analagus trees

Analogous Trees

Aren’t these analogous trees lovely? I am teaching about color harmony in art class, and it is such a fun topic to explore. Once you learn the various color harmonies your artwork quickly transforms from average to stunning! One of the fun ways to learn about color harmony is by making these stunning Chinese inspired watercolor analogous trees.

Just like voices harmonize, so does color. Likewise, they can also sound awful or clash. Rest at ease, there are ways of choosing color to visually convey the message you are intending to give. Analogous color harmony is mostly found in nature, landscapes, leaves and trees.

analagus trees

To create an analogous color harmony, start by picking a hue (aka color). Then make what I call a “Hue Sandwich”. Simply snag the colors to the left and right of the hue (the bread of your sandwich), and now you are using an analogous color harmony. For the analogous trees project, any combination will do lovely. Reds, oranges and yellows will give you a warm summertime sunset sky. Violets and oranges will result in a very dramatic sky. Greens and yellows represent a crisp fresh landscape. One of my students chose purple and blues making it look like a night-time sky. Quite stunning.

Analogous Trees Materials

various brushes
thick masking tape
watercolor paper (9×11 cut in half)
watercolor paint
hair dryer (optional)

Step 1: Mask off the edges of your watercolor paper. Masking tape is notorious for tearing your paper. To avoid this, stick your tape to your pants or shirt about 5 or 6 times to pick up small fibers. This will make the tape a little less aggressive but still functional. When done painting, the tape will peel off with ease and will not tear your paper.

analogous trees
Step 2: Using your “Hue Sandwich”, begin adding the three colors one at a time to your paper with a paint brush. Do not over mix the colors. Allow the colors to move and interact with each other naturally, but resist the urge to mix them. Watercolors need water, thus their name, but don’t be tempted to use too much water either. Too much water will make the paper difficult to work with and your pigment will become very transparent. Feel free to add drops or spatters of paint for a neat effect.

Step 3: Let your paper air dry, or dry with a hair dryer. If you decide to speed up the process using a hair dryer use the cold air setting. Hot air will make the paper curl as it dries.

analogous trees
Step 4: Using black paint and a medium brush, carefully begin painting the trunk and branches of your tree. Use a smaller brush to add the smaller branches.

Step 5: Add your initials vertically with a box around it off to the side, if you like, to make your analogous trees resemble Chinese art.
analogous trees
Now that you are done with your analogous trees, try analogous leaves! Above are some beautiful examples from one of my very amazing 10-year-old students! These guys make me so proud!

Watercolor Starter Guide:

* indicates required

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *