Easy Watercolor Tree Painting in Fall Colors!
How to paint beautiful watercolor tree painting with fall colors in 5 minutes! Easy step by step tutorial & fun art technique for beginners.
It’s fall again, time to marvel at those magnificent trees! Today I want to share a really fun and easy watercolor painting: a tree with glorious fall colors!
Even if you never painted before, this step by step easy watercolor tree painting tutorial will show you how to paint a beautiful fall watercolor tree in just 10 minutes!
I remember one of the first paintings I made in art school : I walked by these trees with such magnificent fall colors, and ran to the classroom to tell my teacher that I simply can’t stay inside to paint the model for now! ( that now turned into ever) Luckily, I had very open and supportive teachers! 🙂
* Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here .
By the way, if you love trees in all seasons, here’s another easy watercolor painting tutorial: spring watercolor trees , using a totally different technique!
Materials and tools for easy watercolor tree painting:
- watercolor paper : Strathmore watercolor papers are my favorite to use. I like the cold press 300 or 400 series.
- brushes: I like using soft watercolor brushes with a nice pointed tip like these , They are great for watercolor washes, and for finer details.
- a tooth brush : this is a lot of fun to use, you will see!
- watercolor paints: this is a good basic set, and this is a fabulous artist grade set, and a palette that can be used to mix colors. A white plastic or enamel plate is also great for mixing colors
- a dish to hold water for wetting and rinsing brushes
Step 1: Paint the watercolor tree canopy with a very thin wash of orange or yellow.
Let the brush soak up a lot of water, then touch the tip with a little bit of color, now place your brush on the mixing surface, you will have a very diluted watercolor wash.
Imagine the watercolor tree canopy as clusters of clouds, and don’t worry if you “mess up”, every tree is different, and these shapes will guide us in the next step.
Step 2: Add deeper watercolor washes in the canopy
While the first thin watercolor washes are still wet, add more watercolor to your paint brush, and paint on top of the first layer. Have a second brush handy, dip it in water and wet the paper a bit more if it feels too dry.
This easy watercolor painting technique is called wet on wet. It creates a nice colored area with soft edges.
I used some yellow, orange, and olive green. You can see all these colors flow into each other because they all have soft edges.
Tips: How to mix watercolors to create a natural green
A lot of times the ready made green are too saturated, as you can see that neon green up here.
By mixing it with a touch of yellow and red (opposite of green), it becomes a natural olive green on the left. There are infinite variations of green, and that’s the beauty of it – you don’t need to mix the same shade of green every time!
Step 3: Painting watercolor tree trunk and branches
Mix a little brown and black to get a grey-brown color, start with a pale wash( like in step 1) of the trunk form and a few branches in the canopy,then paint a deeper color over it, like in step 2.
If you are unsure, always stay with the lighter washes, it’s easy to go darker later.
Now the really fun part starts: splatters!
Step 4: Create watercolor splatters using a toothbrush
This is such a fun and easy watercolor painting technique!
Wet the toothbrush, then dip it in a color, I started with yellow here, then run your finger on the toothbrush so the splatters end up in the area you want.
After the yellow splatters, repeat with orange, and the olive green we made in step 2.
Step 5: Watercolor paint brush splatters
The toothbrush splatters give us some fine watercolor leaves and misty effects, In this step, we will make some slightly bigger watercolor splatters using two paint brushes.
Let one brush soak up some watercolor paint, then tap it on a stick, or use the end of another brush. repeat with different colors for a richer effect.
Final touches to complete your watercolor tree painting:
You can create a ground area with a little bit of thin watercolor washes of olive green, and some splatters. Darken some of the branches if they need to pop a bit more. Now our watercolor tree is finished!
If you always wanted to paint watercolor tree or flowers, don’t let fear holding you back.
Try this simple tip: start with lighter colors and thin washes, build it up gradually, and always have handy a wet brush with no paint, just water, use it to lift off paint or to soften edges!
There are so many ways to celebrate the beauty of fall with arts and crafts! You can make leaf printing art, and …
make gorgeous DIY fall leaf crafts and decor!
A couple of other fun paintings projects below, no art experience needed!
How to paint on black paper and create a magical scene of cherry blossoms in moonlight.
Bubble paint Watercolor Hydrangea flowers!
Enjoy your beautiful fall days and happy creating!
Wow, you took my breath away with your outstanding beautiful talent. No matter what I do, I just will not be able to come close to your fabulous paintings. I love everything. Each painting was breathtaking. Thanks for sharing
oh thank you so much Ivory!! yes you CAN make this and it will be just as beautiful in your unique ways! 🙂
good and easy to understand watercolor tutorial! thank you.
great tutorial and very useful for us watercolor beginners to learn. nice!
Hi thank you so much for sharing such a great information, im looking forward to join your community for more posts like this. Stay blessed and keep up the good work.
I am so very happy to have found your website! I want to learn how to paint and had no clue really where to start. I’ve looked at both of your tree tutorials, and the cherry tree at night, and the bubble hydrangeas, and the other flowers, and now I am excited to get started.
Thank you for such an inspiring site!
thank you so much Suzanne! happy painting! =)
I love this piece of art! This is so amazing! It did make me believe that I can turn into a good artist ?
Just an awesome one
I made it and it was such a pretty tree
Just can’t believe so simple
Thanks for your guidance
yay! thank you manisha! =) feel free to post a photo on my facebook page anytime! =)
You are fantastic! You make me feel like I can actually do this. I have ALWAYS wished I knew how to paint. After seeing this, I am going to give it a try.
What causes that mottled look when you applied the second layer of color? It appears smooth with the first light wash, then speckly with the next. Is that just from the texture of the paper?
yes some paper does this more than others. =)
Is there a specific brand you use?
i used an older set i had. but in this new tutorial there’s a list of materials i like! =) http://www.apieceofrainbow.com/spring-trees-watercolor-painting/
Beautiful! I wanna try this too 😀
très joli, merci pour la leçon
That’s a very easy and lovely way to get tree painted. I will give it a try and let you know the result
I have been doing some watercolor and have used some of these techniques. Did learn some new techniques. Thanks for giving me a few more tips.
I have a clump birch tree I’d like to try this simple technique with, however, not sure what tones to use to achieve the trunks and larger branches. My water color paper is white. Can you make some suggestions please.
great question kate! =) but no easy answer, as white is the hardest thing to paint in water color, such as birch trunk, snow, clouds, all of which are my fav!!
one easier way might be to use a thin outline in light grey or brown, and leave the trunk white. i will play with some ideas and get back to you when i find a good solution! =)
simple and fun! lovely…
This is so beautiful!
That is beautiful. I took my first ever watercolour class a few weeks go and was instantly hooked. What a lovely medium to work with. I have bookmarked you and will have a go at painting a tree just like yours.
hi cherie! thank you and happy painting! =)
I have just painted two trees following your excellent instructions. They are drying in the kitchen tight now. I am planning to try the bubble painitng tomorrow
this is indeed beautiful
Fantastic creative tutorial!!! The layering that you create with watercolors is lovely (the few times I’ve done it, I’ve been too impatient to let one layer dry enough to add additional depth and color intensity) and the end result is charming. Great piece for fall. I’m inspired!
thank you dear lauriel! xo
Oh my goodness, you are really talented! I love your autumn tree. It’s so pretty! I love watercolors. Fantastic job!
thank you deanna for your kind words! =)
Wowie! Thanks for sharing with us c:
This looks fun to do also with kids I think!
thank you! kids love watercolors =)
I have always admired people who can draw and paint as it is something that I don’t feel I can do, HOWEVER, this post is so amazing to the extent that you make it look SO easy that I think I might actually be able to pull it off! Thank you so much for providing such detail information on how you do it!
you are so sweet andi! have lots of fun!
Wow, that is gorgeous!! You have some great skills!!
thank you dear lindsay! =)
Ananda, you’ve really inspired me to paint. I used to love to paint, but I’m not very good at it 🙂 that’s why I have a cooking blog! Because I’m no painter. Hahahaha! But, this looks relatively simple to do, and I love the toothbrush trick! Pinned!
you ARE a great artist kristi! great cooks are great artists, i always felt they might even be better because no one cares which museum displays your dish if it doesn’t taste good! =)
A picture paints a thousand words and Ananda your tree encapsulates the essence of autumn. FAB!
thank you dear arti! xo
that is so fantastic!!! I can’t even draw a stick figure. This is awesome
thank you dear michelle! =)
Okay this is awesome! I am not good at painting at all and you made it really simple but still looks like a pro! Its just a great way to add a touch of fall to the home without breaking the pocket too!
thank you avie! it’s very simple! =)
Gorgeous water colors! I wish I could create a fall tree watercolor! I’m artistically inept.
sure you can brenda! =)
Okay, that is so cool! I’ve always wanted to learn watercolor!
thank you kendall! watercolor is lots of fun!
What an awesome painting and I would have never thought to use a toothbrush during it! You’re such a talented artist!
thank you heather! everyone can do this! =)
This is beautiful! I wish I knew how to paint with watercolors.
thank you jessica! it’s easy and fun!
What a lovely painting! You’re an amazing artist (I can barely draw stick figures)
thank you dear angelic! i am sure you can paint this! =)
I primarily only paint with acrylics but this is so gorgeous. I love all the layering you did.
thank you nancy! i love acrylics too! =)
More beautiful than the trees here right now!
i will trade it for your tree!! =)
That is just so lovely! You did such a beautiful job! 🙂
I was just trying to figure out the best way to make a painting like this! This is exactly what I needed!
that’s awesome alicia! =)
This is so lovely! The perfect picture for autumn. I wish I had your talent.
thank you fi! you are talented for sure! =)
Oh Im obsessed with this! So pretty! I can picture it on a Papyrus greeting card about Fall. So pretty!
thank you candace! i love watercolor greeting cards! =)
I’m not an artist by any means but love painting for myself. I’ll have to give this one a shot! PS. Your painting turned out beautiful! 🙂
thank you dear erica!
It, s so nice an idea very simple. Many times the simple is de most beautiful, so we don,t have to strive to do expensive and dificult things for feel satisfied. I don,t know if I Had expressed well. My English isn’t that good… 🙁
you said it beautifully pilar! creativity far outweighs expensive stuff! hugs!