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Make-it-Monday: Watercolor Landscapes

This semester, our Watercolor students are learning the basics of landscape painting!

Watercolor landscape painting is a beautiful and unique way to capture the natural world on paper. The transparency and fluidity of watercolors allow for a sense of movement and atmosphere in a landscape painting that can be difficult to achieve with other mediums. Here are some basic techniques to help you get started with watercolor landscape painting:

1. Think about your composition: Before you begin painting, it's important to have a clear idea of the composition and layout of your landscape. Lightly sketching out your scene (even the colors) beforehand can help you plan placement of various elements and make sure everything fits together well. Use a photo reference if you need ideas for the layout and colors. Or if you want to embrace having no plan and dive in with paint first, you don't necessarily have to start with a sketch!

2. Use a limited palette: Watercolors can be overwhelming to work with if you try to use too many different colors. Instead, choose a limited palette of just a few colors and mix them to create the different shades and tones you need. Think about what feeling you want your landscape to have- is it a winter or rainy scene? You might go with cool colors, like blues or purples. A sunny day or a Fall mountain-scape? Maybe warm colors, like reds, oranges, or yellows.

3. Experiment with layering: One of the unique features of watercolors is their ability to layer and blend colors. Experiment with different layering techniques, such as wet-on-wet, to create depth and interest in your painting. Typically with watercolor painting you want to start with your background, but more importantly-lighter colors first. For example, overlap trees, mountains, and other darker details on top of your light blue sky. If you have white spots, like the sun or a white flower, leave the white paper paint-free and work around it!

4. Practice blending: Blending colors is a key technique in watercolor painting. Practice blending colors by wetting one area of your paper and then dropping in different colors. Experiment with how the colors interact and blend to create different effects.

5. Be patient: Watercolor painting can be a slow and patient process. Don't rush - take your time to build up layers and blend colors. Remember that mistakes can often be corrected by layering more paint over them or blotting up paint with a paper towel.

These are some landscapes our Adult Watercolor students painted last semester! Each one was so unique in its composition, colors, and process. Many of our students find photos of landscapes that are special to them in some way and then recreate them in watercolor. This always makes their painting even more priceless. We're pumped to see what our students come up with for their landscape paintings this semester!

Here's a few suggestions of great supplies you can start with.

1. If you want to go all out there's this starter kit.

2. Always use high quality paper when doing watercolor.

3. if you're looking for great watercolor paintbrushes you can use the same set we use in our studio.


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