way to paint a pine tree and create stunning forest paintings that would satisfy any wanderlusting soul.

Meet Your Teacher

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Kolbie Blume


Top Teacher



If you're pretty sure you're terrible at art...

...you're in the right place, my friend. 



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

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

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Hi. My name is Kolbie. I'm a self-taught watercolor artist who loves to paint wilderness scenes. If you've taken any of my classes before, you know how much I love to paint wilderness scenes. I have lots of classes on forests and different ways to create those techniques. Today, instead of doing one specific landscape scene, I want to talk all about painting different kinds of trees, and the different uses you can have for these trees, and how to put them all together. One of my most common questions when I post videos to Instagram or when I post paintings is, can you tell us how to paint all the different kinds of trees? In this class today, I've condensed all of my techniques that I have used and created by learning myself and watching other people do it and I've put them into one jammed packed class where we go through lots of different painting techniques so that you can find the one that is perfect for you. At the end of the class, we're going to paint together to create a landscape scene that looks a little bit like this with lots of different trees and hopefully, something that sparks joy in your wanderlusting heart. I hope that you have a good time in this class. If painting trees is something that sounds like right up your alley, then stick around and we'll see what you come up with. 2. Materials: Before we get started, let's do a quick video about what kind of materials you're going to need for this class. Obviously, this is a watercolor class and I'm going to be using professional grade watercolor. But I want to note that, you can paint with anything and still create something beautiful. If the only watercolor paint you have at home is some $5 palette that you bought from Michael's, totally cool. But these are the materials that I like to use. I use a variety of different brands for watercolor, but the ones I'm using in this class today are Daniel Smith. I picked some pretty dark jewel Tony for ST colors today. The first, burnt umber for when we paint a little bit more realistic pine trees and I also have Lamp Black, Perylene Green, which is like this really dark forest green, and Payne's Gray, which is basically like navy blue. These are the colors I'm going to be using today. This is again Daniel Smith, extra fine watercolors. They're mostly in this palette. I have other brands of watercolors in this palette too but the way that I put together this palette is by squeezing some of this watercolor into one of the wells and then I let it dry for about a week before I use it. That's paint and I like to have the palette so that I can have a place to mix things. This is just a plastic palette, but I also have some porcelain mixing palettes too. Porcelain is a little bit smoother and it doesn't stain. If I were to wash off the paint off of this palette, you would still see some colors stains, porcelain palettes or plates or mixing trays are also nice to have, [NOISE] though they're a little more expensive, which is why a lot of people use these plastic palettes. Next, our paint brushes for this class for painting pine trees. Mostly, I'm going to be using this round number zero brush. It's a very fine detailer brush, as you can see it's very small. This is a utrecht synthetic sable hair brush. Synthetic, meaning no animals were harmed in the process of creating this brush or any of the brushes here for that matter. This is series two to eight. You can recognize it by the black handle. Utrecht is a brand that often is carried in Blick Stores. So, if you buy art supplies from Blick Art materials or if you go online to Blick, you'll be able to find this. It's one of my most favorite budget friendly watercolor brushes because the whole line is significantly less expensive than other paint brushes. But there also I have found to be a very similar quality to well-known brands like Princeton, which are what these two brushes are. Princeton is probably my very favorite brush maker and they can be a little bit more expensive than brushes like this, but not too bad. I have a round zero, a round three, and a round six. I have all these different brush sizes just to show you that you can achieve some of these effects with different sized brushes though normally I will note that when I paint pine trees, I almost always use the zero brush. Just real quick then, this is a Princeton round size three Heritage Series. You can recognize the Heritage Series by the rich red wood grainy handle and the gold middle-class peer. Then I also have Princeton velvet touch series, the handle is a little more soft and more dark maroon red. But both of these are synthetic sable hair, I would say the velvet touch is just a little stiffer than the heritage. That covers brushes. Next, let's move on to paper. While we practice, I always like to use student grade paper, which is a lot cheaper. It's because it's made of wood pulp to get a lot of more cheaper materials. Today I'm going to be using some of this Canson XL watercolor paper. Always a 140 pound. If you do less than that on watercolor paper, It's okay, but it's going to warp more. That's typically why I always go for a 140 pound watercolor paper, this Canson watercolor papers, what I'm going to be using for most of these tutorials. Then when we get to our final project, I'm going to be using some professional watercolor paper. This is a Blick Premier watercolor block, also a 140 pounds you'll see. But instead of made of wood pulp, professional watercolor paper is made of 100% cotton. That makes it more absorbent, and helps make the colors more vibrant in my experience. But it's more expensive to make. Blocks like this are more expensive to purchase and I only really use these for final projects that I'm doing. One final note between these two, this is clearly a notebook, as you can see. This is a watercolor block, which just means that all of the sheets of paper are glued or tapes together on all four sides. Then on one side there's this little opening where I can use a knife or some scissors to cut the sheet from the block once I'm done using it. This is particularly helpful because it keeps the paper taut. One question I always get is, how do I paint without making my paper warp? The answer is, you don't. [LAUGHTER] Mostly it's always going to warp, honestly in my experience no matter how heavy of paper that I get, it warps at least a little bit. Getting blocks like this helps to keep the paper taut and lessen the warping. But if you don't have a block, then painter's tape or masking tape or washing tape or any other tape that is nice to paper works really well to keep your paper down on the table. While we are painting pine trees, that won't be as much of an issue because we're not going to do tons of broad washes, but that's helpful to know. Paint brushes and paper are the most important things to have. I always have a paper towel to wash off my brushes. I also always have two cups of water, one that I tried to keep clean always so that I can have some clean water. For this class that is about it. It's pretty simple. We're just going to go through a whole bunch of different ways to paint pine trees. Gather all the materials that you have and let's get going. 3. Warm Up: Before we start painting some pine trees let's warm up our painting muscles a little bit and go over some techniques that are going to be useful in this class. One warm up that I like to do before painting pine trees, is I'll take my 0 brush and practice going between thick and thin lines. I want to see how thin you can get lines and how thick you can get them. You do that by putting different amounts of pressure. If I were to put a lot of pressure on this brush and do a horizontal stroke, I can get it pretty thick for this teeny-tiny brushstroke. Let's try that again, very thick. This time notice it's not as streaky, the difference here is that I had more water on my palette over here, so then it went a little bit further. Water control is also something to pay attention to no matter what your painting, but in this class more important than water control is going to be the pressure that you put on your brush. Those are some high pressure strokes that we get from this size 0 brush. Now put just a little bit of pressure, like medium amount to see how different that is. Now, put very little pressure like barely touching your paintbrush to the paper. Put as least amount of pressure as you possibly can to get the thinnest line that you possibly can. The thin lines are trickier than thicker lines because often in my experience I have to hold the brush a little differently when I'm just painting not really caring how thick my lines are, how much pressure I'm using then I hold it more at an angle and higher up on the handle. But when I need to get tons and tons of pressure I find that I hold it closer to the brush. See my fingers are closer to the bristles and almost at this 180-degree angle perpendicular to the paper. So I can have the most control over my paintbrush for this little teeny tiny one. Those are the grips that I've practiced and I have been comfortable with as I've painted thousands of these pine trees [LAUGHTER]. But if you warm up, then I'd recommend you testing out different groups. How much control are you going to have over the paintbrush if you hold at the very end of the handle. Say how much pressure can you use, and how much pressure and what angles is it best for you to go like this to do more of a perpendicular or is it best for you to do more of a 45-degree angle here? It really just depends, because I know a lot of people who feel like they have more control when they hold it up higher like this and that's not always the way it is for me. Those are some warm up things that I'd recommend you do not only with this 0 brush, but also with whatever other size brushes that you have. I'm just going to quickly demonstrate with my size 3 brush, and then again with my size 6 brush because those are the ones that I'm using today. I'm using my size 3 brush, and I'm putting a lot of pressure on my size 3 brush to see how much pressure how far it will go. Now, I'm going to put just a medium amount of pressure on here. Then I'm going to try to get as little pressure as possible. Now it's important to note also, when you're trying to get very, very thin lines if you have too much water on your brush, it doesn't really matter how much pressure you put on there it's going to look very thick, or thicker than maybe you wanted to. If there's so much water on there because if it's forming into a drop then here I'll demonstrate by putting tons of water on here. I have paint on here and I dunked my brush into the water cup. But when I try to do just a little bit of pressure, it still comes out a little uneven and in droplets a little bit versus when I take off some of this water and just do some highly pigmented things, or just pick up a lot of pigment and not tons of water then it's easier for me to maintain that very thin line. That's something else that I would pay attention to that's going to be important as we practice our pine trees. Because some of the pine trees we want like big blobs of paint strokes, but other times we want very thin wispy kind of paint strokes with pretty precise and small strokes, so pressure is important. Just really quick. Here's my number 6. That just big as I can go with my number 6. That's like medium with my number 6. Then I want only the very tip to touch the paper to see how thin I can go. One amazing thing you'll notice, is that the thin line in all three of these brushes, I'll point them out to you. Here's a thin line on that one. Thin. This was number 0, this was number 3, and this was number 6. They all look very similar even though we use different size brushes, and that is the difference between professional grade watercolor brushes and student grade watercolor brushes. Typically professional grade, the breasts brush will maintain its shape a lot longer than in student grade, which means that this little tip in the round size it always comes to a point so that you can do some detail work with whatever brush you use. Those are the warm ups, pressure practice having different amounts of water on your brush, and when you feel sufficiently warmed up then let's move on to painting all the different pine trees that we're going to in this class. Can't wait to see what you come up with. 4. Pines: Method 1: Today we're going to go through mostly all of the different pine trees that I have come up with in my repertoire, including some that are in previous classes. This is just a good refresher in case you've already taken my misty forest class. But if not, then this is a deep dive into what I like to call the lines technique. I'm actually an excellent word Smiths, so these are names for the trees, as you can see, are high-quality and very creative. I'm being very sarcastic in case you can't tell. But I call this method the lines technique because in order to paint trees, one way to paint pine trees is by just creating a lot of different lines. I'm painting the trunk. First step is always to paint the trunk. By the way, don't worry, I'm going to go through all these steps a lot more slowly after I paint the example for you. First I'm painting my tree trunk, which is always just a very thin line for my pine trees and then starting from the top, leaving the tip a little bit open. I'm just going to paint a bunch of these little lines across the trunk. I'm gradually getting bigger and bigger to form the shape of my pine tree. Notice that I'm not creating a perfect triangle and my lines aren't perfectly straight. They're not perfectly straight across from the tree trunk. I'm leaving little gaps in-between. That's because nature is imperfect, so your pine trees should not look perfect. That is a good thing for you because it means that you don't have to worry about being perfect. I'm just doing one more layer because oftentimes, especially with this lines technique, that the tree trunk can stand out like a stark line even underneath all of the needles. Sometimes to alleviate that, I will just do a second layer and make sure with this layer to do some needles that are pointing up, or some that are pointing down to make it a little bit more crazy. That's the lines technique. This is one of obviously one of those techniques where we want to use these very thin lines. I've painted many of these trees and so you can see me going really fast and painting these lines really fast. I think this is something that trips a lot of people up because they feel like they can't go fast, but also create these really thin lines. That is a drill that you could practice. One mistake, I don't want to say mistake because honestly, any way that you decide you want to create some pine trees, any watercolor that works for you is great with me. But for this technique that my method, I like to have these very thin lines, not thick lines like this. I don't like that. When I first started painting pine trees, I used to have thicker lines and then I would wonder why I thought my pine trees looked a little off and I realized it was because I like the thin, wispy ones more than I like these thick ones. But that said, if you decide that this is something that you like, you should go for it. Because art is all about you and how you see the world. But for my version, for my technique, we want the thin, wispy lines. We also don't want them to be perfectly straight across. You see how sometimes when you have these perfectly straight across lines, then it just looks a little stilted. Or it looks a little more like geometric, I guess. Which again, if that's something you want, you should go for it. But I'm trying to create this wild and crazy look. That's still a little abstract, but not quite as geometric looking as these lines going across like this. We don't want this, we don't want this. We do want this. I'm going to paint this lines tree technique one more time for you. This time notice that with this version I had a little bit more full of a tree. This time I'm going to paint it so it's a little bit more sparse and uneven, just to show you that trees are not supposed to be perfect looking Christmas trees all the time. I'm doing a very thin line. I'm again leaving the tip of the trunk untouched so that it can maintain that top, that tippy top point. I'm starting my lines just a little bit down. One thing to note is some people like to start their lines from the bottom, so that they can more easily shaped their trees. That's totally up to you, but I usually start from the top. I'm focusing with this lines technique, creating a little bit more sparse needles on this tree. Maybe a little uneven. Now normally I go all the way across the tree trunk. But because I'm trying to create a little bit more of an uneven look with this lines technique, I'm going to alternate some of these needles. But I don't want to alternate going straight out. Notice that I'm putting some of them at an angle. Some of them are straight out. But either way, I'm maintaining these lines, but I don't want them to look like perfectly straight lines. That is my lines technique version of a sparse pine tree. That sums up the lines technique. There are so many different ways that you can go with this technique just using these straight lines. You can paint trace like I've done or you can use lines in different ways. It doesn't matter up to you. But this is one technique, especially that I used in the beginning because for some reason it was a lot easier for me to grasp, painting the tree shape using these thin lines. Just as an overview again, very thin lines, very little pressure, but a lot of them, and not always straight. Definitely not always straight, definitely not always parallel. We want to have a little bit of chaos, a little bit of wild in our nature scenes. There's the lines technique, give it a try, and let's move on. 5. Pines: Method 2: Next up we have the swoopy technique. Now, I named this technique based on the shape of the needles. It's called the swoopy technique because instead of using lines up here, I'm using very thin like Nike swoops almost. It looks like a checkmark. Usually I start from the top and go down in very thin strokes like this on either side. Or you can start from the bottom and go up either way. Just so you can see this in a bigger form. I'm basically making a like a curved line at the end, like a cane and upside down shepherds cane crook. But this swooping motion is how I'm shaping my pine needles. I will quickly demonstrate to you all in one go and then we'll break it down. First, I start with the very thin tree trunk. Notice how I had lots of water in my paint this time. Even when I tried to do it very thin, it's coming out pretty thick. That's what happens when you have too much water on your paintbrush, especially if you have a size 0 paintbrush, it's really easy to get a lot of water on there, but that's okay. I am just drawing in the top a little bit. Perfect. I'm leaving this tip top to be the tip top and [LAUGHTER] starting a little bit down below and starting from the middle and going out. I am painting just a lot of these little swoops and fine detail. Notice how I'm going on one side and then the other side. As the further along that we go down, I'm not making my swoops any bigger. They're going to stay the same size because ultimately these are trying to imitate the look of pine needles. Pine needles don't get bigger. They are just more of them on branches the bigger that the tree goes down. The further I go down, the more of them I'm putting even on top of each other, it's like I'm adding layers and layers of swoops. These very thin swoops. I want some of the needles to be pointing a little bit of toward the sky. This is a technique that creates a more realistic pine tree. I went through a period where these were my favorite kind to paint. They can be therapeutic because you have to focus on these details. But the details once you get it down, it's not super tricky. One thing that I'm noticing as I'm doing this pine tree is once I get to about two-thirds of the way down to in order to create the pine tree, to make it look more full and 3D, as opposed to just a flat effect. I like to create a skirt around the tree trunk with the swoops. I'm trying to put perspective basically into this painting. On one side, I'm starting with these traditional style swoops, but then when I get closer to the middle, they're pointing more down and almost straight. It's like they're starting to point at me, the viewer of this pine tree as opposed to on either side. Then once I get to the other side, I make them go the other way. The direction of those needles then again, should be to the side. Then a little bit more angled down, and then a little bit more angled down the other way once we cross over this tree trunk, and then to the side again. Using just lots of these little swoops, sometimes starting from the end of the swoop and going in the middle, sometimes starting towards the middle and going to the end of the swoop either way. That is how you paint a tree using the swoopy technique. The cautions of this tree are very similar to the lines technique where, the way to get it very detailed and swoopy like this is to create these pretty thin swoops as opposed to like really thick ones. We're not looking for this. Although that can be a cool abstract looking pine tree up to you. But for this very specific technique, this swoopy technique I'm looking for a very thin swoops like this and I'm not making the swoops any bigger as I go down the tree. That's important to note. I'm just adding more layers on top of them. Now we're not going over snow in this class that will be in a different class down the line. But I will say when you're doing the swoopy technique, it can be easier to leave in white spaces like as you can see, these white spaces over here that can look like snow. But just in general, you should leave white spaces when you do pine trees because that makes them look more realistic. Especially with a swoopy technique it lets you see the needles more. I let you see more of the details that you are so painstakingly trying to put in there as opposed to having it look like one big blob. Before we move on, I'm going to paint one more swoopy pine tree technique. But this time again, I'm going to do a sparse version. I'm going to paint my tree trunk, my very thin, especially at the top that needs to be thin tree trunk. Then I'm going to start painting my swoops. But I'm going to note that I want this tree to have a little more gaps in it, because many pine trees have gaps in them. In fact, most of them do. Hardly [LAUGHTER] any of them are really like this Christmas tree full pine tree shapes. I'm not really starting out with a plan. I'm just thinking to myself, I'm going to leave some gaps. One thing that is important to do as well is you can make the gaps look even on both sides, or you can really make it uneven on one side because that's how trees are sometimes. Instead of adding more weight onto this side because I have tons of weight over here. If I just kept going the way that I'm going all the way down. That would work too. Notice how some of these swoops, because I have so much water are turning into blobs. That's okay, that can look cool too. We're going to look at this in a different technique later on. But this is like the swoopy technique with a little bit more sparse pine needles. [NOISE] You might also say to yourself, well, what about those pine trees where you can see the trunk of it where the pine needles really stop about two-thirds of the way down, you can totally paint those too and it would work and it would look [NOISE] like a pine tree. Usually when I paint pine trees and silhouettes, I will all the way down to the bottom, but that's up to you. This is the swoopy technique. Quick wrap-up. We are practicing our very thin swoops. We are practicing creating a more full effect at the bottom where our swoops are not getting bigger as we go. They are just multiplying. We're creating, more and more layers of them. Not all swoopy trees need to look very full, or even they can look sparse and uneven too, and those trees would be just as realistic. Practice swoopy technique and then when you're ready, let's move on. 6. Pines: Method 3: Next step is the blobby technique. [LAUGHTER] As you can tell again, my master words smoothing skills just never fail me. I like to call this technique the blobby technique because we're going to create pine trees essentially by creating blobs [LAUGHTER] on either side of your trunk. I'll show you what I mean right now. Similar to above, I'm using my zero brush, I'm going to start by painting a very thin tree trunk and I want to leave the top, the thinnest I can get it. But instead of focusing on really low pressure, thin strokes like the swoopy technique and the lines technique, I'm going to lean in to all the pressure. That also means I want more water on my paint and I really want to have a lot of room to have the paint flow. So starting from the top, I'm going to start in the middle and just push my paintbrush out a little bit. Notice that when you try to push your paintbrush out, it's going to come into a line like that and so instead of just pushing it out for this specific technique, instead of just pushing it out in a line, I'm going to push it out and also bring it down just a little bit or bring it up a little bit in order to create just different kinds of shapes. I am starting from the top and moving down. I don't want it to just be triangles all the way down. If it looks like you're making the same shape as you're moving down on this tree, then use your brush to also just add in some depth to these blobs. I'm going to try to paint this a little faster because I usually paint these pretty quick. The less I found, the less stress you put on yourself to make these blobby trees perfect, the cooler they look. Now, these are supposed to be abstract trees. For these blobs, I'm mostly pointing them down, but I'm not really paying attention to the direction that they're going in. That's the biggest difference between the blobby technique and other techniques we're going to learn later in this class that have a very similar method to the blobby technique but are slightly different. I'm going to do that tree one more time for you. I'm going to paint this pine tree using the trunk first leaving the top open and then starting from the middle, I'm just painting. You can almost think of the blobby technique as like this swoopy technique, except you're using lots of pressure and you're letting up at the ends, if that makes sense. I'm not paying attention to where I'm going, I'm just blobbing some paint on here. Something important to note about this technique also is the more you practice this, the better that you're going to get at them. This is one of the techniques that a lot of my students tell me, you make it look so easy and it looks like painting pine trees is so easy and then when I try it, it's so hard. [LAUGHTER] That's true. I think that for your reference, my evolution of pine tree painting started with the lines technique and then it went to this swoopy technique and then I landed at the blobby technique. That's why I'm teaching it in this order because that is just the way it made the most sense for me. One more time. The blobby technique is painting a very thin tree trunk and then painting blobs on either side. This time I'm going to paint a little bit more sparse of a blobby tree like we've done in the other ones and leaving some more spaces and just making it a little bit more sparse of a tree in general. Honestly, I have no plan. When I go into these trees, I'm not going into it saying, okay, I'm going to put a tuft right here and some pine needles right here. I'm just letting my paintbrush run wild and free and I think that sometimes that takes practice. This is a good technique to just make your painting muscles be a little bit loose, let go of the need to analyze every part of the tree to see exactly where you might need to add more things and to let your brushstrokes be a little bit more wild and less controlled. If you're finding you're trying these and you just cannot get the hang of it, one way to practice these blobs is to see the difference between when you paint a line like that from the tree trunk versus like if you try to make a fan shape like that or just like how you can move the brush in order to get different shapes. I think that's probably the way that I learned how to do this best, is by using in the same stroke, I'm starting from the middle and pushing my paintbrush out and just moving it to see different kinds of shapes that I can create and how those shapes might look like a tuft of a pine tree when I put them all together. This could be a good warm-up, a good experiment practice session. It's also why I like to use student grade paper when I practice things like this because then it doesn't matter if I create something that's just super gross and I don't like at all. Before we move on, I want to say I was using the number zero brush, but you can also use a bigger brush. I'm going to demonstrate how to do this with a six brush, which is the biggest of all the brushes that I pulled out today, but you can do it even bigger depending on how big your tree is. Again, we know that the professional grade brushes have this tip. I'm going to put very little pressure so that I can get a thin tree trunk like I want using the tip of this paintbrush. Then with my number 6, I'm going to do the exact same thing but this time I'm not using all of the pressure like I did on the size zero because my paintbrush is bigger, so sometimes it allows for a little bit more. You can get a little bit better blobs, I guess this way. It's a little bit easier to get the blob shape as opposed to having to twist your paintbrush in different manners like we practiced over here. That's the blobby technique. I recommend you practice it a lot. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't turn out exactly how you want. Obviously, with a name like the blobby technique, this is not supposed to be an exact science. This is supposed to be a loose representation of a pine tree with loose blob-like shapes. I'm not looking for perfection here, I'm not looking for perfection in any of these. I'm just looking for a shape that generally looks like a pine tree and I believe that you can get there. These are the three main techniques that I teach in my misty forest class. Now, for the next tutorials, we're going to go over other different kinds of trees that are not in that class, just techniques that I've developed over the years since I filmed that class. I am so looking forward to jumping into these new styles and hope that you can get these ones down. See you soon. 7. Pines: Method 4: Next up, we have the wispy technique. I went over this briefly, if you took my watercolor wilderness blizzard class, but we're going to go over it again. The wispy technique is pretty similar to the blobby technique. But instead of not paying any attention at all to where the blobs are going, we want to have the shape of the pine needles move in an upward motion. This is probably more accurately described as a combination of the blobby technique and the swoopy technique. Let me demonstrate. First, we're going to paint the tree trunk. Almost all of these, I'm painting the tree trunk as this very thin line. All of this section of loose, more abstract watercolor pine trees have this very thin line for the trunk. Then I start a little bit down from the bottom. Similar to the swoopy technique, I start in the middle, and I want to have a swoop that goes in this direction, but what's similar to the blobby technique, I'm using a lot of pressure. It's like I'm making a blob, and then making sure to flick my paint brush just up a little bit, so that it creates this wispy pine needle at the end. Similar to the blobby technique, I don't necessarily want to pay tons of attention or if I'm paying too much attention or if I'm focusing too much on making it perfect, I'm not going to get the effect that I'm looking for. It's important to note that, I can always go in at the end if it's not quite pointy or swoopy enough, and add in some detail work. Right now, I just want to focus on creating these wispy blobs so that I can get this more upward-facing pine tree the way that I intend it to be. There is the wispy technique pine tree. Let's break down this stroke again. The blobby technique was more like painting different blobs in different directions like this, whereas the wispy technique is more like, starting from the middle, and using lots of pressure, and then pointing it up like that. We still want different shapes. We don't necessarily want it to be like, if I were to paint a perfect shape like that. We don't necessarily want it to look like that every time. That looks like a little whale. We still want to have some irregularity to it but ultimately, the thing that makes this the wispy technique, in my opinion, is by making sure that most of these blobs have a point that is pointing upward. I would practice on both sides. I would practice this stroke starting from the middle, and going on both side. You see, like in this blobby stroke, the point is more in the middle as opposed to at the end. That's okay too. The way to get these strokes down part is to just draw them into your head. Practice them, so that your hands have muscle memory. You can experiment to see if you like different shapes better or worse or whatever. Once you feel like you've practiced those strokes to your heart's content, then you would put it together. I'll just do this wispy technique again, and this time we'll do a little bit sparser like we've done in the past. I'm going to focus on using this wispy technique, but I want to create a little bit sparser of a tree. You can see some of these turned into more blobby things, so I'm just adding in some of the points at the end to make this more of this wispy technique that I'm looking for. Adding in just some of these little points. Just like that. That is the wispy technique, very similar to the blobby technique. If you look at it and think, what's the difference? I don't blame you. Just one more time, the big difference, in my opinion, between the wispy technique and the blobby technique, is that, I make sure that I have some of these, that are always pointing up when I paint this more abstract wispy technique. Now, it's also important to note that, I, in my painting, developed this technique after the blobby technique, and so in my mind, that's why they're slightly different because, I went from using the blobby technique and not really caring where my blobs were to slowly, for some of my pine trees, wanting to make sure that the needles were pointing up in some direction. Because some pine trees really do swoop down like this. But other ones point up, like that. I wanted to find a hybrid where I could still do this more abstract pine tree shape, but still maintain the true nature of having some of the pine needles be pointing up. That's the evolution of this wispy technique, and I encourage you to practice it, and see what you can come up with, and what version of it you like the very best. That's the wispy technique, and now let us move on. 8. Pines: Method 5: Next, we have a technique that leans into the idea that pine trees are made of multiple different needles. I think the closest one we've done so far to this idea is the swoopy technique but instead of painting swoops, we're going to use dots essentially hence the name dotted technique, to add in those details. I'm going to show you exactly how right now. First I'm going to paint the tree trunk, very familiar practice for you, or at least it should be right now and then starting from a little bit down from the top, I'm going to paint a branch using a little bit of pressure and making it an uneven branch up here and then I'm going to just dot some texture around that branch. Now, this branch is a little bit bigger than I anticipated, so I'm going to extend the trunk up a little bit and put in a smaller branch like that. That's a trick that I have sometimes when I accidentally make my branches too big, then I just extend the trunk but your branches can be too big at the top, some trees are like that, so it's fine. Just once again, I'm going to do this on every side all the way down; is drawing this little branch using a little bit of pressure and then using little dots, they can be thin or blobby or whatever. I'm just creating detail around this branch. Before I go down the tree, I'm going to show you a bigger version. Say the trunk is right here, I am using my paintbrush to create this gnarled branch and I don't necessarily want it to be all one thickness or look like a perfectly straight line because again, we're painting nature. But once I've created this branch, then I'm going to, with paint and my paintbrush just put some dots on either side, both at the bottom and at the top of this branch. That is going to create the effect that this branch has needles on it. It's still not exactly realistic, obviously. [LAUGHTER] Most of these trees are in the loose watercolor category, which means that they are loose representations of what these things look like in nature, but adding these little dots just makes the detail a little bit more stark. Important to note is that you could do it similar to how I did it here, where you have an even amount on the top and the bottom or if you painted on gnarled trunk like this, also notice that when I paint these branches, I have the most outward part of the branch pretty thin and the middle pretty thick and the branch that's sticking out of the trunk it's a little bit thick too. The most important thing is that this is thinner. The one that's pointing outward is thinner than the rest. Back to the dots, you can paint dots so that they're more heavier on the bottom like this and that would be fine, or on the top. Here's my trunk again, I mean, not my trunk my branch. I'm just going to paint some of these dots along the top, a few along the bottom, but not many and I'm going to make sure that I can still see the tip of this branch. That's what it looks like bigger. Now I'm going to go back to this smaller tree and continue painting my branches. I have this branch, and now I'm just dotting it out. It's also important for the integrity of the [LAUGHTER] wildness of this tree to note that your branches can be pointing directly outward or they can be pointing slightly up or slightly down. You can, if you want, make them symmetrical, not all trees look like that. I don't know that I would recommend doing that, but that's a choice that you have if you want. I like to, as we've seen, make my trees a little bit more wild and not quite symmetrical so I'm going to try to do that. Sometimes when it comes to trees and keeping them not symmetrical, I have to consciously tell myself or consciously put in some elements that will make it not quite as even as my mind wants to make it. That's what's happening right now. I'm Just creating these branches and then putting some dots around it to add in the detail from the pine needles. Maybe this is one where I'll show you, you can stop so that you can still see the trunk because sometimes trees do that, they don't go all the way down to the bottom. I'm just going to quickly repaint this trunk again, make the trunk a little bit thicker at the bottom but still going thin. Once I get to the middle, see how it's like those are roots right there. Usually, if you're going to paint a tree so that you can see the trunk, I would also paint just little branches at the bottom that look like their roots like that. It's like it domes into this little mini triangle. I'm just going to do a couple more smaller branches like that and I'm going to call that good. That's the dotted technique where the branches stop about 2/3 down from the trunk so that you can see the trunk. The biggest difference between any of the other techniques and this technique is just the amount of detail you're putting into the dots around the branches. Practice this technique, see if you like it, see if there are different ways that you can experiment with it, and let's move on to the next version. 9. Pines: Method 6: Next up we have what I like to call the spear technique. I like to call it that because remember how we talked about how pine needles sometimes point down, sometimes point up, sometimes point sideways, well, the spear technique is leaning into the fact that they are pointing up. But instead of the wispy technique where we did like a version of the blobby where we had these spikes at the end, we're just going to lean in to the whole angled pine needle idea. I'll show you exactly what I mean. One thing to note, a lot of artists I've seen do this technique using a pen. Sometimes this is an easier technique to use if you have like a Micron pen and you're trying to draw in your painting like that. But I'm going to use it with a paintbrush because this is a watercolor class. We start with the small tree trunk and then starting from the top, we just draw these little angled lines in bunches. Notice how I'm using my thin lines. Maybe getting thicker towards the middle, but I definitely want to see some of these thin details in my clumps, because that is what makes this look most like a pine tree is when you can see the needles. But I'm pointing all of my lines upward. Notice how my lines are not necessarily like straight lines like that. They're a little bit swooped. In that way, it's like the swoopy technique but in different direction. But they're not quite as swoopy as the swoopy technique. It's more like they're just bent a little bit, angled a little bit towards the tree trunk. Also important to remember that it's okay to be a little bit sparse, not always have very full trees. We don't want them to look super even. Then as you get to the bottom, you can even it out a little bit. But mostly that is the spear technique. I'm going to show it to you one more time and before I do that, just show you that in bigger version, a bigger scale, the brush strokes that I'm using. I call it the spear technique because I feel like they are spikes or spears that are like pointing upward and pointing outwards. There's the rationale behind that. I am just in clumps painting lines that are pointing upward like this. For the most part, I'm starting out and then going towards the trunk like this. But you can start in the middle and go up if you want. That could work too. Whatever feels more comfortable for you. Ultimately, the most important thing is that we get the basic shape of the tree with the needles pointing outward and upward instead of down and angled down. One more time and this one we'll do it a little sparser. I'm starting a little bit towards the top, paying attention to the fact that I want these thin lines, but I also don't want the tree to have tons and tons of needles because I want this one to be a little sparse. That is okay, but I'm still getting bigger towards the bottom. There's my sparse looking spear technique, pine tree. Practice this technique. This is one I don't use very often, but I know that this version is a technique that a lot of people use and I think it can look really nice as well. That's the spear technique. It's thin lines that are pointing upward instead of pointing down or instead of pointing across or like swooped down like we've had in the past. They're all just pointing upward and coming out of the pine tree like that. Practice that technique and then let's move on to the next one. 10. Pines: Method 7: This is our last more abstract pine tree technique for the kinds of pine tree shapes that I like to use a silhouette or like a big forest of lots of different pine trees. Then the final technique that we're going to learn is a little bit more to do with shading and it is slightly more realistic. But before we get to that, this is called the spindly technique, and I say it's categorized in the loose, more abstract pine tree category but a lot of trees actually look like this. That said, I call it the spindly technique because it varies from the other pine tree techniques in that the needles the branches that we're going to paint are a little bit more spindly. I don't know any other way to describe it. It look a little more thin, a little more crooked, but not quite as soon as the lines technique, and I'm going to show you what I mean. With the spindly technique, I'm drawing my tree trunk right here. Similar to the dotted technique, we're going to paint these lines starting from the trunk and moving out and making sure that the branches are pointed at the end. So I guess you could say this would be the dotted technique without all of the dots. It's like a combination of the dotted technique and the blobby technique actually, instead of painting dots alongside, I'm just going to leave that trunk the way that it is. I want my branch to be pointy right there and I want it to be thicker in the middle as it gets to the trunk, and we're just going to keep going down the line doing this on either side. It's not quite like this will be technique because I'll show you in a bigger version, I'm painting branches that look more like they're thick in the middle and then thin at the end. The way that I like to do it is by starting in the middle and pushing my paintbrush but you could also start at the end with the thin and then push to create some pressure and then end up at the trunk. Either way, both of those will be fine. But we're creating very imperfectly shaped branches like that and ending with a point. This is also different from the wispy technique because the wispy technique is a little bit more free-flowing, a little bit more just moving your paintbrush in big blobs wherever it's going. But this one is called the spindly technique because we do want the branches to maintain a shape that looks very similar to this. It's on the more realistic side but still categorized in this loose watercolor technique in my opinion. So we're just going to do this on either side, either starting in the middle, from the trunk, or starting at the edge and moving towards the middle like that; either way. The key here is that if it's more in the trunk, we want it to be thicker and then more pointed and thin when we get to the end of the branch that's pointing upward. I'm just going to keep moving like this and you can do like I'm doing right now where it looks like these two sides are meeting in the middle or we can do one side that doesn't quite meet onto the other side and have them be a little bit off and that is okay too. In fact, you should have probably a mix of both but this is what I'm going to do. Some of my branches I'm going to have jutting out from the trunk, some of them I'm going to have starting from where my other branch was and sweeping down a little bit. Then maybe even some of these branches I'm going to have some pine leaves that come out from the branch itself as opposed to just on the trunk. Adding little variations like this is going to make it the most realistic of all of the trees that we're painting today, this is one that will probably take the most time because it does take a little bit more detailed work. Although I would still encourage you not to focus on this being perfect because again nature is not perfect. It's okay if not all of your branches look exactly the way that you were hoping them to. Similar to the other trees, the dotted technique especially, some of these branches should be pointing upward like this and some of them should be pointing to the side and some of them could even be pointing down like that, and that's okay too. Adding that variation is what makes it look like a pine tree. I'm also going to leave this side open a little bit before I add more weight here. I'm going to go all the way down, but it's up to you whether you want to go all the way down or stop two-thirds of the way in order to maintain that tree trunk look. That is the spindly technique where we create these, they almost look like leaves, like this could look like a stock of leaves. But it's not, it's a pine tree, and it's leaning into the crooked branch shape but we still want to maintain this loose realistic version of what these branches would look like. So that is the spindly technique. Let's do one more that we'll take a little bit less time because I'm going to make more of an effort to have a be slightly sparser. I am just making sure that I have a point at the end there and starting from the top and adding some branches in along the way. Some of these are not quite as pointed as I was hoping, that's because I have too much water on my paintbrush. Again, if you find you're trying to make points very fine tips and it's just not working, it's likely because you have too much water, and you need to use less water and more pigment. Knowing that, that's why I'm focusing on here. I really don't have much of a rhyme or reason except that I know I want to create this to be a little bit more sparse. That means moving further down on the paper and it means not carrying if I need to add more weight somewhere. Just going with the flow and making sure that some of these branches jut outward, some of them jut down, some of them jut upward so that I can maintain that diversity. That's mostly what I'm doing. For here, I think I'm going to do another one where it stops like that and so I'm painting a trunk, remember that's what I do when I wanted to show the trunk a little bit. I paint the trunk and then I'm going to stop my branches right there and that's a more sparse version of the spindly technique. So practice that one. Let's move on to our final tree tutorial which is going to be a more realistic using shading and focusing on the tree trunk and using different colors. The next one is going to be the only tutorial that is trying to be a little bit more realistic in the loose watercolor realm. All right, let's move on. 11. Pines: Method 8: This is our final tree tutorial, and then we're going to use these trees in order to create our final project. But before we get to our final project, let's talk about the most realistic of the trees that we're painting today, and that is the shaded technique. Before I show you, I'm going to break this down, where before, for all of these trees, we used basically the same color and all of the techniques that we've learned so far are trees that would be really good for silhouettes, or if you're painting a big forest full of trees. But this technique, each tree is going to take a little bit longer and we're going to use different colors and try to focus on the different aspects of the tree. First things first, I'm going to draw the trunk and I'm using my size 0 brush and I'm going to draw the trunk using my burnt umber brown color. First, I'm going to start at the bottom. When we are trying to draw the trunk so that you can see it, we want to draw the roots. I'm going to start with some paint, but then also use my water along with the paint to dilute it so that it's not quite so. I want to create some shading here. I'm just moving the paint around and leaving some white spots. Now I'm going to, using my brush, paint this trunk all the way up, knowing that we want the tip of the trunk to still be like a tip top. This is going to be the tip of the trunk that is going to show. But then we want this trunk to gradually move down into the trunk we have with the roots. Your tree is going to look a little bit like this, where we're drawing the trunk to be thicker, and then getting thinner and thinner and thinner until it's just one line at the top like that. Now, I'm going to paint in some wood-grain effects, and the way that I do that really loosely is by putting down some pigment and some paint just in some swatches like this. Then I've washed off all of my pigment and now using just water, I'm going to paint the rest of that in, but leaving some white space, leaving some of these dark spaces in the pigment. It's still a little bit abstract-looking. There's part of my tree trunk. Next, we're going to draw the branches using burnt umber still. The trick here is we're not going to draw the branches all the way out, we're really just going to draw them jetting out from the trunk a little bit. Once we've drawn in the branches, we're going to draw the pine needles around it, still loose in blobs but in blobs of green, I'm going to show you what I mean. But this is how I'm painting. The shaded technique is I draw in the branches using my zero brush. Some of these branches are going to jet out and have more branches like that and they're going to get a little bit bigger as I move towards the bottom. They can be more pigmented or not, it doesn't really matter at this point. But the key is we're going to stop right here with the pine needles and so we still want this one to be big. But then as we go down to the bottom, I'm still going to leave a little bit of branches that are jutting out from this trunk. Because oftentimes with trunks you see little tiny branches jetting out from them. That's what I'm doing. There's my tree trunk. Basically, we've created a skeleton of the tree that we're trying to paint ultimately. Before I move on to the leaves, I'm just going to draw a little bit of the ground here just so I can get a little bit more anchored. Again, I've put some brown pigment and then I put some water down so that I can move the brown pigment that already exists. I'm leaving some white space. Then I'm just going to put in a little bit of green at the bottom just to show that there's maybe some moss or some greenery growing along down here as well. I'm going to leave that the way that it is. Most of this should have had a chance to dry mostly, but if it hasn't, that's okay. The brown can run into our green and that will be just fine. Now, I'm going to paint our tree using a lighter value of green. I'm using perylene green here to paint all of our tree. But I want to paint our branches in two layers basically. To do that, I'm creating a lighter color value of this perylene green so that I can have the bottom layer be lighter and the top layer be darker. Because I'm going to use the top layer that's darker in order to add some shading elements. But first, the lighter layer is this lighter color value of green. The way that you get lighter color values is by adding more water to it. This is very watery and now I'm just going to basically paint some blobs on top of these branches. It doesn't have to be only on the branches, it can be elsewhere on the tree too. But I'm just filling in this skeleton that we created for ourselves with this lighter color value of green. I'm just dotting along using the blobby technique, using the dotted technique, where I'm just filling in these leaves here along these branches, leaving some spaces as well. But for the most part, using the skeleton that I've created to paint some leaves on top of this. As you can tell, I'm not really paying attention exactly where the leaves are going. I'm noticing though that a lot of my leaves have come out in lines. I don't necessarily want them to be all lines, so I might just add some texture up here. But even if it is, that's okay. But I want some of it to go up and down all around to create a variety. Now we've come to these big branches. This is where I was supposed to stop. I'm just going to peter off. Maybe have some of these branches down here have some pine needles on them. That's okay. But for the big branches, I'm going to peter off right here so that we can see still the trunk that that we left at the very beginning. Now, while this is still wet, I'm just going to look around here and see if there are any spots that I want to fill in, knowing that once this is dry, we're going to add in the darker value of that perylene green that we have. Even before it's dry actually, I think I'm going to add just a few spots of dark, not all the way around, but we're using the wet-on-wet technique. Just adding a few dark spots here and there so that it blends in a little bit better with the light green that we've put on here. The next step is to wait for this to dry. Check on the next video and we will do part 2 of this technique and it's going to be awesome. See you then. This is dry. Now, before I put down any paint, I'm just going to do a quick eval of what our result is. I've noticed that the top of our trunk seems to have disappeared, so I'm just going to add in a little bit more a very thin line of brown up here so that we can still maintain that tip-top of our trunk. Now, with a darker color value of perylene green, I'm going to add in some shading. Now, the key with adding and shading part, it's not just to put it all over the tree. It's to put it in very specific places. By very specific places, really what I mean is we want it in chunks over the tree, but we don't want it everywhere. Mostly I'm going to put some of the shaded parts near the trunk. I might put some of them elsewhere. But near the trunk is usually a safe bet for parts of the tree or near the branches that have different shaded pine needles. I'm just going at it and adding this shading. I'm also going to add some at the ends. I said mostly near the trunk, but honestly, towards the bottom, anywhere that you you find some different shadow or we're really just adding depth to this tree by adding differently darker shaded spots. We're showing that it's not just this one color, that there are lots of different spots and light plays with these pine needles in different ways. I'm just adding some shading here, maybe a little bit on these pine needles down here where the branches are. Mostly, I'm going to call that good. I don't want to add too much. Again, because if I add too much, then it is overpowering and you can't see any of the light underneath, and that's not the point. I might add just a tiny thing like right there. There's definitely a point where you have gone too far, you've done too much. That's okay if you hit that point, because honestly again, this is loose watercolor, it's not supposed to look exactly perfect. Nature is not supposed to look exactly perfect, but I often find that less is more than your painting nature like this. If you spend too much time on it, then you could be ended a result that you don't like as much. With that in mind, I'm going to call that good for the shaded techniques. To wrap up, to create this more realistic in the way that we use different colors and focused on more of the skeleton of the tree. This more realistic technique, we started with the trunk by forming the trunk that was thicker at the bottom and then moves upward and gets very thin at the top. We still have that tip-top of the pine tree. Then we painted the skeleton of the tree using the brown again, just to paint some branches in different ways, and in a variety random ways, but we didn't use the branches to create the whole trunk. We didn't use brown to create the whole branches, just the parts that you can see coming out of the trunk. Then we put in one layer of light green. I used perylene green here, which is a dark forest green. I put a lot of water in to create this light color value for the first layer. Then once that dried, we put in a darker value of green, some spots where it looks like they are different colors and shade it. That's how we created this loose watercolor pine tree that has a little bit more depth to it, that would be on the foreground of a painting as opposed to the background. Remember that because that is exactly the technique that we're going to be using in our final project. All of the trees that we painted before this one are great for background trees, and are also great for silhouette trees. We're going to use a bunch of the trees we've learned how to paint in the background. Then we're going to paint a few of these foreground trees in the front for our final project. Let's get started. 12. Depth + Color Value: All right. Before we start our final project, I quickly want to go over two really important topics that we're going to utilize in our final project. The first is talking about how to create depth with lots of trees, and the second applies to that, which is talking about color value. I've mentioned color value before in this class and in other classes. But basically, color value is the lightness or darkness of a color in its purest form. That means you're not adding white, or black, or gray, or something else to make a color lighter or darker. Because adding black or white or gray would actually change the structural makeup of that color. Instead, you are just essentially drawing out the pigment so that there is more of it to go around or, adding in more pigment so that it's more dense. The way that we change color value with watercolor is by adding water. If I were to take some of this perylene green, in a very dense pigment form, it will be very dark. You can already see it's pretty creamy and not very watery. Doesn't have to add water to make it a little bit more liquidy. That's a very thick dark value of this perylene green. In order to make it lighter on my palette here, I'm just adding more water to it. That will get me a lighter version of this perylene green. What does this have to do with depth? If you've taken my misty forest class or my wilderness blizzard class, you know that the farther something away it is, the lighter value it has. In order to create that misty, the forest is really far away and hard to see kind of effect, we are playing around with different color values, meaning we are playing around with how light the paint is that we use to paint different layers. In order for this to work with our final project, which is going to be painting three layers of trees., the first two layers are going to be the more abstract to loose kind of styles that we practiced. I believe that there are seven of those styles. The first two layers are going to be those and then the third layer of our final project is going to be the more realistic shaded version of our tree. But just as an overview, a sneak preview. The way that we utilize this depth technique, this depth effect in this idea of building different layers of trees, is by making sure that the first layer we paint is the lightest because that's the layer that's going to be the farthest away. If I just paint really quickly a tree in this really light color, then what would happen after I paint this layer of light trees is I'm going to either pick a darker color for the layer that goes on top of this or add more paint, more pigment to this place on my palate that makes a darker value. Normally I'd wait for this to be completely dry, but for right sake of showing you. Then the layer on top, the darker layer would be on top of the lighter layer. That creates the effect that these layers, these trees in the background, are farther away than the ones in the foreground. That's the most important rule to remember as we go forward with our final project, that the farther away something is, the lighter it is in value. The closer something is, especially if it's in silhouette form, the darker it is in value. You would start with light and then move forward with dark. That's it. That's the rule that I want you to remember. [LAUGHTER] We are going to remember that. If you feel like you want to practice your trees a little bit more before we get started, then go ahead and do that. You can also, knowing that we're going to be painting three layers, and the first two are going to be an assortment of the seven different kind of abstract trees that we learned to paint and then the last layer is going to be a couple of the more realistic shaded kind of trees, then you can choose which trees you want right now. You don't have to paint all seven or all eight of the versions that we learned, you can decide what ones you want, and that's totally up to you. But now's a good time to decide that because in just a minute we're going to get started painting our first layer. Without further ado, let's get going. 13. Final Project: Layer 1: Here we are, layer 1 of our final project. Now, as we talked about, we're going to do three layers of trees on this final project to create a tree landscape painting, although we're not going to add a ton of other elements except for these trees. First things first, decide which trees you want to paint. This is a little practice scrap paper that I have practiced some of my trees on, or you can pick up the scrap paper, the papers that you used to paint some of these trees, pull them out and decide which ones that you want to focus on; if you want to focus on only a few of them or if you want to focus on all of them, then decide now. The first layer is going to be one of the first seven that we painted. For my first layer, I'm going to paint a few of the first three. That would be the lines technique, the swoopy technique, and the blobby technique. Now, the key here is that we are going to use a light color value for this layer, like we talked about, because we know that it's going to be in the background. For this piece, I'm not going to utilize, put some of the trees up here and smaller. I'm also going to put them in the same space just because that's a different look that I'm going for today, but you decide what's best for you. I'm pulling out one of my porcelain mixing palettes just to pull out the color value that I want. I'm taking some of this green, I want really light color values here. Taking some of this green, then I'm also going to take some of my Payne's gray, which it says gray, but it's really dark navy blue, and also some black over here. I'm just putting these on my palette, and then I'm going to add water to them, lots of water to these guys to create just some little mini spots of these lighter values that I want. I'm adding water, and making sure that they don't mix together. Now, I'm going to start painting some trees. I'm going to do a combination of the swoopy, the lines, and blobby trees in the background over here. I'm going to paint them to be about, yeah. I'm just going to go with the flow here. I'm going to do a lines tree here in this light color value. I know that it doesn't have to be super filled with needles. It can look pretty sparse, have some holes in the middle, just like that. Then just to show that there's a little bit of ground, I'm going to paint again with this light color value and water. I'm mostly using water here actually. I'm just going to paint a little bit of the ground like this. That's where I'll continue to paint some of these other trees. I don't always have to use the same color in one tree, because this is still an abstract painting. I've painted these very quickly. I've painted a lot of these, so I can paint them pretty quickly, but you go at your own pace. For this first layer, I'll do a little swoopy technique here, then to that ground over there, and maybe another lines right here, just very little. I'm going to paint some bigger ones elsewhere. I'm going to paint a sporadic tree line like this. I'll paint some more ground over here, I put some pigment down. I'm just putting more water to bring the ground over here. I'm still leaving some white space, but this is just to create a loose ground effect so that my trees aren't just floating in space, although that can look fun too. I'm going to go for a swoopy technique here. Again, you can go slower than me. You do not have to move as fast. I have painted a lot of these trees so I can move a little bit faster. But I will say that when I do move faster, I can't get as much detail. These trees are the ones that maybe don't need as much detail, but when you get to the other ones, like the dotted technique or the Swinley technique, you might want to slow down a little bit for that. I'm also making sure to do different sizes here, just because trees and forests especially come in all different shapes and sizes. That's important to remember. Different sizes, different shapes, not super even spacing. I extend the ground even more over here. It's not exactly in a straight line, there's some bumps and curves. I'm using a combo of my paintbrush with paint and water to spread whatever existing pigment I already have around, to spread out this ground, and leaving whitespace. I'm not really thinking about where I'm leaving the whitespace, I just know I'm moving my brush around and not doing a whole big wash while I'm painting these different trees. I'll do another lines over here. Start it off in blue, maybe add some gray, because these are abstract in the background, shadowed trees that can have some color. But for the most part, when we start painting our other trees, some of these are going to get covered up. We mostly just want to create the effect that there's a shadow over here. That's what these trees are for; to create depth and just show that there's a shadow of a tree in the background. If you've taken my misty forest class, you know that another way to create that there's a blurry shadowy tree in the background, is by using the wet-on-wet technique in order to create a blurry shadowy effect. That can be really fun too, but this isn't so much like a misty forest that we're trying to create. It is like a misty forest, but since we're focusing on trees in this class, then I think it's more important to focus on the techniques of the trees than it is to focus on the misty techniques because I'd have a class for that. If you're interested in learning more about that, I would recommend you take that class as well. They'll be some of the same content in that class as in this one, but I also made them slightly different on purpose so that they would be interesting for everybody. We're just about done with this layer, I'm just going to add one more little clump over here. I'm going to stop it about right there. Let's just extend the ground out a little bit more like we've done before. Notice how again, I'm just moving my brush randomly throughout to create this ground effect. If that comes unnaturally to you, if you feel like I just need to know exactly where everything is and have control, then it's okay to practice not having control. It's okay. Again, that's why I like scraps of paper and practicing these techniques on paper. 14. Final Project: Layer 2: Our Layer 1 has now dried and so we're going to do Layer 2. Moving on with the different trees that we focused on, I'm going to do Layer 2 with the rest of the four different trees that we learned. The spear technique, the wispy technique, the dotted technique, and the spindly technique, I'm going to layer in all in this second layer. First things first, I'm going to look at these colors that I've put into this palette over here. Some of them have mixed together like the green and the Payne's gray. That's okay. I'm just going to add a little bit more color and I want this layer to be darker than my previous layer, but not the darkest that it can be. I'm adding a little more green color here and I'm going to add a little more blue to my palette, and then a little more black. But I still want them to be pretty watery, not like super watery, but enough watery that it's not the darkest that these color values can be, but enough so that it's definitely darker than a layer that they're in right now. It's okay if you don't mix enough of the color value that you want, you can always make more. It doesn't have to be exactly the same shade as all of the trees have been before. The first thing I'm going to do is similar to what we did before, is create a little bit more ground first, and again, this should be just slightly darker than it was before. Here's a little bit of ground with the wet and I'm pushing it around with water, and now I'm going to paint some trees just with these darker values that I have. I'm going to go for maybe a wispy tree right here, making sure that my branches are pointing up. I also want to be careful not to completely paint over all of these trees. It's okay if you paint over some of them, but not all of them, because we want most of them to still be showing. Now I'm going to do a spear, I think. Just a little spear one right here. As a good rule of thumb, if you're painting these layers of different trees on top of each other, then try to keep some diverse sizes as well so you can see the tall ones behind because it would be a shame to have gone through all the work to paint all these trees and then have all of them covered up just by different layers that you're doing. Let's do maybe another wispy tree right here. So far I've done the spear and wispy, and that's pretty good. Now just this little wispy one. Now I'm going to move the ground a little bit forward. Adding some texture here, leave some white space, and continue painting. I think this time I'm going to do like, see how there's a space right here, I think I'm going to do a dotted one right here. This one takes a little bit more, just adding some dots, making sure that these branches are different sizes. Remember that the dotted technique takes a little bit more time than others, and that's okay. I often do hyper-lapse videos and they go by a lot faster in the videos than they actually do in real life. That's something that's really important to remember when you're painting these. That if you want to paint, it's important not to spend too much time trying to get the trees all exactly right, but also it's important to remember that sometimes it does take some time. I'm going to leave this trunk a little more open and just leave that tree like that, and I'm going to call that good. Now, I want some of these to be just a little darker, so I'm going to add a little bit more pigment and work on a wispy tree right here, and then move the ground a little bit. I'm going to move the ground over here a little bit down because these are different layers of trees, and maybe I'll do a spindly one right here. I'm going to make it a big tall spindly one in the middle of this layer over here. Not really paying attention much to where the branches are, just making this up as I go because that's my favorite way to do trees, otherwise, I spend way too much time focusing on how perfect they look and they end up looking not like trees in nature. So that's why I do it like this. But notice how cool the trees look when they're darker and you can see other trees behind them. I just think this depth effect is so cool and that's really what makes wilderness paintings. It really gives them the depth and the feeling that we're all searching for when we're painting wilderness styles like that. I'm just going to extend a few of these branches a little bit. That's good. We want our ground to be a little bit wet still if possible just so notice how the colors are blending into it a little bit better, but it's okay if it's dried also. That's really what the second layer is going to be, just continuing to paint with the different versions of trees that we know, so maybe I'm going to do another spear here. Maybe this one will be more like a combination of spear and spindly. [LAUGHTER] I don't know. I think that's fun to do too. That's how I came up with all these different combinations actually, is by naming the specific technique that I used and then experimenting to see how differently I could make that technique and how I could just alter it in slight ways to make the trees look slightly different than what they were before, and it's one of my favorite ways to create diversity when I'm painting these forests. I'm going to paint another little wispy one right here and then I'm going to extend the ground again, and I think do a dotted one pretty soon over here. I'm just extending the ground. Notice how I'm going back and forth. Sometimes I'm picking up pigment, sometimes I'm picking up water, I've said that so many times. But it's important to know and I'm leaving some white space over here. I'm going to do another dotted one. I need to add a little bit more blue over here. I'm going to do, I think, to overlap this tree but I still want to see this one, so maybe I'll just keep that in mind that I know that I want to still see this tree right there. This tree, I think I'm going to make on purpose with the dotted technique a little more uneven, unbalanced in terms of weight and where the branches are just so I can have that difference in nature that so often exists. Have one branch that's like jutting out, not nearly as many on this side. I think that looks cool. Just dotting it, maybe add a little more weight over here. But yeah, that looks cool. This is what I'm doing for Layer 2; going back and forth between these different techniques that we practice and doing more full spear technique here. Notice how on this one, I'm not paying as much attention to the white space between the needles, and so it really just looks like a big blob of tree. But that's okay for this specific layer. I'm going to re-wet this ground over here and then maybe I'm going to leave this spot blank and only do some trees over here. You don't have to do trees all the way across. There's no rule that says that, in fact, sometimes it looks cool when it's not. I'm spreading the water just a little bit more. I think I'll add a little bit more black to this. I think I'll do a wispy tree right here. Notice how when I leave it wet, then the black just blends in with the ground. I'm going to add a little bit more green also, and maybe another wispy tree right here, but not always exactly the same. Let's do a spindly tree over here. I love practicing these different trees , it's pretty therapeutic. It's also interesting for me to just talk and tell you my thoughts as I'm painting these trees because it helps me to understand what I'm thinking about painting as well. I hope it's fun for you. I hope you're enjoying this class and listening to me just ramble on about what I'm thinking while I'm painting. I'm almost done with this spindly tree and that would be jutted down a little bit like that, and maybe just add another little tree right in the middle, right there. I think I'm going to call that layer good. That is Layer 2. Now for Layer 3, in the next video after this is dry, now we're going to paint just a couple, I think, of our shaded trees and I'm not going to put them right in the middle. I'm probably going to put them somewhere off to the side, but they're definitely going to be darker and they're going to be a little closer to us and it's going to be awesome. Let's move on to Layer 3. 15. Final Project: Layer 3: We are on our final layer of our little forest piece where we are practicing all different kinds of the trees that we learned in this class. For our last layer, we're going to practice the shaded technique, which is this still abstract loose technique, but we have more color and it looks a little more realistic than a lot of these more silhouette pine trees that we've been practicing. When I do the foreground trees, especially if I know that they're going to be bigger, I generally don't put them smacked up in the middle. They can look pretty cool if you want just a tree that's right in the middle, but I like things that are a little bit more off-kilter, and I also like for the foreground to have not nearly as many trees as in the background layers. I'm probably going to paint three of these shaded technique trees, and I think I'm going to paint a big one right here and maybe a little one next to it, and then a medium one somewhere over here. That's what I'm looking at. Whenever I do composition, I hardly ever plan it ahead of time, which maybe makes me a poor artist, but that's what I do. But what does happen is I look to see where might be a good fit. One thing that I might pay attention to is which trees do I for sure want to be seen once everything is all said and done. One thing for me, I think I like this tree a lot. I really want this tree to be seen at least partially, and I think I still want this gap right here, and maybe this gap right here to be seen at least partially. With that in mind, instead of my size 0 brush, I'm moving to my size 3 brush to begin painting the trunk just like we practiced. I'm going to do the big one first. I'm going to do a big and a small one right over here, and then I'm going to do a medium-sized one over here. The most important thing when we're practicing this first layer to note is that we want to use the darkest colors that we can when we're painting on top of this layer so that we cover up so that the paint doesn't show what trees are behind as much as possible, and I'll show you what I mean. But first, I'm going to put this trunk right here. That is going to be the basis of my trunk. Before I move forward in finishing the trunk, I'm just going to draw out the ground a little bit. This time, we're not going to spread the ground all the way across. We're just going to show what the ground looks like right by the base of these trees. I'm making it a little bit brown, this burnt umber, but I'm also going to add in some green just to show some of this more wooded feel. This is just like abstract playing with colors mostly. It's not anything that I decided in particular beforehand. There is that trunk. Now, I know that I want the tip of my tree to be somewhere like this, right here. I'm just going to draw this trunk so that it gets up there. We might be covering some trees that we already created. It's okay if you cover up some trees, and it's also okay if this is not a straight line as mine clearly is not. It's a little tilted, but I like that actually. I'm making sure, here's my trunk. Now, I'm just going to paint it in. Because I also know that I want some of the background trees to still show, that I don't want this tree to be a particularly full tree. I want it to be a little sparse. Knowing that, I can paint more branches, but I'm not going to paint as many leaves or pine needles on the branches when I get to that part. But the most important part about these branches right now is that you're using a pretty dark brown so that they definitely cover the trees that are supposed to be behind them. I'm just moving up painting these branches. I think I'm going to stop right there. There's the skeleton of my tree. Now, I'm going to paint using a lighter color value. But note that my light color value is actually going to be probably about the value of the colors that we used in layer 2 because we want the darkest color value to probably be the darkest that these colors can be. This time, instead of using both green and blue and black, I'm going to use, I think only green. I'm just going to start painting in some of these trees, some of these pine needles that I know I wanted. I'm going to add in darker in a bit, but I also want to show still the trees behind it. I'm not going to put anything right here. Making sure to put stuff on the trunk though. I'm just dotting, filling in the space, leaving some things open. Here, I might leave just that whole thing open wide but then have a big branch right here. Maybe some just little tendrils of branches coming down here and there. Make this a little bit less. It comes down just a little bit more to give it a little bit more shape. That's the first layer of that tree. I kept this one open and now I'm going to do the smaller tree. Then the benefit of doing the first layer of the trees is that this will probably be dry by the time I've finished painting all the rest of them. I'm going to paint a smaller tree right here, and I'm going to have the tip of that one maybe end right here. Now I'm going to do the same thing, painting in the trunk, painting the skeleton of the tree, making it a little more sparse. Just so more of the trees behind it can be shown, especially this one that I know I want it to be cool if I had a bigger branch coming out over here that covers it. That could be cool, so maybe we're going to go with that. Again this is my thought process moving like, what do you think would be cool? I don't know. Let's try. Before we go on though, I'm going to extend the ground for this tree a little bit more. Not too much. Just add in a little green. There. We're going to call that good. Now, time to add in the first layer of pine leaves on these shaded trees. It's okay if it blends in with this other tree that's already wet. It's okay if the leaves blend in with the trunk, because ultimately this is still loose watercolor. We're not going for picture perfect here. If you want picture perfect , this is not the class for you. I also recommend you should take a picture. I like painting a lot because you can just have fun and not have to worry about making an exact replication. Now one more. I wanted most of this to stay this middle, but I think I am going to have my tree jet a little bit in the middle like that. Let's put the tip. I want it to be medium-size, so not as big as this one, but not as small as this one. I'm going to put that tip maybe right here. It's just barely above this tree, but not quite as tall as that one. Let's paint this trunk down. We're going to have the trunk be right here, I think. Sure, why not? Maybe this is about when it starts to get thicker and thinner. Here we go. Sure. Why not? That looks good to me. Now, we're going to paint the ground around it and add in some green like we did with the other one. Using water over here to really dilute it so that it's not just like pure color, so that it looks a little mystical. Because that's my favorite thing to do with watercolor and water, just to make them look a little mystical. I made that ground a little different, a little bit more up in your face, but that's okay. Now the skeleton. I know that I wanted to keep this space a little bit open. It'll be cool I think to have maybe one branch that veers into it, so I'm going to pay attention to that as I'm painting this skeleton. Maybe have some bigger branches over here when we're up here. But then when we're in this center, maybe one big branch that I know reaches out to over here. That would be pretty cool, I think. Then just a little branches jutting out from the bottom of the trunk. I think this is mostly good to go. Here we go. Painting a lot of these trees too, I think helps. Once you've painted a lot of them, knowing that eventually they're going to look how you want them to, or that you can never exactly get them to look how you want them to, is good practice for mindfulness and it's good practice for letting loose. I think that's been a major theme from this class that I've talked about is just like you have to not care so much about having it be perfect because it's never, ever going to be perfect, but that's what makes it beautiful. That's what makes life beautiful too, I think, is being a human means being imperfect essentially. If we're going to be the best humans that we can be, we really need to let go of that tendency toward perfection and embrace life as the imperfect wonder that it is, and that's what's going to make our life more happy I think. That's what's made my life happy when I can do that. Don't mind my ramblings as I'm just finishing painting off this tree. Now it looks like over here, most of this has dried, so I am going to pick up the darkest version of this purlin green that I can and just add in some more shading, maybe underneath in the trunk a little over here. This is the last thing that I'm going to do on all of these foreground trees, is just add in some of this depth to the trees. Again, I'm not really paying too close of attention to where they are, except that I'm not putting depth everywhere. I'm making sure to leave some of these light spaces. It's okay if these two tree start to blend together if you're not really sure where one starts and one begins because often trees are like that. Then this one is still pretty wet, but I'm just going to go ahead and add in some of this dark anyway just so we can finish this up. Ideally, you would wait for this to dry. But I want to finish up this video, so that I eye see all of your beautiful final pieces. There you go. There is my final project for this pine tree painting fest that we have embarked upon today. I hope you had a good time. I hope you learned a lot and I hope that you found at least one or two versions of these trees that you really loved and that you would love to keep practicing. I would love to see all of your final projects and I would love to just connect with you, whether on Skillshare or on Instagram. If you post your final project in the project gallery, then that's a great place to comment on other people and to see what other people came up with, and it also helps other people see my class in the future. If you really enjoyed this process, please post your project to the project gallery and also feel free to post it to Instagram and tag me. My handle is this writing desk. I'm going to go through all this again in my recap video. But for now, I just want to say thanks for painting with me. I hope to see you again soon. 16. Recap: Thank you so much for taking this class with me. I had such a great time putting together all of the different tree painting techniques that I have honed and learned and developed over the years. I hope that you have come out of this class with at least three or four that you really love and hope to develop more in your arsenal. If you painted along with us today, then you will have something that looks like this. It might look familiar, it's in the recap video. This is the final project that we did today, incorporating all eight of the trees that we learned about painting. If you decide that any of these techniques are not for you, that is totally fine because that's the point of a class like this, to learn how to paint lots of different things so that you can really find the one that speaks to you and that you can speak through. Now if you really enjoyed this class, the best way that you can help me is by leaving a review. I would encourage you if you had a good time and you want to let me know, please tell me and everybody else what you loved about this class and give it a thumbs up. I would also love to see your work and a couple of different ways that you can show me are one, posting it to the project gallery. Posting your final projects to the project gallery is another way for more people to see this class, and it helps you build more of a community in Skillshare. Because then everybody who follows you can see what you post and it's just a really great time. I encourage you to post your final project to the project gallery, and if you decide that you want to share a little bit wider spread, feel free to post on Instagram and tag me. My handle is, this writing desk, and I would love to be your biggest cheerleader. I'll leave you some comments and just generally help you feel supported in this art community. As a bonus, I usually do features of all of the Skillshare projects from the past month. I try to do that at least a couple of times a month, so if you tag me on Instagram, then you might be featured in my Instagram stories. Last thing, if you have any questions, please feel free to post them to the community discussion board, and I will be sure to take a look and answer any questions or comment on anything that you might be concerned with in this class. Just once again, thank you so much for joining me. I had such a great relaxing time filming this class and going through all the different kinds of trees that I like. I hope that you had a great time too, so see you next time.