Easy Watercolour Winter Scene

A Watercolour Painting Of A Winter Scene Step By Step.

Here we show the painting of a typical winter scene step by step for the benefit of newcomers to watercolour painting.


A Simple Painting Kit

I used the minimum of materials. My set-up for the  project is shown below.

A simple painting kit: 4 brushes, travel paints, paper and a pencil.
A simple painting kit: 4 brushes, travel paints, paper and a pencil.

 First, a very simple pencil sketch

An outline pencil sketch of the scene to be painted.
An outline pencil sketch of the scene to be painted.

The hut on the right (deliberately off-centre) is to be the focus of the picture.

There will be some trees to the left, snow in the middle-ground and water in the foreground.


Next, Some Sky And Foliage 

Then wet the sky area and paint it in a warm orange colour (mixing red and yellow) near the horizon. Use a cooler blue-grey tone  near the top (mixing blue and grey), while saving the white roof and wall in light.

Before the sky dries, touch in the background foliage (using a blue-grey mix) so that it appears misty and distant.

The first wash for the top half of the picture - sky and foliage
The first wash for the top half of the picture – sky and foliage

Next, Putting The Building In Contrast Creating A Strong Focal Point

I let the previous wash dry and then add the nearer foliage and bush next to the building. You want this dark bush against light wall to be the focal point of the painting.

At this stage also add some bare trees and branches. For this we suggest you use a stronger mix of blue and brown.

The Building In Contrast Creating A Strong Focal Point
The Building In Contrast Creating A Strong Focal Point

Next, A Water Area With Reflections In The Foreground

Next wet the foreground  area which is to be an area of water. Paint in the reflection of the scene above in vertical strokes with a mid range flat brush.

You can use the same colour mix in various tonal strengths, depending on what is being reflected.

Foreground Water Area With Reflections
Foreground Water Area With Reflections

Next, Strengthening The Details

Paint in the shadowed part of the building and under the roof in light blue-grey.

Add some dead leaves and foliage to the trees in dry brush dabs.

Also give some form to the snowy ground with one or two horizontal  strokes of a large round brush using a weak mix of blue grey.

Strengthen the water area with another glaze of the blue/brown mix.

Model the foliage around the trees, adding some more detail and reflecting this on the surface of the water.

Added some horizontal lines across the water.

Finally, in this section,  strengthen the shadows under the roof and at the end of the building

Our Picture With The Details Strengthened
Our Picture With The Details Strengthened

Next, Adding Details To The Snowy Middle-ground Area

Add some twigs and plants in dry brush strokes showing through the snow.

Add a rickety wooden fence.

Also add a bit more detail to the  tree reflections.

Adding Details To The Snowy Middle-ground Area
Adding Details To The Snowy Middle-ground Area

Finally, A Few More Details And You Are Done

A final few details and the winter scene is complete
A final few details and the winter scene is complete

Next, add some strong horizontal strokes (in a blue-brown mix) to the near water.

Finally, give the building a hint of windows and a door .