Simple Winter Landscape Painting for Beginners

design team - shreya painting Jan 13, 2023
How to paint an easy winter landscape in watercolor

Don't you feel winter is one of the most magical seasons of all? The cozy mornings, misty weather, to everything covered in white snow, it just looks so dreamy. So to get you into the spirit of winter let’s  paint a beautiful yet simple winter landscape using watercolors. We will be learning how to paint white snow on white paper, then we will also learn how to make wooden cabins and pine trees. 

Hello everyone! I am Shreya from India, and this year I am part of the Pigeon Letters Design Team. I absolutely enjoy sharing my love and knowledge for watercolors with you. Seeing you all paint and learn along with me makes me so happy. So let's not waste any time and get started!



  • A5 size watercolor paper (300gsm cold pressed 100% cotton)
  • Watercolor brushes size 2, 4 and 14
  • Watercolors (names of  colors mentioned below)
  • Two jar of water
  • Pencil and eraser
  • One rough cloth or tissue paper 
  • Masking tape
  • A white pen


Watercolor used and their alternatives

  • Shadow Violet: Mijello Mission (violet+paynes gray)
  • Chinese Orange: Sennelier (orange+burnt sienna)
  • Indanthrene Blue: White Nights (Indigo/prussian blue)
  • Yellow Ochre: Sennelier
  • Red brown: Mijello Mission (vandyke brown/Burnt umber)
  • Neutral Tint: Sennelier (optional)
  • Forest Green: Sennelier (viridian green+indigo/Paynes gray)

You absolutely don't need the exact same art supplies I am using; you can use whatever is available. Changing the colors a little for this subject won't affect the end results. So I would highly suggest just having fun with the colors and materials you own. 


Prefer watching the video tutorial instead?



Step 1:  Sketch the Cabins


Before you start sketching, apply masking tape on all four sides of the paper. Once that is done, let's move on to the drawing part. The sketch is very simple. As you can see in the picture, the bottom part is the frozen lake and on the top is snowy mountains.  All you have to draw is 5 cabins in different directions on the top of a snow covered mountain. Once that is done draw a few lines of different sizes behind the cabins where we will be painting the pine trees and you are done with the sketch.



Step 2: Paint the First Layer 


Apply an even  layer of clean water on the whole paper leaving the cabins. Once that is done, start painting the sky, snowy mountains and the lake with a light value of shadow violet. Remember to leave a few gaps of white paper  in between. Once the first layer is done, increase the intensity of shadow violet and add the darker value of the same at the bottom of cabins as well as near the lake to create the shadow on the snow. Also add a little bit of burnt orange on the lake to create the shadow of the cabins on the water.. Then while the paper is still wet start adding the pine trees on the background mountains as well as behind the cabins and then let everything dry.



Get more watercolor inspiration with Peggy Dean's Guide to Nature Drawing & Watercolor.




Step 3: Paint the Cabins and Trees


Once everything has dried, let's paint the cabins using yellow ochre, burnt orange and red brown. We will just paint the lower part of the cabins. The roof will be white as it is covered with snow. Use Burnt orange and a little bit of red brown to paint the shadow part of the cabins and yellow ochre to paint the front. Then once that is done paint a few pine trees of different sizes and shapes using round brush size 2  with the  mix of forest green and Indanthrene blue behind the cabins and let everything dry.



Step 4: Add the Final Details 


Now let's bring the whole painting together by adding small details. First let's start by adding doors and windows on the cabins. Then add a few dry trees on the background mountain as well as near the lake. Remember to use a smaller round brush size 2 to do all the tiny details. Then take the light value of shadow violet and add a few dry brush strokes and grasses in the foreground part. Using the same color add a few lines on the lake as well. Lastly, take your white pen and add a little highlights near the window and doors. 



Step 5: Remove the Masking Tape 


 Now when everything is completely dry, slowly start peeling the masking tape at an angle which is away from the paper so that you don't end up tearing it. And this is how our final painting looks. Simple yet so beautiful!

I hope you enjoyed learning about a simple winter landscape with cabins.  Now it's your turn to paint. Hoping to see your work!




See all of Shreya’s tutorials here! 

Shreya is a full time artist, Art Educator, YouTuber and Skillshare teacher from India who works with various mediums. Her go-to medium is the free flowing, unsecured nature of watercolors. Nature is her biggest inspiration and the sole reason she loves painting landscapes, seascapes, florals, the night sky and Northern Lights, and so much more. She finds peace in painting and her ultimate goal is to make everyone feel the same through her work and through her teachings.