top of page

Bluebell woods tutorial

As I can’t deliver regular watercolour workshops at the moment I decided to embark on writing a blog to bring one of my favourite workshops direct to your home.

It requires no drawing, no previous artistic experience and minimal equipment.

Please let me know how you get on with it and also any feedback on how you found the tutorial to follow as I am new to this!

OK gather your equipment - I’ve listed what I use but obviously use whatever you have at home.

watercolour paper - 140 or 200lb is best but use whatever you have

a big and a small brush

watercolour paint

blue (I used ultramarine blue)

yellow (I used new gamboge)

bright green (I used sap green)

bright pink (I used opera rose)

Masking tape (not essential)

clean water.


Mask out the trees

I use masking tape (cheap from home bargains)

I rip along the long edges to make them less straight

create different lengths and widths then stick to your paper

remember to go all the way to the top but end at different places on the page

you want them to look as though you are looking into a woods

don’t stick them too well as they might be difficult to get off.

If you don’t have tape you can lightly sketch in the tree trunks and keep these dry when you add the water at the next stage.

Next use your big brush to paint water all over the top half of the paper so it’s nice and shiny

then drop in some watery yellow into the centre and brush out to the sides a bit

you’re trying to give the impression of sunlight coming through the trees.

work quite quickly and add some mixed blue and pink to the edges

add a few more darks towards the centre trees to suggest bushes in the distance

don’t worry if the water and paint runs this is fine

I actually work on a slight tilt to encourage these runs.

now wet the bottom half of the paper and drop in some dark and juicy blues and pinks then add the green

don’t try to paint these in - load up your brush with lots of colour and touch it to the wet paper and the paint will run into the paper.

Lift and move your paper to encourage runs.

when you add a new colour do the same to Keep the colours clean and avoid mixing up a grey brown colour.

Enjoy this part you need to work while the paper is wet to get best results and try not to worry.

you can also try splattering some paint off your brush.

Once you’re. Happy with all the colour leave it to dry off a little

at this stage you could add some salt for texture - but not too much!

Once your painting starts to dry (go away and have a cup of tea) you can carefully remove the tape (start at the bottom to avoid ripping paper).

You will have some very stark trees something like this.

Now you can start to put some detail in

suggest a distant horizon through the trees

blend in the bottom of the trees to the ground

paint a shadow down the left hand side of each tree and some light lines to suggest bark

you can use any or all of your colours for this - no brown trees here.

try mixing the different colours together like I have below.

take your time with this part and enjoy it.

You can now leave it as it is or work into it a little more.

add some grass to the base of the tree.

Suggest some bluebells - but not too many and still using the same colours

Once dry you can Remove the salt with your fingers or a butter knife,

add some splatter to loosen things up

There you go - finished.

I hope you enjoyed this and that it made sense.

Please don’t expect to get it perfect the first time, try it lots of times and each one will be different and each time you will learn something new and improve. It’s a journey so please try to take the pressure of expectation off yourself and try to enjoy the process.

I often start a painting by telling myself it’s just an experiment and that I will throw it in the bin at the end - these often turn out be my best pieces!

I would love to see how you get on and any constructive feedback would be great.

Thank you and enjoy

115 views4 comments

Recent Posts

See All

4 komentarze

13 maj 2020

Wow these are gorgeous Susan thank you for sharing. The colours in the top one give it a lovely autumnal feel. And yes the whole point is to learn new techniques and to enjoy. I hope you’ll paint more💕


Susan Barbara
Susan Barbara
13 maj 2020

Based on your inspiration Joe, thanks, I am pleased with them although they look nothing like yours! Enjoyed the process and learning all the time👍💕


Thank you - will give it a go over the weekend! I can imagine doing it all in my head - hope it is as straight forward in reality!😊


Susan Barbara
Susan Barbara
07 maj 2020

Thanks Jo, I will definitely give this a try tomorrow! Very clear instructions, lovely to see it done step by step, thanks.💕

bottom of page