Color Theory of the Desert Landscape | Ekaterina Smirnova | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Intro: Color theory of the desert landscape

    • 2. Color combinations

    • 3. Painting desert landscape

    • 4. Desert farm fields

    • 5. Sunny desert

    • 6. Windmill farms

    • 7. Sunset color options

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About This Class

In this series of watercolor classes we will go through different topics: - color combinations for painting desert landscapes;- handling and mixing watercolor paints;- using various portable palettes;- watercolor techniques;- choosing right colors for sunset paintings and more. You will need the following materials: - watercolor paper (preferably rough, at least 140 lb)- brushes:    1. bristle: 1" Silver Black Velvet 3009S Oval, N7 Loew-Cornell 7000 Round   2. synthetic flat- watercolor paints, I used portable sets with pans and tubes- kitchen paper towels - water To view more watercolor classes visit: Music used in this video: "Take you home tonight", "Take you" by Vibe Tracks"The messenger" by Silent Partner

Meet Your Teacher

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Ekaterina Smirnova

An artist, who is inspired by science and nature.


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1. Intro: Color theory of the desert landscape: this'd is a what? A college tutorial by you could see Irina Smirnova call a theory off the desert landscape. This time I've prepared for you a lot of new videos where we'll talk about color palettes, will explore sketches off the desert, study how to use different palates and mixing collars. This time, you will be able to see me working with the collar. Well, paying the sky and different types off the land, including Thandie on Iraqi as well will pains a windmill farm, Kobe tension to the plans in a desert and will paint two different varieties off the same landscape. Any desert offers a lot for imagination off a beginning painter. So what are you waiting for? Click. Enroll into the skill share and let's get started. Oh, and by the way, don't forget to use this link to give a special offer. 2. Color combinations: Let's talk about color combinations first. All of this colors that you see I've chosen to paint landscapes off the desert desert, I thought was the best place to study color have made nine different sketches off the landscapes and different times off the day. Let's make an analysis. There are few landscapes have rather contrasted pallets because they have both yellow, orange and blue. There are some that are rather more monochromatic. All of the tones are mostly blue and green, so here are the larger paintings that I've done. Following this catches on. We'll go through them and paint together, and I've done also some off the varieties off. The same blends keep to. By the end of this serious off classes, you have a set off watercolor landscapes off the desert, So let's get started. 3. Painting desert landscape: river and desert. What a color is an interesting medium that requires good planning. What part off the painting you're going to start with? How do you continue? When is it time to add details? All of those you need to think about before you start. This time, I'm choosing to start with Spain thing, the Blue Affection Off the painting first. This is not only the sky but also the river. So I'm using my ultra marine blue collar and facing on dry paper, adding more intensified blue for the bottom for the river and using a kitchen paper towel to remove some of the access blue in order to create shapes off the clouds while my skies drawing, I will be working on the land area. I'm going Teoh collect a rosiana, and if that iss a little too yellow, I could always mix in some red. And don't just pick one color. It is much more interesting if you use a few collars, so you find starting with rosiana. Later on, I will mix some red as well and use your brush also very chaotically and taken advantage off other texture of your paper. I choose to work with a rock paper. If you would intervened on the hot press, then you will not get the same effect. When the painting has dried, I will continue in on working on the lend. This time I'm painting plants. I would pick different colors of green sometimes, so it mix in some blue because usually in the desert, the plans have rather a bluish tone. And if you wanted to paint what a color on the blank white paper, it will be a much brighter. That's why I've left some off the white areas thinking that I'm going to be painting cleanse there. That's why planning in watercolor is very important. In order to achieve a successful result, a real use a purple color mixture of red and blue in order to paint the mountains and their reflection on the water. While there back ground is drawing, I'm collecting some of the darker color blue. It is pains, great for the details, shadows off the plants. This will increase the contrast off my paintings, and we'll suggest that that the day is indeed very sunny and bright. The brighter the day it is, the stronger the shadow will be did you notice that on a cloudy day? All of the objects don't have such an intense shadow? Judging by the sky condition on our painting, it is rather a sunny day. There are only a few final touches left to do for this painting. At the moment, I'm in a more texture for the ground. One more detail is a line border between the mountain, and it's reflection. 4. Desert farm fields: Let's famed desert a farm fields. First of all, you need to know what colors you've got on your palate. I have a few options off the blue, so I'm going to try them all until I find the correct one. When you buy a new watercolor set, I would recommend you to stumble all of the colors on the piece of paper and perhaps carried around until you will get used to all of your collars. If you do not find the correct color that you need for your brain team, maybe it is better to bring something additional. I would like to use a surreal Ian blue for the sky, so I'm going to squeeze some of it on my plastic pallet and by using water and the brush, deluding it until the intensity that I'd like. We'll start with applying cerulean blue right over on the top. Try to make a Grady int off cerulean blue. The top would be the most intense, and the bottom will almost disappear. Use water for the bottom part of the sky in order to make it disappear. Next color is green. I have tested all of the colors that my palate has, and I needed to mix in some of the cerulean blue and green, a real start with making a horizontal line, showing the end off the field. Then I will pick my CenterPoint and we will apply perspective rules. All of the crops off the field will seem to be coming out from that point. This is not the easiest task, so please take your time. I'm going to speed up this video so you see my progress. Please notice that my lines are slender at the horizon and much whiter and other foreground . I'm going to paint the mountains on the horizon. Next. For that, I will collect my French torture marine collar and just use a little bit off red attitude to make a slight purplish color. Here's magenta and which a marine mix together makes a wonderful a lilac caller. You need to make sure that the sky area is dry and I'm testing now. It doesn't look like it's quite dry. I don't want my A mountain to blend with this guy. So in the meanwhile, while I'm waiting, I am mixing the color for the soil that you could see through the crops once the sky area has dried, I can proceed painting the mountain so I would use my imagination and come up with an interesting shape off the mountain on the background. I think it would be more interesting. It would leave some of the buildings, so look at that. I am greeting white shapes off the paper to represent buildings. Later on, I will enhance them by eating some shadow. And now let's continue working on the field and use round collar that you have come up with for the soil and fill in the white gaps. There is a simple watercolor technique that you should use is you could easily remove the access off the pain by using a kitchen paper towel. They very absorbent. When you're painting is fully dried. You can continue on working on the details. The final touches off the painting. I will make a darker color, agree. I mix in blue and some green using the same palette and will make some off the dots and shapes off the shadows off the buildings on the far ground. You don't need to be precise and instructive. Just give it a hint. So it's enough to suggest that there are some buildings are in the back. I will use the same color for the shadows off the crops as well. Just few dots here There will give it a more complex painting. I like to study from the Masters and I have found the painting in the 19 Centuries Watercolors Book by John Sell Cotman off the field as well. Look at this painting and notice that their crops and lines and all coming from the center , we chose 1/3. But this painting crops are coming from the center. Mr. Cartman also painted some of the sails on the horizon line as well. 5. Sunny desert: Let's paint a son, you desert. This time I would like to use a different set off. Watercolor is a portable metal set where you could attach any colors that you like. First of all, we need to know what colors we've got here. They all look so dark. That's why I will take samples off different colors on the paper. Maybe it is a good idea to carry this little piece of paper with you, so you would know. Then we will begin with painting of the sandy ground. But for that we need to combine two colors, yellow and red. My read is a bread matter. And if you to take both of the collars who created some sort of orangey call it, which is excellent for the ground. I prefer not to use a pencil, but if it feels easier for you, then please do so. The next step is to paint of the rocky port. For that, I will come by bread. Meta color was French torture marine to create a purple violet color as more color you would to add, the more intends quality will become. If you want to add more water, it will be more transparent for the rocket part. I need to use it rather dark. It is always a good idea to know a little bit about the formacion off the landscape. This interesting column looking rocks has been formed because off the water, melting from the glaciers, running through the porous ground on this desert of discovered in the Washington state. So I was speeding up this video so you could see the progress Foster and after your don was the rocky part, Let's pain the sky First we will wet the sky area was just plain water. Make sure that you do not what any area that you just painted try to paint carefully around . Now look at this. Since my peeper was previously pre wetted the collar off, this guy is now nicely blending. This technique is cold, wet on wet. When we painted the rocks, it was what on dry. While you're sky area is still wet, you could intensify the collar, have a little more blue, make it deeper. My next step is to paint of the plants plus in the desert from my observations. Ah, mostly gray and bluish color. That's why inured to makes a little bit more blue into your green to create this nice of foggy, pale green collar. So make sure that your ground is a dry start, creating shapes off the plants. By the time when I was done with points, my Iraqi part will really drive. I would like to intensify it. I need to make even a darker blue color that I used before, so add more pigment into your previous makes more blue and more red, almost black collar and think of it as the shadows on the rocks. Keep in mind that on the sunny, bright day like you usually see in the desert, all the shadows are very intense on contrasted bright colors. That's why dark Shadows is going to make in the desert. Look, March most Sonya. Also, the contrast off the yellow was the blue sky helps the field off the desert as well. Did you notice? I also gave Hsieh rose to my points. Every object in the desert in the sunny day will have the shadow and that you need to remember you're free to, and many details as you feel appropriate. How did your desert turnout 6. Windmill farms: Let's paint a windmill form. There is a variety off watercolor pads. I've got a small one by far. Briana. All of the sheets of paper are attached on the sides. This helps to keep your painting street and not buckled up A little portable settled watercolors. It is made out of metal, and there are a few collars that I chose myself. Here are the sample off those. We will be also using some papers to try our colors. A nice bristle brush. Make sure that your brushes wet and started collecting some of the boo collar. I'm choosing. Where to Marine. It's excellent to paint the sky and also disappearing on the horizon mountains objects that are forum horizon. I usually turning blue because off the depths off the oxygen and moisture in the air. First I made a counter off the mountains and then using a wet brush to disperse of the collar. To create purple color, you need to use blue M bread as well. So let's see was mixture I've got. If I'm using the color red that I have in my palette, it's not quite getting to the collar that I want. I wanted to be more intense than this is rather turning Jamal Brown. So additionally, I have another color, which is a rosy color, and you can see that the tube is already dried a long time ago. The good part about watercolor is that you could dilute it any time you want, just at some water, and wait avoids to release its pigment. So this collar is much brighter than the red, as I have had in my palette, and if I was to mix it with ultra marine cover, it would create just the perfect purple that I've been looking for. The time that I have spent mixing my color was enough to dry the first layer off my watercolor. So I'm creating the second layer off the mountains to make the landscape more interesting. And the reason why the second layer is purple is because now the objects are closer and they're rather turning into the ground collars mixed with the atmosphere. Here is the green collar that I have on my palette, and it's not quite a green that I need for the weapons. Desert blends have a little more blue bright green. Next with Blue makes it rather blue green and that perfect. I encourage you to also and other colors. For example, I'm ending more blue on top of my green degree, The more interesting column mixture. Once I am done with the ground, I'm going to continue on this guy. So make a Grady int off the sky. You could use a hair dryer to spit up the drying process. Very useful. Now let's continue and pains the windmills. There are a few Nailon brushes, their flat that I have, which will work very greatly. They come in different sizes, and I would need to pick maybe a medium size. I will collect an intense collar off blue mixed with red and to create a purple collar but rather intensified was more pigment. I need some dark for the silhouetted windmill shape. I can try on the additional paper before moving on to your painting, because this is not the easiest object to pains, so it's good to practice. Here I am trying to create a shape and see how my brush is behaving. When I'm ready, I will a mark carefully the position off the three windmills and who will move on? I'm painting them, so use the flat side off your brush and just make lines. Basically, it is very geometrical shape. Make sure that each of your windmills haven't perhaps a different position. Otherwise, it would appear very patentable. They do not move the same way with the same speed. It all depends off the intensity off the wind in that particular spot. If you do not have a flat brush like I have, you off course could use your regular points and brush. It will be just a little bit more difficult to create straight lines. Let's not forget about the shadow. I'm using the same angry purple color, but rather deluded with more water. Now we're ready to continue on with the details for the foreground. The closer objects get, the more detail they become, so I will create some of the shapes off the shrubs and bushes on the front again. Mixing and few collars green from blue make it interesting and not patentable. Plans rarely repeat their shapes in nature Onley when you see them planted, but when they are by themselves and growing randomly, the ground, the condition old dictates their shapes and forms. By the way, the inspiration for this sketch him from the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center, where they have not only the windmills but also solar panels. And it was very fascinating to visit such a amazing center. Some details. I'm adding red shrubs as well for the front, and you saw that I painted some bread in the centre as well. Now, when we're ready and the painting is dry, it's time to remove it from the pad. There is always a section that is not glued together. That's a good starting point, and if you care we remove it and decorated you will get your art work. 7. Sunset color options: something color options that start was wetting. Your paper was water. Make sure it's nicely moist, then pick your first caller things. Time I'm starting was yellow and gradually applying it on my moist paper, adding some rosy collar and making sure that both of the colors blend very nicely. If you have too much means, you can always make your brush dryer. If you'd to use a kitchen paper towels and remove extra moisture and common notice, I am choosing a different color for my second option. You can see that my colors blend very nicely on the paper because I have three weathered, so I do recommend you to moisture before this time. My collar is more orange like clean your brush and select your choice off blue. Starting from the top, gradually moving down, blend your blue collar with the previous color. If your paper starting to dry, it iss best that you would have to wait for it to dry fully and then re wet and start again instead of blue. This time I'm using a violet collar, and you can already see there is a such a big difference in between two options off the sunset as the water college rise, it will become less vibrant, so you could always make it much more intense before dries. When my paper dried well, I'm choosing 1/3 for the composition, and from that point on, I will be creating a shape off the silhouetted mountain. The collar I'm choosing now is Spain's gray. Use your creativity to create an interesting shape off the mountain For the painting on the bottom, I am ending rose color again, this time to the dark beans. Great to creat a different variety off the Shadow Mountain. Notice that the shape off the mountain is also different. Using the rules of perspective, I need to paint the road. Road will be disappearing on the horizon and will be the closest on the foreground. This is not the most easiest task because you need to use your hand very straight and no exact in order to create a street perfect road. So I will be using my brush very carefully, and there is no rush. The collar off the road is not as intense as the mountain because I added a lot of water to it. So remember that you need to keep the lines narrower on the horizon and wider on the foreground. Here is the dashed line off the road in the center when the road is fully painted. I'm having the last touch, getting a drop off water all the way there in the horizon. This will let my pain move and creed some sort of reflection off the setting sun. Playing with a collar options is a good exercise. This will help you to become a stronger artist.