In this tutorial we will walk through this easy canvas painting idea. Remember, you don’t need to copy exactly what I have done. Use your imagination. These tutorials are meant to give you an understanding of techniques and spark ideas within yourself. So, let’s get into it.
Using mostly white and adding tiny amounts of blue at a time, mix a very light sky blue. Start in the upper corners and work down and in using a wide brush. Add white as you get closer to the center. Bring the blue down about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way down the canvas.
Finish using vertical strokes to create vertical lines. You can add some blue or white to amplify the lines if you like. The idea is to create ghostly lines which will look like trees in the back ground.
Using black fill in the bottom of the canvas, this will eventually be the ground and water so make the top uneven and be sure to have at least one low spot. I just made mounds/hills on either side.
Finish the dark area with horizontal strokes across the bottom. You can add a touch of blue and white in here to create the sheen on the water.
Mix a bit of white with black to get a light grey and paint in random vertical lines of assorted sizes using a smaller brush. The trees further back will appear smaller. Be sure to add branches here and there as well. Now is the best time to throw in some leaves on a few of background trees if you like.
Leaves are easily created by tapping a wide brush onto the canvas. Mix some white with green (or what ever color you want for your leaves) to get a pale color. Tap in a few background leaves to give a bit of depth. Don’t get too carried away.
Grab your smaller brush again and paint in a few trees in the foreground using black. Remember the trees will appear larger when closer to you. Add branches and limbs to any bushes you want in the foreground.
Now you should be looking to fill the trees with leaves. Same technique as before, use a wide brush and tap the leaves onto the branches. Think about shape and form, don’t just throw leaves up everywhere.
Start with a dark color like black, blue or dark green. Then go over again working to lighter colors. The dark in the back with light on front will create shadows and depth.
Two colors of contrast are good, if you add a third make it bright and only add the odd little sparkle here and there as highlights.
Feel free to add the odd branch here and there while doing this because you will cover most of them with leaves. Do the same to create bushes at the base of the trees. And down to the water’s edge.
I like to throw in one or two bushes or leaves that are completely different in color than the surrounding foliage just to make things pop but it is up to you what you want to do. I added a few bushes in red with yellow highlights.
Okay now this is where you gotta get brave and take a chance. It is not hard, but it is going to be the focal point in the painting. We are going to add a waterfall. I used a fan brush, but any flat brush will do. If you don’t have a flat brush don’t worry this technique will still work just go slow and see how your brush behaves.
You can use white or mix in a tiny bit of blue. Again, color is up to you. The trick is to make one continuous stroke from top to bottom. Decide which direction the water is flowing and start at the top move slightly horizontal before dropping down to the pond.
Think about where the waterfall meets the surface of the pond and stop there. Work your way across the waterfall using the same stroke. You want lines and the illusion of water flowing so keep it gentle and light.
Now where the waterfall meets the pond, make some light horizontal lines to establish the surface of the water. Work them away from the waterfall. You will see the ripples and waves from the falling water begin to emerge.
You can add some light horizontal strokes to the rest of the pond in white and blue to give the sheen on top of the water. Just be subtle too much will make it look odd.
Using the same brush that you used to make the waterfall, start at the base of the falling water and flick up and out to create splashes. Then using a small brush, load up with white. With your finger, flick the bristles to spatter some water droplets around the splash zone.
This painting looks like it took some time, but it can be done very quickly. All the techniques used are simple and easy enough for anyone to do. Give it a try! As always feel free to explore and test yourself. Let your imagination go where it wants. I hope you enjoyed this easy canvas painting idea.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Did you try this painting? I would love to see your finished painting if you did try it. Do you like this painting? Did you watch the video? Let me know.