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Watercolor Landscape Tutorial: Paint a Forest Stream

by artpaintingblog

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From a stream flowing in a beautiful forest, I want to guide you through the steps I painted a stream and create this watercolor painting.

This tutorial is a demonstration video available on my youtube channel. Thank you for watching.

Necessary Materials

I painted this painting on Saunders Waterford cold pressed paper 300gsm; however, you also are free to use any brands of paper, paint, and brush as you see fit.

Pigments: Here is a list of the pigments I used:

Permanent Yellow light; Sap Green; Hoziron Blue; Prussian Blue; Leaf Green; Ivory Black; Olive Green; Ultramarine Violet; Raw Sienna; Cerulean Blue; Hooker’s Green.

Brushes: Dagger brush, rigger brush, Small Flat Brush, Rough Brush

Other: Graphite pencil, Pallette, Water bucket, Drawing boat, masking tape.

How To Paint A Stream In Watercolor – Step By Step

1. Make a Line Drawing of Watercolor landscape tutorial

Using an HB pencil to sketch the main outline. Note, that the drawing should not be drawn too detailed, which only suggests the overall shapes of the elements. After that, fixed the paper on the drawing board with masking tape. 

2. Paint the Background

I start by wetting the entire area of the paper with clean water and while the paper is still moist I start applying paint. Use various light washes of  Leaf Green,  Sap Green, and a touch of Permanent Yellow light. On a wet surface, I allow these pigments to mix on the paper to create a loose base as you can see below. 

3. Paint the Vegetation.

While the paper is still wet, I move on to the part below where I work on the vegetation. By using Leaf Green, Sap Green, and Raw Sienna I drop these pigments in the wet area and the mixing process is done right on paper.

4. Paint the first layer of the trees.

I continue to work on the background. While the paper is still damp, use a mixture of  Hooker’s Green, Sap green, and a touch of leaf Green to paint the trees on the right side of the painting. Next, paint the trees on the left side with the same mixture of the previous step.

And here is the result. Before going to the next step, I let the paper dry completely to work. You can use a hair dryer to save time but I like to let the washes dry naturally.

5. Paint the Stream of Watercolor Landscape Painting.

Continue to add details of the vegetation to create more depth in the watercolor painting by using a darker version of the previous color layer.

Next, I create the stream by using a mixture of Prussian Blue, Hoziron Blue, and Cerulean Blue, while the mixture is still moist. I drop Ultramarine Violet in this wet area to create depth. Note that, leave white spaces on the paper to suggest the white bubbles of water flow. Here is a little trick to make your painting look more attractive.

6. Paint the Branches of Your Landscape Painting

Starting to paint the branches on the dry surface, I load the long Rigger brush to paint them. I use a dark mixture of Raw Sienna and Ivory Black.

7. Continue developing the details of the trees

Let’s continue developing the details of the trees now. I mix Sap Green and Prussian Blue on my palette. By using the belly and point of the brush, I drop in the pigment on the dry surface to create clumps of foliage. Varying the angle of the brush in contact with the paper to create different shaped leaves, which will make them look more natural.

8. Developing the final details all over the landscape painting.

In the final stage, I develop the final details all over the landscape painting. Add undulating lines on the surface of the stream to suggest the flow of water. Next, I rub the edge of the brush down the surface of the vegetation to create texture and make it appear like fallen leaves and blades of grass.

Finished watercolor landscape tutorial

Done !!!Happy painting. !!!🤩🤩🤩🤩

Remove masking tape at the 4 edges of the paper.

If you found this tutorial helpful? Let me know what you think in the comments below. I’ll be back with another watercolor tutorial soon.

Your comments will help me have more joy and motivation to continue my creative work. To understand more, check out my video of the landscape watercolor painting process on youtube.

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