Winter tree

Winter tree

Last week I wrote a blog about winter inspiration. I mentioned a tree we saw on our very wintry walk, and this week I want to share with you the process of painting that tree, while adding my own touches.

The weather here has been very cold, and icy. Frost has hugged the grass, ice has clung onto puddles on the lanes. We have been glad of our cosy cottage and warm bed. 

I am looking forward to warmer days and the feel of Spring sunshine on my face, but there is a harsh beauty to this cold. It inspires me to try to get that down on paper, but there always needs to be a hint of hope in my work I think

I always have my phone with me so I can snap a tree or hedgerow to maybe use later

This is the tree that inspired this piece.


First I sketched it out

Then I wet the whole paper with a big brush.

Then a very loose wash , for the sky, weak yellow ochre near the horizon and greyish yellow clouds above.

Now leave it to dry completely.

Now it is dry I begin first with the most distant trees, using a pale, neutral tint.

I have also cut out a small circle of masking tape and placed it where I imagine the winter sun to be shining through. My light in this piece

Then I carry on with the trees, getting gradually darker the nearer to us they get.


Use your nice thin brushes and be as fluid as you can .

Here I am beginning the sun, with Indian yellow and cadmium orange. Wet in wet around the circle.

Can you see how the light from the sun is incorporated into the trunk of the nearest tree. be bold.

Now I continue with the branches and playing with the colours of the light. I use water and a piece of kitchen roll to wipe away the rays.

Now onto the hedges, I wanted to add some warmer tones here too and I sprinkled some salt for texture.

When that dries I can add darker patches.

And add the hedge on the left hand side.

I have also added some marks onto the snowy lane.

When it's done I put it to one side. The next day I thought it needed more clouds in the sky , that looked a bit empty . I also added a few more touches here and there, a day away from a painting can give you some perspective on it I find.

I hope you can find inspiration around you and add your own touches too...after all you are in charge !






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I love your work soo much! Every painting is a highlight and inspiration for me. I love the English landscape and especially your way of interpretation. Thank you so much for sharing the prozess of painting. Wet and icy greetings from Vienna… ;) Brigitte

Brigitte Fischer-Erb

I so much love your watercolour paintings ❣️ I do not normally comment, but I just have to say how beautiful all your paintings are. Thank you so much for sharing what you do and how you do it ! You are such an inspiration 🙌


This is stunning Rachel!
I really enjoyed reading and watching the visuals as this beautiful piece came together.
Just wonderful! ❤️


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