Winter Scene Gouache Painting

Create your own winter wonderland — and stay inside where it’s warm! Paint a seasonal scene with Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache on Arches 300 lb Cold Press Watercolor Paper using Cotman Watercolor Brushes. Learn to create a quick sketch from a reference image, then use pigment-loaded gouache as y...


1. Print out a full color reference photo. Quickly sketch the scene with an H pencil onto watercolor paper.

2. Add gouache colors to palette paper starting with Ultramarine Blue, Primary Blue, and Permanent White, then add water until the paint glides on the paper surface without sticking.

• Tip: Gouache will darken as it dries. Never over-thin gouache. It should have the consistency of heavy cream.

3. Sky (Background) — Using the 3/4 flat wash watercolor brush, paint a gradient background by starting with Ultramarine Blue and working your way down the page into Permanent White, allowing colors to blend from dark on top to light on the bottom. Apply two coats of color for full coverage and allow to dry.

4. Make a simple line drawing of the snow bank, trees, and branches by observing the reference photo.

5. Trees (Middle Ground) — Combine a large amount of Permanent Green Medium, a small amount of Ultramarine Blue, and small amount of Burnt Umber to paint the tree branches. Use angle shader to paint branches making quick marks.

• Tip: Gouache is opaque, so unlike watercolor use white to add highlights.

6. Use round brush to paint boughs on tree branches. Once dry repeat the same mark making process to add snow on top of the boughs using Permanent White. Repeat until trees look full.

7. Shadows (Middle Ground) — Mix Permanent White and Ultramarine Blue to create a darker blue tone. Paint shadows on snow in the foreground and middle ground.

8. Snow (Foreground) — Use Permanent White to add areas of snow as highlights and add shaded areas using remaining blues and white on your palette.