Pine cone in watercolor

Once again it’s a fall subject this week ! And it won’t be the last ! Here you have my take on painting a pine cone without being too realistic. And as i’m painting a pine cone why not paint the branch and the pine needles ?! It’s easier than it’s looks.

Reference picture - pine cone on a branch

My reference image, on the left, represent a pine cone on a branch. Very simple picture but efficient ! I’ve always think that pine cone were difficult to paint, but in fact it’s not that hard. i’ve painted several of them and i think that at every attempt it become easier and easier. I say it often but, to paint again and again the same subject is a very good way to learn ! The pine needles can also be a bit hard to paint as there is so many of them. But do trust the transparency of watercolor and do play with overlapping object and everything will be fine. 

So here you have my previous attempts of pine cone and a first sketch for my painting of today. The first cone was painted in 2015 with only gradients. It was quite a long process but it was a wonderful exercice to practice gradients in watercolor ! And even if my style has changed a lot, i do like this stylized version. Le second pine cone was painted last year (2017) and is part of an ensemble of illustrations that, once cut, formed my advent wreath.

Watercolor pine cone in video

A pine cone in watercolor - ENGLISH VERSION

This watercolor was very enjoyable to paint. Painting pine needle, even if it looks quite long and tedious, is in fact very relaxing. The final result is really natural and recognizable in one wink without being realistic or in a botanical style.

Brushes : Escoda Aquario nº18, Raphaël le « 803 » nº2.
Paper : Arches rough 
Colors : Viridian (Schmincke), Quinacridone gold (Daniel Smith), Winsor yellow deep (Winsor & Newton), Verona gold ochre (Daniel Smith), Ultramarine blue (Daniel Smith), Burnt sienna (Schmincke).

Here you have the finish painting (click to enlarge) :

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