Choose colours raw sienna, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, lemon yellow. This composition uses wet-in-wet and dry brush techniques. Don't forget wet-in-wet needs the paper really wet and your paint will be diluted by the water - never paint to the edge of the wet part you will get a strong line. It's recommended to mix up your paint before wetting the paper!

 lightning1    lightning2    more tree 3

Roughly sketch the composition horizon line approx 1/3 from bottom. Roughly draw in the lightning bolt

Paint clean water across the top 2/3 of the painting  drop in very light blue. Continue wet-in-wet with raw sienna and green made with lemon and cobalt at the bottom. IMPORTANT; leave an area of white where the sun shines through the tree blend the colour in you want to avoid a circle with a strong line around it


Dry completely

Paint in the line of reeds with burnt and raw sienna then continue with lemon and blue wet-in-wet allow the paint to run together. A darker area should be in the foreground

Dry completely

paint in the area of sun carefully with lemon yellow blending raw sienna then burnt sienna as the branches go out

Add the trunk - blue and burnt sienna makes a great brown



Dry completely

Add the branches moving out from the yellow area colours should get darker as they move away from the sun circle. Use dry brush technique to get darker leaf shapes. Add darker yellow on top of the light yellow and darker green on top of the light green.

Dry brush - use higly pigmented paint, hold brush almost horizontally and use the texture of the paper to get the effect

lightning4   lightning final    
Add in more dry brush effects  

Add in the tree shadows with adark green

Add in the smaller branches with a rigger paint brush Spray on some dark tones with a toothbrush. Make sure you have a dark area of paint on the bottom left of the tree otherwise your sun rays will not show.

Dry completely.

To add the rays of sun: with clean water and a fine brush sweep out at an angle from the yellow branches and dab off quickly with kitchen paper. This works well because ultramarine blue lifts easily