Online Class

Nature in Watercolor: Painting Trees

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Learn essential watercolor techniques. Create vibrant, vivid forestscapes that are a joy to paint.

Skill Level


What You Get

  • 7 Streaming HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Class materials
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers to student questions from instructor Ronald Pratt
  • Closed captioning available (web only)

How it works

  • Once you purchase, find your class in your class library.
  • Watch on any device anytime.
  • Find downloadable class resources in the class viewer.


Learn how to paint aspen trees and vibrant foliage with captivating form alongside instructor Ronald Pratt. Start by planning a compelling composition with a value sketch. Then, block in the major elements of your painting and mask out negative space for your aspens. Get tips for mixing rich colors in the hues and values you want, and use them with a variety of techniques and tools to create breathtaking foliage, textured grasses and more. Next, lighten and darken values to add dimension to your work, paint dark pine trees in the distance and add interest to the sky. Remove your liquid mask to reveal brilliant white aspen trunks, and then add shadows for depth before bringing your trees to life with branches, scrapes and knots. Plus, fine-tune your work with painterly effects for an organic, outstanding finished piece.

Lesson Breakdown

1. The Value Study
Meet your instructor, watercolor artist Ronald Pratt, as he introduces you to the vibrant treescape you'll paint over the course of this class. Your work begins with finding reference photos and creating value sketches that will help you determine the composition and values you'll use in your painting.
2. Masking
3. Mixing Colors
4. The Colorful Wash
5. Adding Detail Over the Wash
6. Removing the Mask & Adding Trunk Details
7. The Final Pass

Recommended with this class

  • Watercolor paints, watercolor brushes, watercolor paper
  • Masking fluid

Taught by

Ronald Pratt
Ronald Pratt
Ronald Pratt has been teaching workshops and classes in watercolor painting in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years. His work has been published in Walter Foster's The Art of Watercolor Painting and Watercolor: Seasons, and can be found in collections both nationally and internationally. Ronald discovered his love of watercolor painting while studying architecture at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. After 10 years, he transitioned from working as an architectural designer to become a full-time watercolor painter and instructor.

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