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Mini Winter Wonderland Watercolor Painting

Mini Winter Wonderland Watercolor Painting

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The time when snow covers makes everything magical!  

Hi, Vanessa Lesniak here to bring you another tutorial, this time we are evoking all the wonders of a snowy cityscape.  This time, we are painting a winter wonderland scene in watercolor!




If you prefer watching the tutorial, just press play!



Step 1: Sketch Out the Scenery

Along the middle of your paper, draw a slightly curved line to separate the bottom from the top.  Along the top half, sketch out some buildings using basic shapes such as rectangles, triangles and squares.





Step 2: Get Your Palette Set Up With Puddles of Paint

Using a dark blue (I use Puddle by The Sprout Creative, it is dark enough to appear black yet waters down to a nice soft dusk blue), add some to your palette and add tons of water to water it down.  Do the same with a bit of Ultramarine Blue




Step 3: Let’s Paint the Sky

Begin by wetting the sky area with plain water.  Using the Ultramarine puddle, add a very light layer to the sky leaving lots of white areas in between.  Add a few clouds by blotting in a bit of the darker blue



Let it completely dry.



Step 4: Paint All the Buildings

From here on, we will only be using the darker blue (Puddle).  Paint all the buildings with a very watered down layer of Puddle.  



Let them completely dry.



Step 5: Paint the Midground Buildings

Pick a few buildings that will represent the midground and paint those using a slightly darker version of the same color (add a bit more paint to your palette to darken it up).



Let them completely dry.


Step 6:  Paint an Even Darker Layer

Add a few more buildings to the foreground if need be and paint them slightly darker by adding more paint to your palette.




Let them completely dry.

Step 7: Blend, Blend, Blend!

With a flat wash brush, in bold continuous strokes, slightly wet your entire piece.  Using a highly saturate, paint filled brush, add paint along the bottom of the buildings.  We want to blur the line between the bottom of the buildings and the ground.  Try not to manipulate the paint too much.  Once it’s down, let the water allow the paint to flow up and down.



Let it completely dry.

Step 8: Paint the Details

Be bold and be brave!  Load your brush up with paint and paint one continuous stroke down the right side of your piece. This will represent a tree. Add a few more along the bottom edge of the buildings. Once you become more comfortable, begin adding branches, grass and twigs. Use the tip of your brush for thinner lines. 




Step 9:  Add Snow

With your white medium (I use Copic opaque White, feel free to use any white medium you have), add strokes of snow to the upper edges of your branches, along the grass, and don’t forget the trunks!




Step 10: Add Falling Snow

Fully load your brush with white, and tap droplets of white into your piece.  Tapping will give you bigger drops, so we will also use a toothbrush to spray a fine mist of white across your entire piece.  The more the better!  We want our piece to look snowy and blustery.




With that final step, we are done!  Enjoy this gorgeous, easy to paint wintery wonderland!


Vanessa spent 16 years as a social worker and originally began experimenting with watercolor as a form of self care and it became a profound passion.  With the encouragement and support of her wife and 3 daughters, she became a full time artist and small business owner.  She now shares her passion through workshops and online tutorials. Check out more of Vanessa's tutorials on the blog!

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