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Painting a simple landscape

August 4, 2011

Today we are going to paint a simple watercolor landscape. For that we need a medium textured paper (<=180 gsm). This is a very basic tutorial. Through this we shall learn how to put colors on a wet paper and how to compose.

Step 1: I have taken a medium textured paper. I fixed it on a board tilted at about 30 degree angle. Put a horizontal line on the paper which will be your horizon. I did not sketch before painting. It is completely on you. You can sketch/draw important elements in the composition prior to paint. But remember do not sketch with a higher grade pencils like 2B, 4B, etc. HB pencils are recommended. I dampened the sky that is the upper part of the horizon with fresh water. Wait for about 1 minute. In between prepare your color palate and brushes.

Step 2: mix colors you want in the sky. I have used French Ultra Marine and Mauve. Now with no.12/14 round head brush start painting from the top. DO NOT double brush any part as it may remain patches which are very difficult to remove.

Step 3: make a very thin layer of color (previous mixture + grey) and lightly paint on the lowest portion of the dampened area. Now wait for a few moments to allow colors to settle down (not to dry).

Step 4: make a thick layer of color of Viridian Green and Cobalt Blue (Hue) and start painting the distant bushes. We have to put this color before the sky dries out. Add some grey into the color mix and carefully paint on the wet bushes to add some depth.

Step 5: now it is time to paint the field. Mix Lemon Yellow with Light Green and paint on the upper part of the field. Leave a very thin gap between the distant bushes and the field. Later paint with darker tone (previous mix + Sap Green) till the end. When we gradually descend our color mixture will be darker than the previous tone.

Step 6: we can add some kind of solid/stone/hard surface at the foreground. For this I have used Burnt Umber and French Ultra Marine mixture. You can see there are two color blobs due to mixing of the mixing of the color of the bushes and the color of the field. The right one is looking ugly. What we can do? Ok, let’s make a figure covering it! I did it directly with colors, but if you wish you can do it with a HB pencil (very light in tone, remember you are sketching on a painted paper).

Step 7: now it’s time for finishing touches. Add green patches, add highlights (I have used Super White of Poster Color) and shadow.

Step 8: still something is missing. The guy is looking on his left, but at what? I painted a few goats grazing on the field, a few broken fences and 3 / 4 palm trees (very common tree in West Bengal) over the distant bushes. Here it is! A landscape is ready. I actually did this on a odd shaped waste paper cut out from a different composition. TRY IT YOURSELVES!!!!


From → tutorial

  1. Domingo Wingerter permalink

    Good points

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