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Water color landscapes in 5 easy steps

Painting a watercolor landscape is about more than copying nature. You don't just want to show a mountain; you also want to capture a mood and really express how that gorgeous scenery makes you feel.

This step-by-step tutorial will help you master the basics of watercolor landscape painting so you can focus on the personal part.

As a reference, I'll use this photograph from my garden. The mountains & the valley look very misty in this picture. I took the picture in the spring, but decided to paint an autumn scene instead.

What you need

  • A sheet of your favorite watercolor paper

  • A big flat or oval brush for large washes (I used a 1-inch wide oval brush)

  • A round brush (#12)

  • A smaller brush for detail work (#6)

Note: The size of the brushes you choose depends on your personal preferences and the size of your painting. My painting is about 9-by-13 inches.


  • Cobalt blue

  • French ultramarine

  • Winsor violet

  • Yellow ochre

  • Burnt sienna

  • Quinacridone gold

  • Perylene maroon

1. Make a Quick, Loose Sketch

2.theres no need to draw details just outline the key components

Using a big brush, paint the sky wet-on-dry with cobalt blue. ( Need a refresher on washes? We've got you! ) Leave a spot of light on the top of the mountain. Remember that the sky appears warmer and lighter as it approaches the horizon, so add a tiny drop of yellow ochre to the bottom of the blue wash. Also note that in this landscape, the sun is on the left-hand side, so the sky should be lighter there.

Apply a few brushstrokes defining the trees in the background, using the mixture of cobalt blue and yellow ochre.

Load the big brush with ochre and paint the ground with quick, large brushstrokes. Add a drop of burnt sienna on the foreground to bring it forward.

These initial washes will blend with each other a bit. Just let it happen!


With a medium brush, loosely paint the distant trees using mixtures of ultramarine, ochre, quinacridone gold and burnt sienna. Alternate the colors to give the trees some variety and form.

Paint the mountains using cobalt blue, winsor violet and burnt sienna in various combinations. Note that with this position of the sun,

With a smaller brush OR FAN BRUSH, paint the big tree, using the mixture of perylene maroon and burnt sienna. Don't work too hard on the branches — let the brush describe their shapes. Use the side of the brush to create textural marks.

Add more burnt sienna on the foreground to make it warmer.


Add more definition to the mountains and trees. Paint the cast shadows with ultramarine. Note that the cast shadows are transparent and colorful, not gray.


Add a few tree trunks and slightly correct the shape of distant trees, if needed, by lifting some color.

You could also add a couple of quick horizontal strokes on the ground so that it doesn't look too smooth, and slightly darken the form shadow of the mountain near the left edge of the painting.

Well I hope I have helped all you budding painters out there I will do a more indepth tutorial this was just a taster.I don,t claim to be an expert in any way but I do like to do a bit of painting myself. I like acrylics & oil painting mostly.

If you would like me to do a tutorial of me doing a painting of the scenery of my garden with the mountains in the back ground or of the River Dovey which flows through my garden just let me know & I will make a video for utube. I have added some affiliate products on the page for you to access the items straight away to get you going in the right direction just incase you don,t know what products to buy these will help you out I earn a small commission if you go through my links to Amazon.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post see you soon.

view of the River Dovey in our garden

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