Painting Trees in Watercolor

by Diane Antone

I have been painting trees in watercolor for many years. It has been an almost lifelong passion of mine, but the roots (excuse the pun) go back to around 1987 when I started to pick up my childhood hobby again after a considerable break while I had a young family.

At that time I was studying to become a teacher, and I had a strong interest in Waldorf Education, as developed by the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner and my children were at a Steiner School in Canterbury. I was attempting to complete the training for becoming a Waldorf teacher also. This involved doing a lot of painting in the wet-in-wet style and also veil painting which is unique to anthroposophy.

I later spent a year or so in Germany studying painting and the main subject for these paintings was trees and nature. I do believe that my interest in painting from nature started at that time. I hope that this little gallery of some of my old work – both anthroposophical and traditional – is of interest to you.

Essential Tree

Tree inspired by Anthroposophical Art

This tree was painted in 1989 in southern Germany near Lake Constance. It consists of many layers of watercolor paint and took many days to complete. For this type of painting nothing but the best paper is required, and it was done on 140lb Arches paper and measures about 12 x 20 inches. We used Stockmar paints in the primary colors only.

Autumn Landscape with Trees

Autumn Landscape with Trees

I had just discovered the intense color of Quinacridone Gold when I painted this landscape around 2003. It reminds me of my idea of Australia, a country I have never visited but which I imagine as burning hot under the sun.

French Poplars

French Poplars

This is an oil painting which I did when I went to live in France, embodying some of the principles I’d learnt, as well as trying to incorporate some of the ideas of the Impressionists.

Winter Trees

Winter Trees

This is a watercolor done in about 2008 which was inspired by seeing the cold winter light reflecting on the bare trunks and branches of some trees I saw at a stopping place on a motorway in France.

Fire Tree

Fire Tree

This tree expresses my feelings of frustration and anger at the time I painted it when I was going through a difficult period in my life. I do think that painting trees in watercolor helped me to deal with emotions which otherwise might have overwhelmed me.

How to Paint a Tree

Here’s a video you might find interesting. It’s a wet in wet tree with a calligraphic method of painting the trunk and branches.

Painting Trees in Watercolor

Check my blog often for more examples of trees I have painted over the years and more recently.


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6 thoughts on “Painting Trees in Watercolor”

  1. I found it most interesting to learn about your training. And your trees! Every painting is stunning. It is hard to pick a favorite, but I think mine is Autumn Landscape with Trees. I have learned to love quinacridone gold from following you and ordered a tube some weeks ago. I like the blue and black in the painting also. Don’t know why but I always like black in paintings, whether it is paint or pen. Maybe that is why I am so drawn to your style,. Thank you for sharing your training with us in this blog and in every single one of your tutorials. I am learning a lot from you!

    1. Hi Yvonne, thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad you found us and I look forward to seeing messages from you! Only just found this one so forgive me if my reply is late! Lots of black coming up in October as I will be participating in Inktober for the first time! Happy painting!

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