water color

I figured this landscape tutorial would be perfect for the season. Plus it’s also the perfect way to understand value in watercolor. Learn to create a winter watercolor landscape in this detailed tutorial.

What is value in watercolors?

In simple words, determining the light, medium and dark in by regulating the amount of pigment and water used can be explained as value in the watercolor. It is usually taken in a range of 1 to 10, with 10 being the darkest. I like to start with the darkest hue and then lighten the color by rinsing a little each time with water.

Explaining about value can be a whole another one or two posts but for this one, we’re going to focus on painting the watercolor winter landscape. So let’s get started.

Step 1: Tape down the sides of your watercolor paper. Paint agraded wash of color on your paper using the flat brush. Don’t worry about the paper warping and the blooms that form. We’re going to cover those with trees.

Step 2: Allow the paper to dry a little bit. If it’s too wet, the trees are not going to show up and it will blend. The paper should be damp while painting the trees so that it blends in softly while still seeing the silhouette of the tree. Start with a couple of trees on one corner in succession and in different heights to create interest. This should be done using a very light value of watercolor.

Step 3: Next using a dark value, paint the trees that are closest(at the bottom here) and they will be more defined and precise. At this point, the base layer has dried completely allowing no blending to happen. You’ll also see that there are trees of medium value in the background showing the distance at which it is at.

Step 4:  Onwards to creating more trees! This time, I painted them as though they are succeeding down from the top of a hill. Make sure you blend out the bottom part of the trees to avoid it from looking as though they are standing in the air.

Step 5: Add more trees to the winter watercolor landscape. Some of light value and some dark. The trees right at the top are farthest away and so they will be of the lightest value. Look from a distance and see if they need more tweaking. And that’s it! You’ve just created a beautiful winter watercolor landscape.