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Soft Forest

Updated: Apr 29



One of my most favorite things to paint is a tranquil forest scene. Anyone who's ever painted nature probably knows how I feel.. it's just such soothing imagery! Growing up in Eastern Canada, there were always lots of Birch trees to admire. Those are the ones on the right side of this painting. (On the left, I didn't have a specific tree in mind, but if I had to choose, I'd say Poplar.) I also decided to set the tone quite cool in this one, purposely avoiding warm shades of green. It's good to change things up once in a while!


Preparing the Canvas

  • Did not apply gesso this time.

  • Covered canvas with wash of purple made by mixing phthalo blue and cadmium red.

  • Blotted most of it off with paper towel to leave subtle lilac purple behind on.


Painting the Trees

  • Used Princeton Select brand 1/4" angular shader to color in some trees with Liquitex brand titanium white.

  • Applied Winsor and Newton brand Winsor blue (phthalo blue) to give trees bark-like detail. Also added grass at base of trees.

  • Filled in trees with various tints of Winsor and Newton brand phthalo green and phthalo blue using Princeton Select 1/4" angular shader.


Painting the Landscape

  • Painted water with pastel phthalo tint.

  • Created distant hills with detail brush.

  • Painted the water with darker shades of phthalo.


Adding Sun and Accent Colors

  • Used pale mix of Winsor and Newton brand cadmium yellow and white for the sun and flowers.

  • Used cadmium orange to accent leaves in trees and add more flowers along river's edge.


Adding Final Details

  • Added shine on water with pale yellow tint and titanium white.

  • Used two Posca brand acrylic markers, white and yellow, to highlight the trees.


Check out the following links to get the same paints and brushes that I used!


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