In this tutorial we’ll be painting a beautiful winter scene, complete with snow and a gorgeous sunrise. This is the perfect winter art tutorial, as many places are still covered in snow. Paint along as we create a whimsical winter wonderland landscape.
I LOVE teaching others how to get creative with art supplies. This whimsical piece is the perfect way to celebrate the winter season!
- The Pigeon Letters watercolor brush size 4 and size 8 (but you can also use a size 6)
- A small details brush (size 0 or size 2)
- Watercolor paper
- Watercolor paint
- 2 water cups
- Masking tape (optional if you aren’t using a watercolor block)
Want to watch the video tutorial?
Step 1: Sketch Scene
Use a pencil to lightly sketch the winter landscape 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. I also recommend starting your horizon line about ¾ way down the paper, it helps to bring the viewer’s eye into your landscape.
Step 2: Paint the Sunrise
Using your largest brush (6 or 8) fill the sky area with just water. Once the sky area of your paper is completely wet, bring in yellow bordering the mountains. You’ll notice that since your paper is already wet, the yellow paint will bleed into it nicely. Then add in the pink paint right above the yellow. At the very top dab in your blue paint and then with your brush, slowly drag down the remaining color until it touches the pink paint.
Step 3: Paint the Foreground & Houses
Grab your size 4 brush, it’s time to add in the artwork below the mountains. First add some light washes of pink and yellow into the white watercolor paper - leaving areas of white. This will show how the sunrise is reflecting on the white snow.
Next let’s paint the little houses. Grab a brown color and lightly outline the house with paint. Rinsing off your brush and grabbing just water, lightly touch the brown line around the house to bring the paint into the center of the home. Be sure to leave the roof white, as the roof has snow on it. Paint both houses like this. To add a little whimsy, grab your yellow paint and poke it in where the windows are. Because the paint is wet, this will cause the paint to bleed and the windows will appear “glowing”.
Step 4: Paint the Foliage
Now is time to add in the greenery. Grab your smallest brush (details size) and a green color, start to make little lines in the upper left corner right below the mountains. These should be light, since the trees are further away. Then, using a “scrubbing” motion, add texture to your trees.
Next paint the oak trees on the bottom right side. Grab a brownish green and dab your brush in circular motions to create the circular shape of the trees. Take brown paint and paint the tree trunks with a few strokes.
Lastly, add in the trees who have lost all their leaves. Using your smallest brush, pick up a medium brown on your brush and make the long thin lines of a trunk and thin branches.
Step 5: Paint the Mountains
Mix together a bluish gray color that is pretty watered down ( you don’t want an overly saturated paint). Using a size 4 or 6 brush paint along the left side of the mountain. Rinse off your brush, grab only water and spread the color around the left side of the mountain. Paint small strokes with the same color on the right side of the mountain to give the effect of shadowing.
Step 6: Add Final Details
Now it’s time to add in those final details!
Grab a darker color than the shadows you currently have in your snow (a blue gray). Add in small shadows in the mountain slopes, it will give the look of the snow being deeper in some areas.
Lastly, using white gouache or a white gel pen, dot in white stars in the deep blue sky. You can add the stars all the way down but they will be harder to see in the lighter colors
See all of Nikki’s tutorials on the blog!
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.