Saturday, 26 November 2016

Winter Birch Forest (with Pictorial)

Hello friends! Winter is here once more! Last week, we were suddenly hit with a couple of inches of snow here in Ottawa. The first snowfall is always so exciting. I love the feeling of waking up, looking out the window and finding everything under a blanket of fresh snow. The here ground is covered with a layer of fluffy white snow, and the sidewalks are icy again. I will definitely have to get used to the cold and walking very carefully so that I won't slip on the ice. 
This week, my nails are inspired by winter. I remember going camping during my days as a girl scout years ago, and hiking through some beautiful winter trails. We also learned to make bird feeders (the ones made from acorns) and got to watch cute birds from our cabin. One of the birds that caught my eye was a brilliant red color that contrasted beautifully against the white snow. I've loved cardinals ever since, they're just such wonderfully majestic looking birds. I now consider it good luck when I see one (or a pair) when I go out. Sadly, cardinals are not that common in the city, all I see are pigeons nowadays.

Continue reading for some tips and a pictorial on how to create this look....




  • Start off with an opaque light blue base color (I used Urban Outfitter's Pixie)
  • Using a thin brush and some white acrylic paint draw on some tree trunks that vary in thickness. Birch trees are typically pretty skinny and straight; also be sure to add on some thin branches!
  • (Optional) shade the tree trunks using a very light grey color
  • Using a thin brush and some black acrylic paint, add black marks to the tree trunks to create the bark (birch bark has horizontal patterns as opposed to vertical ones like typical trees)
    • to get the thin lines, make sure your brush is relatively dry (does not have to be completely dry)
  • (Optional) Add some very light grey-green leaves to fill up some negative space
  • Using a reference picture, draw on your cardinals with red acrylic paint; then, add a beak using orange paint and facial markings using black paint
Finish off with a top coat to seal in and smooth out the design, and that's it!