How to Paint a Realistic Cherry Tree With Watercolors Tutorial

Updated on April 23, 2018
fairychamber profile image

Niina is an artist, illustrator, and art teacher who loves the world of watercolors.

Paint a Delicate Cherry Tree!

Cherry trees are stunning, with their vibrant red and sweet pink foliage. If you've been wanting to paint one but don't know how, I'll share some tips and tricks to painting a realistic cherry tree with watercolors.

What You'll Need:

  • Watercolor paper, at least 300g thickness
  • Watercolors: I use colors from Aquafine and Windsor & Newton
  • Watercolor paintbrushes
  • Water jars

1. Mix Reds

I start my painting process by mixing different kinds of reds. I'm using a color called ”rose” from Aquafine, which is a bright pink color with a light shade of lilac. To make this color redder, I mix it with sinoper red and crimson red from my Windsor and Newton palette.

2. Start With clouds

When you start painting the tree, first paint a cloud-shape using round paintbrushes in a light shade of the color you wish to use.

Tip: When you are painting with watercolors, have a separate jar of water for each color. By doing this, your colors wont get muddled.

3. Paint the Grass

After the first color dries, paint another smaller cloud shape underneath it. This is the grass where the tree is growing. You can add details to the grass with a smaller paintbrush. When you are painting with watercolors, the intention is to move from lighter shades to darker shades. Between adding each layer, let the paint to dry. Otherwise, the colors will get mixed.

4. Paint the Trunk and Mix a Black Color

When the green has dried, it is time to paint the trunk. I like to mix my own black. To do this, I use the darkest shade of blue, darkest shade of red, and darkest shade of yellow from my color palette. I recommend using ¼ yellow, ¼ red, and 2/4 blue. Paint some branches peeking through the foliage.

5. Create Patterns

When the black paint has dried, take a flat watercolor pencil and dip it into the bright pink paint. Start painting the foliage and with strokes from a brush that is little bit dry to create a mixture of interesting patterns for an impression of cherry tree leaves.

The cherry tree is done! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have a great time painting them.

Questions & Answers


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      • fairychamber profile image

        Niina Niskanen 4 weeks ago from Wrexham

        Thanks Louise! Definitely give it a go.

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 4 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

        That's come out lovely. I've never tried water colouring before, but would love to try. Thanks for the tutorial.