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Step-By-Step Watercolor Landscape

Watercolor Landscape Samples
Original watercolor landscapes painted by teens

Last week, ten teens gathered in the Teen Center at the Main Library to learn the basics of watercolor painting. Ms. Jessica demonstrated six fundamental watercolor techniques and discussed the essential elements for creating distance in a landscape. Now these teens will explain through photos of their own work how to create your own watercolor landscape!

Masking tape & watercolor paper
  • Use masking tape
  • Attach paper to the table
  • This reduces surface buckling when wet
  • Water & color transferred to painting well
  • Wet each pan color with water
  • Transer dissolved paint to the palette with a brush
  • Add more water to the pan as it dries
  • Create enough liquid color so you don't run out
  • Try combining colors
  • More water=lighter colors. Less water=darker colors
  • Flat, even layer of color
  • Saturate flat, soft bristle brush with watercolor
  • Paint an even stroke across the top of the paper
  • Continue slightly-overlapping horizontal strokes down the paper
  • Add more paint when needed: color should stay even
  • Vary the final stroke to define mountains
  • Allow to dry
  • Wet color on wet paper
  • Moisten brush with clean water
  • Wet paper where you plan to place mountains
  • Add color to your brush and paint into wet area
  • Color will bloom and spread unpredictably
  • Add other colors to create texture & mottling
  • Allow to dry
  • Wet paint applied to dry paper
  • Dip soft, round brush into a darker tree color
  • Paint a treeline that overlaps the bottom of the mountains
  • Pine trees: vertical lines with random dots of color that get bigger towards the bottom
  • Deciduous trees: random color blobs of various shapes and sizes
  • Fill the bottom area of trees with color
  • Add water, blot with paper, color is lifted out
  • Moisten clean round brush with water
  • Paint shapes with water: clouds & birds in the sky, snow in the mountains, etc
  • Blot with dry paper towel to remove color
  • Color blends from light to dark or from one color to another
  • Same process as flat wash with blended color changes
  • Dark to light: add extra water to strokes instead of color as you paint down the paper
  • Color change: start with color #1 and begin adding color #2 halfway down overlapping each stroke
  • Painting will shift smoothly from one color to the next
  • Allow to dry completely
  • Details, sharp lines, bright colors
  • Ensure the paper is completely dry
  • Mix concentrated paint on palette
  • Dip moist round brush into paint
  • Start at the bottom of the paper (foreground)
  • Paint details with the brush tip: flowers, grass, etc
  • Completed watercolor landscapes
  • Flat Wash
  • Wet in Wet
  • Wet on Dry
  • Lift Out
  • Graded Wash
  • Dry Brush