How To Paint Quick Snow Scene



Watercolor Painting

How To Paint a Snow Scene

Winter snow scenes are fun to paint. I did this small painting in 20 minutes using white gouache for the snow laden evergreen tree. The rest of the painting is transparent watercolor.

Steps to complete this painting.

  1. Cut illustration board to size.
  2. Lightly sketch in pencil the tree.
  3. Thoroughly wet board.
  4. Paint background wet into wet
  5. While still wet add the green and white areas of tree.
  6. Let dry, paint the details.

Snowy Landscape, 8″ x 10″ watercolor and gouache on illustration board, ©2019 PJ Cook.

This original painting was done on Bainbridge illustration board with a cold press finish. Watercolor paper would also be fine.

To start I soaked the board using a 1 inch flat brush and water. Most of this painting is done wet into wet so you will need to move quickly.

Focus on the overall feel and look of the scene.

Step by Step Painting Guide

Paint a wash using the 3 colors listed below for the background. This colorful wash will glow. Blend or merge the colors to create orange and violet shades if you prefer. The key is to not overwork the paint. Lay it down then move on to the next step. Working quickly add the green tree branches. When working wet into wet add stronger paint in your brush with less water. The paint will stay in place more but still have soft edges. Before the surface dries add the white for the snow on the branches.

  • Hansa Yellow, Red Rose Deep and Windsor blue
  • Mix the evergreen color with yellow and Ultramarine blue
  • Use opaque white gouache for the snow
  • Use same 3 colors to paint background trees

Let the painting dry then add the background tree line using some of the same colors on your palette. Paint the evergreen tree details using a darker color than what is already there. Add more white gouache for brighter highlights on the evergreen tree and the foreground snow.

I hope to take a video of this snow scene landscape next so stay tuned for that post! It is so much fun to paint these small quick scenes. Paint a few different landscapes using these same techniques.