Let’s Paint a Winter Pond {free watercolor tutorial!}

Brrr folks! I am really feeling the winter chill now! The best part of winter is observing it from the warm toasty indoors, preferably with a cup of hot coffee in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. This is an easy watercolor lesson anyone can paint. We will use 4 colors: ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, lemon yellow and alizarin crimson (see note below the video about substitutions.) You will need a #6 round and #12 (1/2″) flat brush. I am painting on a Canson Watercolor card. This is a perfect first painting to try, ready? Let’s paint!

See, that was easy! Feel free to substitute colors:

Instead of this…    Use this…

Alizarin Crimson         Any pinkish/purplish red AKA a cool red

Ultramarine Blue         Any purplish blue AKA a warm blue

Lemon Yellow               Any green leaning yellow AKA a cool yellow

Burnt Sienna                 Any warm brown

By substituting and looking at the characteristics of a primary color you will become a better painter because it will develop your color instinct. You might prefer cadmium yellow light to lemon yellow or rose madder to alizarin crimson and that’s OK. Learn to substitute by identifying  the color bias (is that red cool-more like purple or warm-more like orange) and you will develop your own unique palette and style and most of all enjoy playing with color! You will also learn how to mix vibrant shades with a limited amount of colors! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

8 Responses

  1. An amazing tutorial and boy would I just love to be able to paint anything like this, that´s for sure. It looks fabulous Lindsey, and I´m so jealous ha ha ha


  2. God has blessed you with wonderful talent to be able to put on paper what He has created. I can draw my breath and paint walls!


  3. Hi Lindsay! Thank you so much for posting this and for all your watercolor tutorials — I really enjoy watching them and feel like I’ve learned a lot about watercolors in the last few months from you. I just ordered a bunch of new watercolor supplies, and I’m waiting for them to come in the mail so I can hopefully start having a go at things myself soon :).

    I had a question and a request, and wasn’t sure where else to post them, so I hope you get a chance to see this —

    1) My request: I was wondering if you could do a watercolor tutorial for magnolias! I love magnolias, and I’ve found myself drawing/tracing/coloring them often in the past… I’d love if you could do a watercolor tutorial on magnolias whenever you get a chance.

    2) And my question: I love working with mixed media, and I love dark black outlines in some of my pieces. I recently did a watercolor piece with a black outline… I started with a pencil outline, went over that in permanent ink, and then painted inside the outline.

    I had a *lot* of trouble getting the ink onto the watercolor paper, but then I was trying to use a sharpie-type pen to draw on cold pressed watercolor paper. It was a struggle. It took a long time, and the lines were a bit shaky. The result was fine, but the process was a bit frustrating.

    Do you know of a better way/tool/method to get ink lines onto watercolor paper? I hope my question is clear, and would appreciate any help or advice you could offer.

    Sorry about the book-length comment, and thank you again for sharing so much of your knowledge and craft with us!


    • I’ll add the magnolia to may list:) I have done pen and ink using a micron pen on watercolor paper. If you were having trouble with a sharpie it is probably because the paper was rough, try hot press watercolor paper. Make sure you work on smooth dry paper as the sharpie won’t write in a damp surface. You can also use a dip pen like calligraphy artists use for this.


      • Thanks for the suggestion! I think I’ll try the dip pen, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll try hot press watercolor paper. And thank you for adding magnolias to your list; I’m sure you get a lot of requests, and it means a lot that you’d consider mine :).


  4. A great watercolour tutorial as usual……..loved it, bring them on I say Lindsay I learn so much watching you.


  5. Great lesson. Trying to getback into painting. I used to paint in acrylics. Your watercolor lesson is a great inspiration. I’m going to try this!


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