Easy abstract landscapes for beginners, with super cheap materials | Kelly Witmer | Skillshare

Easy abstract landscapes for beginners, with super cheap materials

Kelly Witmer, painter, ceramicist, writer, etc

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6 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Abstract Landscape intro

    • 2. materials

    • 3. beginning with the sky

    • 4. more skies

    • 5. mountains and grass

    • 6. Summary


About This Class

Recently I was teaching watercolors to a beginner, and used this simple abstract landscape as an example, and found that it was a great way to experiment with the materials and have a nice finished product. So I thought it would be a great easy class project for people just starting out. 

I also know that all the options for different paints can be daunting and expensive, so I searched and found some some reallly cheap options to get started (links below). Yes, I complain about these paints repeatedly during the class, but for $5, they really aren’t that bad!

NOTE: again, I hate to push Walmart, but wanted to offer a cheap option for people to get materials delivered wherever you might live!

$4.97 set of 12 watercolor tubes: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Daler-Rowney-Simply-Watercolor-Paint-Set-12-Piece/17617570

$5.97 watercolor paper.  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Canson-XL-Watercolor-Pad-9-x-12-30-Sheets-Pad/34580244

$4.50 brush set. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Royal-Langnickel-Watercolor-Brush-Set-7-Piece/739487851


1. Abstract Landscape intro: by my name's Kevin on. I'm here to show you how you could make this incredibly easy object landscape with super cheap materials if you've never painted before you make this beautiful painting and just a few something Steps was that was my goal for this costs. But as I went to film it, all the landscapes that I had done in practice as I tried to paint them, I kept screwing them up over over again. And so I realized, Well, nothing in life is easy. It's not mine. And I was gonna keep filming until it was perfect. But then I thought maybe people would appreciate that this Israel on even if you have been painting for a long time. I've been taking our classes since I was a kid. Went to college for our got to be a fan. Fine art. I've had lots of landscapes and are sold lots, but I still struggle with. It's never just well, sometimes it's easy, but, um, it usually is that on your beginner, you know the first thing you do, my come out great and and that's great for you. But if it doesn't don't despair. You're just normal way. All have a hard time with it, So struggle Israel. So if you're ready and you're interested, let's get started. Can screw up some landscapes together. 2. materials: Okay, I'm gonna talk about supplies and I'll try to keep it short. Um, in a previous class, I didn't have another class on abstract watercolors and I had suggested this paper, which is Ah Strathmore. Ready cut. Because I was I like to work small. These this is five by seven. And it's great because it's already cut in the size and you could do a bunch of them. However, this 25 sheets cost seven something on Amazon. And I've been getting more of this paper, which I got at Wal Mart for $5. And, um, yes, 30 sheets that are over twice as big. So figure it out. Um, Strathmore is out. Cancer in is in and it's made in France. So that's that's fancy. Um, oops. Sorry. There goes. Struck more. Um, yeah, Here's here's the two papers. Pretty much the same. I cut the nine by 12 in half and then cut off a little end. I have a paper cutter which hopes and then used these to just kind of test colors on, or I test colors on this really cheap paper that I got on Amazon. But it's just so horrible. It's like toilet paper, but it wouldn't even make good toilet paper. It's yeah, but again, it's like something that you can just get started and warm up with and not feel guilty about. And in the other class that I mentioned, I go into more detail about my favorite paints. I I really like thes cotton, and they're the student grade Indigo, Payne's gray or some of the best ones on. Then I'll go pick up other fancy ones, and you can really rack up a big bill doing this. So for the sake of this class, I'm trying, imagining somebody who's a beginner and not wanting to spend a lot of money to get started . So these air some paints that I got again at Wal Mart, and I'm not pushing Walmart. They pretty much signify everything that's wrong with this country. But, um, they're cheap, and, um, I looked it up. You can still get these for its $5 for the whole set. And, um, and then also these air some brushes also from Wal Mart. Um, I could put a link down there. Um, and yeah, this is you can get a set of these for $5 yeah, 15 bucks. You You're getting started. So, um yeah, let's get started, then. Okay. Next class. 3. beginning with the sky: Okay, let's get painting. Um, now, for a palate, I usually use thes guys. Um, I bought a a bunch of them, but, uh, for this since I'm using Cem paints that I don't usually use amusing about. This is, um, a piece of plastic that some zucchini came in from Trader Joe's, and it makes a perfect palette. So luckily, I like zucchini. Um, if you do to, uh, paste a a a recipe for zucchini noodles in replacing spaghetti. Um, anyway, so what you want to do first is wet your take a big brush and, um, fresh. Just some water. I usually keep two cups of water on hand, old yogurt cups. So that one that I rinse the brushes with and then the other one I can get just clean water to do this with now another. A lot of a lot of people will tape their paper down, which is the right thing to do, because, you see, it's already starting to buckle up. But, um, I'm lazy, and I just do a lot of them, so I don't bother with that. And, uh so let's say now people tend to like stormy skies for these things. This is played drying already. So now you don't want it soaking wet, but, um to what? So here's a little bit of the It's the ultra Marine blue and some burnt sienna and this poor little of the burnt Sienna, and it makes sort of this interesting bluish gray. Now, these paints aren't great and they're, like, kind of the consistency of pudding. And so there, getting a little lumpy. But, um, you know, that's bad. I just touched on the brown there. So I'm gonna do this like a mildly stormy sky. I probably overdid it there. I don't go all the way to the bottom and actually, you want to keep the bottom lighter. The other thing about not having it taped is that you can sort of adjust it. Um, a lot of times, people sort of tilted to the side. So you get sort of this cloud thing Could also I keep, like a napkin, Kleenex on hand and, um, concert of blood out some some clouds. Do they look realistic? I don't know. Um, another thing you can do is ah, like a you kind of I'll squeeze the water out of the brush that's light. And then that way you can pick up some of the paint with it, see, to get a little more brushes shedding. So with the sky, you're gonna do this and then let it dry before you put the mountains in, because otherwise they'll just bleed in, Um, and also as faras taping it down again. That's something you can do. Um, if you want to have, like, a nice clean, have it go to the edges and have a nice clean edge. I kind of like this sort of rough edge. Um, but then you could also always crop crop it in. I see this is the paper started buckle, and then it's collecting in there. It's kind of what you don't want. Gonna pick up some of the efficiency, how that books. All right, so I'll let that dry. And, um, let's do another one. Let's pretend it's a bright, sunny day. So do the water again. Um, this is the cerulean blue, which is more of ah, and a turquoise type color. But it is very bright. Um, no, I'm looking at a pretty bright sky right now outside my window, but, um I'm gonna knock it down with just a touch of of burnt sienna. Now, that's not really working with this color, cause it's turning it green. It's not too green. The thing is, it still comes across a sky. So did you is kind of start there and then do some more water towards the end. All right, so let thes dry and then go to step two. 4. more skies: Okay, So here's part two of the skies. Um, these are the ones I did before, and I'm not too happy with them. Thistle is too light s. I think I might do it over again. And this one, you can really just see the big broad stroke right there. It's hard to do, but, you know, if you look at a sky, it's usually just brighter up top and then just sort of this gradual, great Asian that you just can't see. I tried to do another one and my first drugs, but, you know, it is an abstract painting. So you're not trying to get exact. Here's another stormy sky. Maybe a little too dark and dramatic. I don't know. We'll see. Um, so I'm gonna try gonna gonna do a couple more and you know, because again, you have to do these a lot because sometimes you're gonna get Cem happy, little accidents or whatever, and and sometimes it just doesn't come out like you wanted it to. So, um, the good thing is, is that these sheets of paper costs, like 1/2 sheet, is like seven or eight cents, so you can't go wrong. Okay, So or rather, you can go wrong over and over kin without spending too much money. Okay, so getting some more of this ultra marine blue and I was thinking maybe it needed to use some black instead of the So this pain is, like, really bad. See how it's all blobby. So you you've got to kind of work it in to get these lumps out. Nicer paint. You don't have to deal with that. So get a little of the brown And there, part two, this is probably too dark. Um, we know. Hey. And a little too soon, too, to start picking it up. Basically, I'm just gonna show you the wrong way to do everything. That's That's my goal here. It's also very easy to just over think it because the more you look at it, the more it doesn't look right. My instilling you with confidence. As mine disappears, it's hard to pay in front of a camera. I don't think I like that one either. Well, we'll see. Eight cents. All right, let's do another cheerful blue sky and see if I can get that right. Okay, So whom boy? Now I need more that. So again, I feel like this blue is too bright. Have a mix ultra Marine, and I'm gonna put a little bit of this lumpy, blackened just toe. So it's not so vibrant. I keep looking at the sky and thinking, That's not the right blue I can I get the right blue? Uh, I'm looking out the window right now. Don't know if this is it either, but it's not bad. One of the cool things about doing landscapes and, um is that you know, you just the more you do these, the more you just really start thinking about it and then going outside and looking at the sky looking at trees and on, um and really starting to see the more. So I just kind of what I did was just dried the brush off to, like, pick up this extra. Now this looks like it might be like a pretty even predation on. What I do sometimes is. Look for one. Here's one where I'll just write down because I, you know, might mix different colors all right down like this. When I used to go in the sky lavender with Payne's grave for the mountain Indian red and lavender for this mountain. Deep sap green and Oakar for the grass. And I spilled some of the liquid Oakar. I could just make a son a son and stormy day. That doesn't make any sense, but Okay, let's wait and, uh, come back again. 5. mountains and grass: Okay, so I'm gonna try a few more, but just want to show you from this one before it dries. You see, there's some water collecting on there. That's not good. Um, you can either get a tissue which can sometimes take up too much or a dry Russian kind of dab that there. That's that'll Do it, You see. Looks like a little bit happened right there. Um, if you let too much water collect, um, you get they call it a bloom. Sometimes it looks cool, sometimes it doesn't. But this one I did before, um, some collected there, and then I came and picked it up with a tissue. I thought, Oh, it sort of looks like snow capped Mountain. Not really, but humor me, all right, So I'm gonna let this dry, and here's the other one that I just did before I tried a little better than I thought it was going. Um, So don't if something looks bad, sometimes you have to, like, stop messing with it and just start another one, and then you might come back to it and like it, it's like this is doing some neat stuff in there to light, I guess you know I can't really stop myself from, like putting down what I'm making as I being. It kind of interesting, because normally that's just sort of an inner dialogue. And now it's like, Come on, film. Gosh, darn it. 6. Summary: Okay, So here's the pieces that I made. Not that bad. Um, I find with most played, most landscapes I do. They'll be little pieces that I like. Like I like Elvis. But then little pieces that I don't like like that love that I tried to fix, and then it's still kind of came out bad, like the sky and especially how it's light there on the horizon, which is it seems realistic to me. Yeah, this one. I don't like us much, but this is the one where he did the mountains over. This one came out pretty well. Um, so, you know, this was a little bit of an experiment using these cheap paint, Mother, I'm similar landscapes that I did yesterday with some better pain on. Um, but again, I mean, it's not all about the paint. Although liquid paints make it run more. So kind of helps this, um, those effects, I'm gonna do so more advanced landscape class. Looks like I spilled something loss teaching this one, um uh, and go over some more techniques. As you get we're advance. But, um, just trying to show you that she can do a very simple little landscape. You can also make it way more complicated. That needs to be, Which is kind of what I did, which hopefully is a lesson. It does itself that you don't have to do that. But then again, uh, shouldn't be that easy, right? Um, yeah. Okay. Well, I hope you enjoy this. Thanks a lot.