Create A Whimsical Autumn Fairy Cottage

design team - nikki painting Oct 20, 2022
How to paint an Autumn scene in watercolor

Since Autumn is finally here, it's the perfect time to create beautiful artwork full or rich tones of the season. In this tutorial we will be using black ink and watercolor to create an adorable, whimsical, Autumn inspired fairy cottage. We will be painting ferns, mushrooms, trees and berries on a forest floor and in the tree trunk there will be a door looking into a fairy’s home. If you love Autumn, this is the perfect art tutorial to get you into that cozy statement of mind that the season brings to us all!

I LOVE teaching others how to get creative with art supplies. This whimsical piece is the perfect way to celebrate the Fall season!




Wanna watch this tutorial instead?



Step 1: Sketch the Scene

Use a pencil to lightly sketch the fairy cottage on watercolor paper. Since we are using watercolor paper, be sure to draw lightly as we don’t want the pencil marks to show through the paint.




Looking for some more nature and watercolor inspiration? Say no more.



Step 2:  Add Ink

Use The Pigeon Letters monoline pen to draw over your original sketch lines. If you are not using the monoline pen, please make sure that your pen is waterproof (this is usually signified by the word, “archival” on the pen). If your pen is not waterproof, make sure to paint before you use ink, since the water will make a non-waterproof pen run.




Step 3: Add Watercolor Paint

Grab your paint brush and start adding in color over your pen marks. I like to use 2 water cups when painting. One for cool tones and one for light tones. This ensures that my colors stay bright and vibrant. 




Step 4: Add Final Details

Add in final touches with your pen. Make sure your watercolor paper is dry otherwise it can tear it. Add small details wherever you think they are needed!




Step 5: Add “Fairy Cottage” in Brush Lettering (optional)

Add in a name for your fairy cottage at the bottom using a brush or your monoline pen. The trick to do a “calligraphy” style of writing is to make your upstrokes thin and your downstrokes thick, this will give you that whimsical look of calligraphy.



Thank you so much for following along with me. I LOVE to see what you create, if you share on Instagram please tag @LavenderAndSea and @thepigeonletters so we can see what you have created!  


See all of Nikki’s tutorials here! 

Nikki has a passion for all things creative but watercolor painting has really stolen her heart. She loves teaching others how to paint and believes that it can be a beautiful act of self care. She lives in sunny San Diego with her husband and mischievous Corgi. When not painting, she loves to get out in nature where she gets her best inspiration.