Painting a Watecolor landscape in layers | Emily D. | Skillshare

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Painting a Watecolor landscape in layers

teacher avatar Emily D., ARTIST || watercolor artist

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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

11 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Paper setup and choosing your colors

    • 3. Mixing custom colors

    • 4. Putting in the sky

    • 5. Painting your first set of hills

    • 6. Painting your secong set of hills

    • 7. Painting your last layer of landscape

    • 8. Adding in the tree line

    • 9. Adding in details

    • 10. Final details and reveal

    • 11. Outro

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About This Class


In todays class we explore a little deeper the style of painting a landscape in layers. this landscape still has dimension but is a little less three dimensional and life like. It's a style that is very fun and very easy. 

I hope you enjoy todays class and that it's easy to follow along!

Meet Your Teacher

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Emily D.

ARTIST || watercolor artist


Hello, I'm Emily.

I'm a Mom of two and a painter during nap time. I've always had a passion for art, ever since a young age. It wasn't until I was in my late teens that I discovered watercolor and even then it wasn't until after my first born that I decided to give it an honest shot. Let me just say I LOVED it!

I'm so passionate about creativity and creating beauty through art! I really hope I can bring that to you in simple ways so that you can also express yourself through painting! 

I'm excited that you're here!


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1. Intro: Hi again and welcome to this week's class. So this week is another watercolour landscape. And this one we kind of play with layering the landscape as opposed to painting it. Very three-dimensional. It's a little bit more two-dimensional, but it still has some depth to it. So today's landscapes, very easy, it's very fun. We're just gonna get right into it. I hope you love it. 2. Paper setup and choosing your colors: So to start out with our setup, we are going to take our paper and we're gonna tape it down to the table. As always, you don't have to take off the edges. I typically do this because my paper comes and our role. And it's a lot easier to keep it laying flat by tape it down. But if your paper comes in a booklet or you've already stretched it or just curling up. Then you can paint straight to the edges if you'd like. Just personal preference. This is just what I do. I would say though, is that your paper should be in a landscape orientation like this. So you want your paper, it should be longer than it is tall. So if your paper comes in a square, that's fine. But for the purpose of this painting, either cut it to a rectangle or use a piece of paper that is already a rectangle and have it reoriented this way. So you're gonna wanna go ahead and grab your water and you're going to want to grab your palate and whichever brushes Do you plan to use? For this class, I'm going to be using to round brushes. So I'm gonna be using for the psi is eight round brush. And then I'm going to also be using SI is six rounded brush. With that, we're going to choose our colors. So we're going to be working with more muted colors, more warm, dusky type colors. So we're going to start with a little bit of black, but not a lot. And then we're going to move on to the actual colors that we're gonna use in this painting. Now, we're going to want a blue for our sky, but you don't want a super high rent bright blue for this painting unless you want to change the tones completely. But I am using an indigo blue. So this blue has a little bit more of a gray hue to it, so it's not super bright and in your face, it's a little bit more muted. And then we're going to use a lightning and a midtone green. Now my light green that I am going with is this one is Winsor Newton. It's a green but it has a lot of gray to it. So if you don't have a shade like that yet, you can always add some gray to you're green or add some black to your green. Just slightly. And I can show you how to do that. I'll show you how to create a green similar to that, but that's my light green. And then here's my midtone green. This is just Sap Green. That's what it looks like. And this is a really great brand of P. If you're looking for something. Now to add some warmth, we're gonna use this color, which is one of my absolute favorites. This is burnt sienna. If you do not have this color, then I would have you choose an orange and you're going to mix it with your brown. So if you don't have this, pick an orange that's more on the, well, it's more of a perfect orange. Don't pick an orange that has a lot of red in it, because that, which is actually what we're going for. So choose an orange that's more towards the yellow sign, but obviously not yellow. And then our last color as just a brown, just a midtone Brown. 3. Mixing custom colors: So for this, I'm going to show you how to mix two of these chains if you don't have them. If your paint selections pretty thin and you just haven't invested in a lot of unique shades are tons yet. This is what I would have you do. So I would have you start with, this is what the screen looks like by the way. So this is a more muted green. It looks really bright right here, but it typically has a little bit more muted. I think I dipped in that. I think that's why that looks like that. So if you can see, this is very, very green. This is this first screen. And then the other one is a lot more muted. So what I would do if you don't have a term similar to this, I would get a little bit of black and a little bit of that bright green. Can I work on together? And then add some water to like diluted a little bit. This makes em lighter shade of green is not the same blue. Now if you want to really make it look like this, going a little bit of your blue and blend that with that green and a little bit of the black and some water. And you can get a shade that's pretty similar. So you can see makes a little bit of your blue with the screen with some black and dilute it. And that will be pretty close to that shade that you're going to be meeting for this painting. Now, you don't have a colour similar to this. Like a good old rusty, coppery orange. So for example, this color is a little yellow. So it's a little bit more of a yellow tone, but it has some orange to it. So what I would do then for this is because some of that yellow mixing a little bit of that brown. And it won't be the same tone, but it'll be a nice rustic orange. You could add a little bit of red to this. And it will probably bring it up too about what you need. So for example, there's a red. I'll just add a little bit to this. Such pretty close. So then if you don't have those two colors, you're gonna substitute. Add some red and yellow and brown to make this color. And add some blue, black, and green to make this color. 4. Putting in the sky: With this, we're gonna get started. We're going to start with the sky. What you're gonna wanna do is create a little bit of a wash on the upper inch and a half or so of your painting. And even a little bit more. Let's start do the upper third of your painting. And you can, I want to get it all the way up to those corners. This will be our washed for our sky. And then we're gonna get started in on the sky. So for our sky, we're gonna be using that blue. Now. This is just a blue that has a little bit of gray mixed into it, so it's really dark if we don't dilute it. So very, very dark blue. But when it's diluted, it makes a really pretty gray sky. So we're going to start with that. And we're going to fill the sky. So we're going to kind of create a gradient working downward. And as you can see, this is very, very, very diluted. And that's what we're kinda going for. We don't want a super, super vibrant sky. We went to kinda look a little cloudy and overcast. So we're going to start with that. We're going to let that dry completely before we move on to our landscape. 5. Painting your first set of hills: Now that our pages dried, we're going to start with the first layer of landscape. And that is going to be with this color that muted. So if you don't have that color, now's the time to mix it if you haven't already. So I'm gonna go in with that color. And we're going to make distant hills. You want these hills to look very distance so they don't need super pronounced, but we're gonna kind of go along with this line that's already been a little bit created. And we're just going to kind of go over it and then a little bit more pronounced as we tend to have some bumps too. And even more pronounced. And then we're gonna move into the next step. 6. Painting your secong set of hills: For our next set of hills, we're going to use our medium tone green. So as you can see my as a very vibrant green, it doesn't quite work with these tones. So what I'm gonna do is add a little bit of brown to it. I know I always add Brown to my greens. And it just makes the tone, oops, too much because it just makes the tones blend a little bit better, in my opinion. So you can see that kinda softens that green a little bit to have brown in there. So you're gonna do is you're going to start with another set of hills. You don't need the hills to look very distance, so you don't quite need as many of them as you see right here. There's several hills, so this is going to be just kind of like two hills. Hey, let them dry and then we will finish off the grass down here with our 7. Painting your last layer of landscape: So you're going to want to put this color down this lower portion. And it's okay if there is a line like this because we are going to make, some trees are gonna kinda fill the tunnels tree. So this is going to look like a dried field. And the trees are going to be right there, so it's not going to be super noticeable. Let that dry completely. I'll move on to the trees. 8. Adding in the tree line: Now what we're going to start with is some distant trees, like a mutant version of that. And we're going to make my first little cluster. So make some decent little taps like this. Make it but up to the edge of the hill. I'm gonna make that along this edge. Now we're gonna do something very similar. Down here. We're going to make a darker green though, is it's gonna be this medium tone greenness, some of this brown to make a darker tone of green. And we're gonna put that over here. Trying to make these trees a little bit larger than the ones before, since they're closer. Maybe not quite as many, or you can make them a little bit lighter in the back like this. Some lighter ones and then darker ones in front. As you'll see, these techniques are super, super simple, very easy to replicate. Okay, make the shapes similar to like a half circle, like an actual tree is. Think some larger ones that are darker. Kind of give the illusion that like maybe a good ol maple on the middle of a row of something or others and then maybe like okay. 9. Adding in details: Finally, we're going to add some details into this painting. So we're gonna start with the top. Again, start with some cloud. So we're going to add some cloud detailing. We're gonna use that same blue. We're just not going to dilute it as much this time. So we're going to have that's pretty good. Midtown blue and we're gonna do is just make a little and lay your brush sideways like this and make some kind of taps. There's going to be like the bottom side of the clouds. Then with your brush way, you kinda dilate the top back outward. Just kinda working some taps was kinda makes the illusion of those flattery kinda clouds. And I know a lot of terms for clouds, but couple on lists. So that's good for your clouds unless you want to add more. And now we're going to work on some details in these trees are here. And I get more of that same green, but add a little bit of this darker green to it. And a little bit of brown and a little bit of blue. And I'm making a really dark version of this screen. You can see here's the original darker version. So we're going to make or add some details into these trees to make them look like. Treats her canon just gonna make clicker clustering. So it looks like this and you could even go so far as to like make some kind of pushes, et cetera, here. So it looks like the forest doesn't necessarily start on the Hill. This is a helpful hint too, if you want to be kinda covering up some of these lines a little bit, can kinda do this and I will give the illusion that the forest is really thick. So there's that. Now. Now we're gonna go into these trees. But before we do, we're going to add some texture to this grass, so we're gonna get that color. Not too much of it and little bit of brown to it. I'm going to make an allusion. Brushstrokes, this weight. This is the direction of fields are gone. Dip down here. Okay, now once that's done, if you want, you can go on with this orange and add a little kinda like the concept of some grasses, maybe a couple pieces of grass. Because if it's at the front of this painting and kind of see where the grasses will do that. And then we will do our trees. 10. Final details and reveal: Adding those trees, we're gonna get this green screen and add a little bit of brown to make a really dark, really rich color. I'm going to add some detail. Kinda choose a sided where you would imagine that the who's shadows. And kind I go in there. Now you're gonna get, you're black and you're gonna use your smaller brush. And we're going to add some kind of stems. Trunks I guess is the term. I'm gonna add some terms. Landscape in layers. 11. Outro: And with that, I hope you enjoy this week's class. Please let me know. Any feedback what you thought of it if you liked it, I would love to see if you recreated it, so please share that with me. And with that, I'll see you guys next week.