Happy, loose watercolor - painting a landscape | Agnes Bodor | Skillshare

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Happy, loose watercolor - painting a landscape

teacher avatar Agnes Bodor

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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 (59m)
    • 1. Intro and project description

    • 2. Tools and materials

    • 3. Drawing

    • 4. Starting to paint

    • 5. Adding more layers of paint

    • 6. Continue to paint

    • 7. Finishing up and adding the blooms

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About This Class

Happy, loose watercolor - painting a landscape

In this tutorial I am painting a landscape as I would do when I am not making a tutorial. This case you can follow my process, my mistakes and correcting them, and the way I change my mind. Thus it will not be as straightforward, as my tutorials usually, where I go to the goal in a line, but more like changing things fluidly both forwards and backwards. 

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Agnes Bodor


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1. Intro and project description: Hi, my name is Agnes bought art and I am from Hungary. I moved to theatre in 2007, and since then I live here and work in neurobiology. But to keep balance, I always adored to make art, especially painting. But also I made during origami photography or whatever occupying my mind. My favorite technique was always watercolor and ink. I love to paint landscapes and portraits. But nowadays I mostly pay gaps. When I paint cats. I wanna catch there FOR their beauty, their movement, not just copying, of course the all, what are Alice takes place. Also when I use watercolor or ink, I run, are you the potential of these materials that their own UT I don't want to use all yellow and I'm going to read them as watercolor. I think soon be used very slowly, very three. Let us do is basically I am a loser on paper because to make a good key is it watercolor is very, very important. Understand the material and to be able to control. Because otherwise it won't work. And on my watercolor tutorial, this is exactly my plan to make you understand this very complicated math area to watercolors and be able to use its beauty. But be it Master. Hi everyone. Thanks so much for watching my tutorial today. In this tutorial, I decided that we will paint a landscape. Usually, I'm not painting landscape from photo, but this is no other way here. So this is an acceptor. And so I'm using this photo. And so the idea is that I am painting as I would paint. So I'm not designing this tutorial for a specific task or teaching a given metal rod. It's about painting this landscape, as I would do, kind of freely and with a DOI. So it's not about rigorous technique or stuff like that. I did this before on other tutorials, but this one is more just showing my process. And because of that, it's a little bit Caltech. So you will see when I'm changing my mind and I figuring out things. So I think this will be about my process and I'm showing how I do it. And when I'm doing this with other painters, I found it very useful because I see how people think and what kind of tools they use to express different things. And if I want to give one task about this tutorial, it's about what kind of brushstrokes or watercolor technique to use to express different tanks. And that regard. This painting has four regions. The sky, it's completely light wash, nothing special. The Rocky Mountain Top, That's more like obstruct and geometric brushstroke layered on top of each other and a foreground similar to that, because it's just horizontal lines and just layering on top of each other again. So it's a wet on dry layering mostly. And the middle range where the trees are, It's a wet on wet blooming or wash back technique. So it's this painting is about to using different kind of brush stroke or watercolor technique to express different kinds of visual clues. So the trees are very round and, and, and, and like organic, curving and opposite to that, the hillside and a foreground is geometric and sharp. And the other new thing, compared to other tutorials, tutorials, that this is a little bit of a mixed media, not too much, just a little bit. Because on the beginning, I used wax crayon for adding the three, mainly the tree branches or the main, just the main tree branch. And some of those lighter blue snow patches on the hair side. So it's not only watercolor, it's mixed a little bit with wax, crayon, but that's it in I think if you do it with me, will understand what I'm trying to do. But I changed my mind a few times in a process and I washing back things USC. And that's also good to learn how to change things. And I hope you found this exciting to try. And if yes, see you in the next section, that I will introduce the tools and the materials we will need for this painting. 2. Tools and materials: Now I will introduce you to the tools and materials I used. I always say this, but I'm saying it again. I think the most important tools and materials you can have in watercolor is the paper. I think that's the number 1. Papers should be good. Everything else can be student grade or whatever you can afford, but Paper need to be God. So I used Arches paper for this tutorial. It was the same paper as you can see on the screen. It was a bloke called press 140 IRB, but 14 by 20 inches. And I'm really happy with that paper or the time I'm using it. So I suggesting this if you can afford in I'm suggesting few more, but I'm not sure they are cheaper unfortunately, but maybe somewhat cheaper. So my other favorite is Long Tom prestige. They also have the same block, same size, 14 by 20, cold press, Kilimanjaro. I don't know they have a block or not. I only have sheets. It's pretty decent. I think it's cheaper than ours. But unfortunately here, maybe the ticker is better. From arch. I like the a 140 more than a 300. But with Kilimanjaro, I think the ticker is better. It's just not waving as much. The next paper is Stonehenge cold press. This paper has issues, but I did landscapes on it and it was really great. So I think it's worth to try and I still think this is a little bit cheaper than or the other. And it has blocks. After you need several big water boil at least two, maybe more. And I suggest white or transparent just to make sure you see when your water is getting dirty. And it's good to change it all the time because dirty water repaint or dirty brushes really affect the quality of the water color painting. Regarding brushes, I now use three types of brushes. I think all of them god, from Prince stone, I would suggest. I mean from Princeton, I have to type the Princeton Neptune and and arco Elliot in. I use the silver black flat also what you can see on the screen. With this painting, I used a flat wash brush, three-quarter inches. I check exactly which one was it? I think it was the silver black. Well, if I remember correctly, but honestly, these tree brushes, I never had issue. So any of them you will need if you don't have the flat around over verse three quarter inches, just use the round approximately size 20 or from the wheel. Size eighties. And I used one round around size eight, I think. I don't know which brand I was using from the three. Happy with all of them. So don't worry, if you have any kind of watercolor brush, you will be fine. I think what is important to have one bigger than one smaller, size 8 for smaller and around size to me, if you have around from bigger ones. Regarding paint, I really don't want to suggest you to buy new watercolor paint if you have a SAT or if you have some tubes or something you like. Because any set would work here. If it has more than six colors, I would say, but if you want to buy watercolors, one of my favorite is Daniel Smith, and they have this dot card and it's pretty cheap and it has ordered 200 whatever color they sell. And you can test every color and you can choose after testing all of them entirely. So you can build up your tubes that with this dot card. So I really such as this, it's absolutely amazing even just to see the variety of the colors. And I want to emphasize these are not just scholars. It's also a texture or how, how transparent is a paint, or if it's granulating or not, you will see all these properties or how much it's riveting when after it's dried. So I am very happy with Danny us miss all the time. And this dot card is a perfect solution for looking into. But any other paint sat or artist quality paint absolutely would work here. And here I'm just showing my Fourier Sennelier. I'm not happy too much when the colors in this set, but it has so many in, it's definitely works. But any, any watercolor paints that so don't worry about the brand. If it's good quality watercolor, you will be fine. And this is completely new. In this painting. I used this nail color, wax, crayon. Just be careful because this brand has now colored 121 of them is works so not water-soluble. But other one, the two and think it's a water soluble. So I'm using the wax, wax crayon here. And this is entirely replacing the masking fluid. And it just really cool because the thin lines you can draw with it and paint won't stain the paper deaths or its work very similarly for the masking fluid, but you don't need to remove it and stuff on the end. So I just use very few colors, honestly. Probably 34. If you can afford. It's good to buy a liter set from it like six or eight or whatever. They have. This folder smallest. But if you like the idea, you can buy little bit bigger. But I only have something very much in a middle range, like 15 kilometer or so. So it's very useful. I like it very much. It's a very good thing to play with that if you can afford it. If not, just use your masking fluid where I used a crayon and on the end just stain it with a light color, watercolor. But it worked out really well for this tutorial. And I honestly think other than that, you only really need some wipes, which in my case it's always the Kim Wipe. But you can use any kind of papered ripe like kitchen towel is the vast probably no toilet paper or tissue paper because you don't want to use something which fall apart from that Nas. And toilet paper and tissue paper is just sticking to your wet watercolor paper. So after that, we will just start to work in the next section. See you there. 3. Drawing: So as I mentioned in this tutorial, I am using the wax crayon before I start to bend because it's not working really well on wet paper. So I'm just using a watercolor pencil, which sorry, I forgot to mention. I'm just using a watercolor pencil to very vaguely outlined and the landscape. Absolutely. Just put some marks. You can use just a normal pencil if you don't have a watercolor pencil, just make it very light. And me not counting the trees and making exactly the same number of trees. It's really just very few line. So immediately I put on this very few line. You can see I chose some light colored. I look at the photo or the time. So I suggest to do a print screen and limit front of you. So you can see I, I choose yellowish based on a photo which is closest to my crayons. I'm, I only use few colors on athletes are whatever you found closest something yellowish, light greenish. And I start to draw the delighters, lightest branches or lightest trees. But you see, I'm absolutely NADH going like, oh, like exactly with the numbers of three. I just tried to make a very loose movement with my hand and copy that their actions and and pattern to consider as like a loose button and tried to copy it down. Don't go exactly. Like don't try to copy exactly the number of trees and the branching, it would be crazy. And then I go with a little bit darker trees, trees, which is morning background and more shaded. And another thing I use is so you can see some, I think snow on the background and on the hillside in its really had to not thinking about the real colors. But if you're not sure, just zoom in and check. So what I do is try to forget what I'm painting and I just tried to look exactly for just tried to define the color layer. And so if you look looked at above the heel, the snow is quiet, bluish, I think, like purplish bluish. And so I used some kind of blue colors too to put down those patches of snow and few more things. I'm not really thinking, Oh, this isn't the snow, this is the house, this is the rock. I'm just trying to get the pattern. I'm seeing as you can see and the color of that pattern. And this is a loose painting, just very organic. 4. Starting to paint: So the aim is just tried to be loose and enjoy it. So as you saw, I didn't do anything with too much Lake varying about numbers of trees or anything. And I'm continuing this way. This is why it's a happy loose painting. Because I want you to just do it like freely with it. A loose movement. I have a similar tutorial, the overheads, where I wanted to show this to not worry too much, just enjoy the painting. This is why I am not really naming the technique and I'm not trying to teach technique here, but I'm trying to teach it is, is more of the looseness. But if you want to look into the technique, the starting very almost entirely wet-on-dry and some layering of the paint. But then eventually everything starts to be pretty wet. And last and the last bit of a painting is a clear, wet on wet technique. And it's exclusively using the cauliflower or blooming technique. So, but it's the last few minutes early. So don't worry too much about the technique. It just as it coming by. How organically you paint it, what happens? So because it starting on a dry paper, so it just happened to be first wet-on-dry and then later wet on wet. So that easy. So you can see because nothing too much happens on the sky. I'm just putting that very light blue close to what I'm seeing on a photo. And that's the only thing here. But it's probably important is try not to let the heel side or the brown or whatever color you do. You use blood into the bleed into the sky color. That's kind of important, I think. And if it's happened to swipe it off and corrected before it stains the paper too strong. I'm trying to removing hoBshare, as you can see. Actually I found and the silver black velvet round. It's not round, it's the flat wash. And this brand is losing more hair than others, but it's a really nice brush, but it's losing more hair. So what I'm doing right now is sometimes called dry on dry. So my brush contents pane but not as much water, and the paper is completely dry. And if you pull it fast on the texture of the paper, it's doing this. It's not staining entirely just you can see it's like a dry brush technique little bit, but eventually it will disappear as I build up the layers. So the blue, dark blue was painted like that. More like dry brush. On the foreground. I always tried to paint everywhere on a paper. So because I want to build layers, not very strict, it's not about layering, but so does the structure will be on the end, is that the hillside and of foreground will be more likely heard and the tree line will be wet on wet. But I'm building up first the layering or so, which is basically mostly wet on dry and building up in the foreground and on a hillside. And now you can see I added a little background color behind the trees and where I, where I draw with the wax crayon. It's not staining the paper. And I really like that. Actually. One of my favorite watercolor artist, John Singer Sargent use just walks like used team candles to exactly the same way, but he had no colors. It was just white wax candles. He used it. So first he made a wash, whatever color he wanted, let's say light yellow. He let it dry and then use the box on it. And then he painted over. So wherever the wax was, it eventually looked at color as the light wash below the rocks. But here we are very lucky because we can order just colored wax so we don't need to worry about steaming the bill, steaming below the box because our works is stained. If you use if you use the wax crayon, if you use. Instead, you use the masking fluid where I use the works on the end. When you remove it, you have to just use a very light washes to call on them to all. To this very light yellowish ocher and then greenish brown where the tree, trees are and bluish for the snow. So you can see I'm starting to adding layers. Sometimes it's dry below, sometimes more wet and it's melting together. But as I said here, I'm not trying to show a technique as clearly used. Here. I am using it organically, so I'm mixing techniques and just whatever I feel, it's right on that area to express that to you. I'm using that technique. So not much to worry about it. At least not about the technique or things like that. Again, brush hair and trying to remove a brush here. So sometimes I made a little bit if everything is too wet. And if I've laid this is the time if you want to remove or something too dark or you change your mind and you don't think you can over painted UK remove stuff right now it's still pretty that for doing the moving, which later will be just turned on and handlers. So if you need to remove something, just do it now. Or if you want, just lighten it up. Some color washes, just go over it with the paper towel and wipe it a little bit. If you want to have to preserve the edges of your brushstrokes, you need to wait a tiny bit to dry them. If it's not dry yet. Because otherwise when you add the next layer, it will be loosened up. The next layer, so bad if it's dried, it's not loosen up so easily. So it will most probably stay more intact. Your, your first layer of paint. You adding the second layer. 5. Adding more layers of paint: So actually, I didn't leave too much space between this session and the previous one. I just need to stop sometimes because of the video size limit. Each video can be about 10, 12 minutes, so I have to stop between them. And it's a little bit drier as you can see, but not completely dry at all. And now I'm going with darker tones in here. You need to be aware just if you want really light color, just don't go over. Or if you do it just by beanbag Because if it's dry, it's much harder to remove. But now I am going lake a second layer, let's say, and it's darker. Darker tone, usually then the first one. So I'm continuing adding this horizontal layering in a foreground and, and some more like general metric. But our strokes on the top of the heap. And because my plan is with this painting is to have more like a wet-on-dry hillside plus 4 ground. But the tree line will be painted very differently. It will be wet on wet, and the wet on wet area will be very like smooth and flowy. And the hair silent or foreground, we'll be much sharper like because it's rocks plus this geometric pattern off foreground, which I like stripes vertically, horizontal stripes. So I want this contrast. So I'm always moving my brush regarding, so i'm, I'm painting just that just horizontal lines in the foreground on top of each other and on the hillside. I'm painting Leto's sharp brushstrokes, more like triangles or some kind of more like geometric shapes, I would say on top of each other to generate something. To suggest rocks. Because it's, it's, it's pretty rocky up there. And the trees will be very different. And I hope this will give an interesting style for this painting. So you see I'm, I found a little bit too dark under the trees because then I would like to be more going with more orangey brown color and probably it can cannot overpaying darker blue. So I remove the blue from there. But I left it in a boat, DOM and on a top of the tree line, but not in the middle. Now, I will leave a little bit of break to make a little bit things dryer. And also you can see my water is sprayed R0, so I have to change that. So I am back. It's dryer as you can see. I also slowly but surely start to build up the colors on the middle layer where the tree line is. So how the wash back technique works, usually, what people does, they make a layer, let it let it semi dry, so not dry but not shiny. And then adding water and just clean water from the brush. And when you do that, it was backed the paint in a given pattern regarding how you added the water. And it will reveal the color below. And that's usually the paper white, but not always. And here I just build up some light yellowish bluish washes. And this will be which come out when I was back. The brown is darker, orangey paint I will put above later on. So I'm building the first layer of painting on a tree line, which will be the color under the voyage back. And I'm still continue, especially where the paint is more dry to build the rocks and a foreground with the more wet-on-dry technique and, and with the geometric brushstrokes. As you can see this whole painting about. More like painting organically. With, in my use of words means like not concentrating too much about the technique. Just tried to be loose and enjoy it. That's the first tasks. It's not easy. I know. But I'm trying to do that and I'm trying to show that. So you see, I'm not worrying about number of trees or, or, or things like that. I'm just probably the most important. And what I'm looking is the brushstroke or how my brushstroke express that, that view. And this is why I'm using completely different brushstroke on top of the hill in a tree line and in a foreground because I want my brushstroke on a top of the head shows the rocks in a tree line, saws trees, and in a foreground straw shows that vertical sorry, that horizontal shading front of the trees. So I'm just changing my brush strokes accordingly. And I'm also watching for the colors. And on a way that I'm using clean colors. But as I'm putting them on top of each other, I always go in closer and closer to the color I want on the end. But I'm not just putting them the color or the, um, it's not like I am looking what color is it mixing and put it there? No. It's I'm putting down a color, whatever. I think. Let's say, I don't know, like it was yellow in a foreground and I'm just adding this new clean colors on top of blue and brown and whatever. And on the end, I'm trying to build up the the view. Also you can see I'm on a top of the hill. I'm leaving out those exposed rocks which are not covered by vegetation. And I'm leaving them this pinkish color. And when the vegetation covers, I'm using darker bluish, greenish tones. And wherever I put the snow with the wax crayon, I, it stays there because it's it's repellant for the water and the water color too. And I'm using a little bit line structures and so I'm just using the brush strokes to express the rocks and the sharpness up there. Again, my video has to be cut so on because I'm getting close to my Vinny all emit. So probably it's pretty wet, so it's good to leave a little break also if yours too wet and you can't really continue, it's better to wait probably a little bit and wipe off whatever you want before it's dry. 6. Continue to paint: So I'm continuing, as you can see, it, really bad add-in and let it dry in. Actually building up the layers in the middle. And the idea here is that where the tree line ends, there is a darker zone. When I'm melting dark blue right now. I need to make sure it's not coming too much data because it's too dark color to fight with the orange, which will be the tree line. And the same in both DOM. So the where just behind the trees on the bottom there is also a darker area. We bushes and so you can see through because the three stars to branch higher and you can see below that litter forest there and it's darker obviously. And upper. You can't see through because the three-star to branch and they occupy that zone and blocking the view. So I'm still adding water rushing back to dark area. Just making sure that the transparent orange can cover there. And just still continue to build the area right the way above the trees. It's a process because I need to prepare for that wet on wet painting. And I kind of have my plan in my head and I am preparing for that. So it's a little bit hard to explain because I I know the plan. And you will see very soon. So I want to make sure everything ready for taking the transparent orange in the middle where the trees are. And when I'm adding the transparent or aand is needed to be pretty VAT and melting, but it cannot flow up too much or down into the hillside. So I'm preparing for that color. And when I add that color, that will be the wettest area. And then I will use the wash back technique. But everything should be ready because that's the last step. And I am not really I don't want to touch anything else after. So this is why I'm trying to work just below the trees and just above the trees because I want to make sure it's ready. Because I want to finish up the the top of the hill because that's also something I don't wanna return after too much. So I'm working that a little bit to to have those sharper geometric structures. And I'm adding little lines, vertical lines for expressing the rocks, the rocks, the structure of the rocks. I start to add the warm colors now sample police before the vegetation, the atom vegetation because it's an atom picture. If you use BY, makes sure that the overripe is clean, it's very Bowman. You dodge the light-blue it some dark on your right when it's not possible to remove it, quiet bothering if it's on the sky. I killed the two to match green, blue with the little orange. Now probably it's getting ready to get the orange. So area put kind of a dance paint layer there. So I just layered pigments there. And so if you let this layer a little bit sink, not dry, just think and SATA. With just adding water, you can generate the border between the hills and R and the trees. 7. Finishing up and adding the blooms: I had a little break, probably five minutes or so I had to change all my waters and I'm back. And you can see it's much it's Saturday letter bed even in few minutes. I'm removing a little bit, just wiping off from the darkness. I wasn't happy with that too much purple stare building up this orange layer. Now it's look like a math because you don't see the border, but as soon as you do the wash back, it will be it will work. And that's the point when you probably will understand why I did the whole thing. When I'm washing back. It will be predict clear, diverge back or pull back. We'll push the paint upwards and it will generate a not sharp but a quiet obvious border. And it will show the trees the, the top of the trees. Unfortunately, I just didn't like how the top of the hill ended up, so I wiped it off and now it's too light. So I have to layer 2 a little bit back. It's just too light right now. This is the hard part when you just paint as you would paint and you need to explain why you're doing what. It's. Because when you have a very exact plan, what you doing it, and you generate a lesson on it. It's much easier, but I'm just painting and I want to show my process. But actually I like how the top of the hill is geometric. It's really abstract, I think. So I want to have the same effect on, on the bottom of the tree line. So I want the dark there. Also for this one I'm doing right now, the timing is absolutely crucial. So you need to let the paint sink but not dry. Just losing the shininess. So it's need a few minutes break now. So that's what I'm doing. I give a little break to cetera. So I am back from the little break. You can see the paint change the letter. Bet it was really just few minutes. And I'm using my team brush and trying to do the push back. It's maybe a little bit too early, but I'm trying now to adding to some places. If you watch it just the process you can see it's working. But maybe it's still too wet. So I need to think this through. Also, I have to make the top of the Hillary little bit darker. Just not too dark to cover those layers, those geometric layers, which I really like. And every time I make it enough dark, they too much disappearing for my taste, but it just too light. So I have to go back there and order the pushback. Some places work. Well, maybe I need to leave a little more time to it. The hard part with the pushback, if you put it too early, initially looked like working. But because everything is too wet, everything too wet around it just mad back. And first it's developing the blooming pattern and then a blooming pattern disappear. So I think it's better if I leave it to sit a little bit longer and go back to build up some darkness on a top of the hill. And then let's see if it's if the tree line, the orange Saturday enough. If not, I need to wait. I need to let it settle for ten minutes or so, 1015 minutes. But it cannot be dry anywhere. That's very crucial. It needs to settle. It will lose shininess, but it, it, it cannot be dry because then it's not working. It's too late in them. So I'm just building a little bit of darkness on a top of the hill. And hopefully with some wait time, I can add the push back and ready. I'm trying. Trying with the green. It was blue and purple now it's more greenish. I don't know. I just don't want to over cover that much as it was before. Those previous lighter layers. I liked. And if I cover it to my two, they just completely disappear. Also water color change. It can it can lose darkness when it's drying. So just a hard balance. For the push back, you will need clean water again and the thinner brush and a size eight round, it's gold, I think. I think that's what I used. So yes, I will need a little break here. It's just too shiny, but everything AS getting drier and that's a good thing. So then 5, 10, 15 minute break. So I am back. And if you see the painting before the break, it's just lost all its shininess. But you can see as soon as I touch with the clean water, with my thinner brush, it's just pushing back and generating the bloom effect. And because everything dryer around, it will keep this pattern much more stable. And that's exactly what I wanted on the end. If you overdo it, it will be same problem. They just melt together and you won't see the blooms anymore. So be careful. Maybe the less is more here because it will just spread and they touch each other and everything is too wet and the paint will just lose this pattern, which it's happening right away when you touch it. But when it's too much and too wet, it will just but up and it won't stay. But it's coming out really good. I like it. And you can see in a bottom and a top, this is bloom pattern, how, how the tree line got very distinct and come to the front. And that's it. I think his larger image to see the pattern. And I hope it was interesting to do this with me and to see the process. I really hope to see you on my other tutorials to please comment or ask questions below and post your results. Thank you. Bye.