Painting mini landscapes with watercolor | Sarah Van Der Linden | Skillshare

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Painting mini landscapes with watercolor

teacher avatar Sarah Van Der Linden, watercolor artist & nature enthusiast

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

9 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Intro

      1:16
    • 2. Supplies

      1:20
    • 3. Creating textures

      13:02
    • 4. Elements to add

      7:20
    • 5. Preparing your paper

      1:45
    • 6. Painting your landscapes (layer 1 part 1)

      12:24
    • 7. Painting your landscapes (layer 1 part2)

      10:43
    • 8. Painting your landscapes (layer 2)

      12:18
    • 9. Project time

      0:45
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About This Class

Hi everyone, and welcome to this class about painting mini landscapes with watercolor!

This is a topic I'm really excited about because I find so much joy when I'm creating these little pieces. The goal really is to experiment and create textures with a variety of colors and to have fun in the process!

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In this class, I will share :

  • what supplies to use
  • how to create textures using watercolor, water and salt
  • what elements to add to create a landscape feel
  • how to create these landscapes by painting only two layers

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You will also see me paint 10 of these landscapes. I will walk you through my entire process, and at the end of this class, you will be able to implement these techniques to paint your own ones.

This class is great for beginners, or anyone who want to explore and discover new techniques, or just want to have fun painting tiny colorful landscapes!

You will find here my others classes about watercolor :

Meet Your Teacher

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Sarah Van Der Linden

watercolor artist & nature enthusiast

Teacher

Hi there, my name is Sarah also known @mirglis on instagram. I’m a watercolor and gouache artist living in the French countryside.

 

I believe that nature, inspiration and imagination are deeply connected, and for me, creativity is a long road leading to a better observation and understanding of the world. I'm most myself and happier when I'm in a forest or in the middle of nowhere, and that’s why all my inspiration comes from nature. I love painting landscapes with watercolor, playing with water to create textures, and patiently adding one layer after another.


 

You will find here on Skillshare different classes to learn to paint landscapes with waterc... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Intro: Hello, and welcome to this class about painting the new landscapes with watercolor. My name is Sarah, and I'm a watercolor artist living in the French countryside. This is my seventh class here on Skill-share and I'm really excited to show you how to paint this color for landscapes. I have been painting a lot of them lately and they are great to create textures and play with colors. If you have already followed one of my classes, you know that landscapes are one of my favorite subjects. In this class, I will show you different techniques that you can use to create interesting textures with watercolor, water and sites, what simple elements you can add on your background, and we'll paint together ten little landscapes from start to finish. At the end of this class, you will have all the tools you need to replicate the entire process. This class is great for beginners or anyone who wants to learn a fun and easy technique to paint landscapes. Are you ready? 2. Supplies: I'm going to do a quick overview of the supplies we need for this class. You will need some watercolor paints. You can use a pen set like this, or some colors in the palette, some colors that you have already prepared or mixed. We will also need some watercolor paper. The brand does not matter at all, but it needs to be very sick. A 300 gram per square meter is perfect. I'm using this Canson, but you can use what you have at home. We will also use a tiny sponge. This is one of my favorite tool. I use it all the time. If you have a waterbrush, it's great. I'm using both of these tools to wet my paper. You will also need, of course, some water to clean your brush. We will use some kitchen salt to create textures. You will need a few more brushes of various sizes, a small one and two medium ones, some paper towel, and that's it. 3. Creating textures: One, we'll be creating our tiny landscapes. We will be painting two layers. The first one will be more abstract to lay down colors, and create background and will add details after that on the second layer. In this video, I will show you different ways to create texture with watercolor, and we'll implement these techniques later in our landscapes. So let me show you a few things. If I use watercolor on a dry paper, we'll be able to draw a very neat shape. For example, let's say that I paint a cloud, you get see that I'm able to draw and Bezier shape just as I want. You can see that all my edges are clean like this. Now let's see what happens, if I wet my paper first. With my aqua brush, I'm just doing some movement to wet my paper, you can see that I'm painting a tiny rectangle, and then I will use the same blue paint, to create my clouds. You can see that this time the paint is spreading and I can't paint some clean edges like I did on the first one. Now, let's see what happens if we combine both of these techniques. This time, just wet a small part of your paper, a smaller part than earlier and then with your blue paint, start painting your cloud where the paper is dry. At the top, the shape will be neat and when your paint will be touching the water, it will be spreading a bit. You can see that it is an interesting effect, to combine wet and dry and wet. Now we are going to do a few exercises to see what happens, depending on we start by adding water first, or rather we start by adding paint first. Starting with my blue paint, I'm going to paint a rectangle and fill it totally. I'm going to take my aqua brush to add water at the bottom. I can also add a few drops at the really bottom, where the paint and the water are touching. You can see that it creates an interesting effect. It's like the water was pushing the paint. Now, let's see what happens if I add water on my paints, not beneath it. So I'm going to paint a rectangle with blue paint again. I will fill this time the whole area. Now I will add a few drops, it runs there, on the paint. You can see that it's pretty similar to the texture here, except that this time it has a round shape, the shape of the drop. Now I will do exactly the same thing, but I will start with my water. I'm wetting a small area on my paper, and then with my brush and blue paint, I will add a few drops. You can see that the paint is spreading a bit. Now let's see what happens if we draw a line on our wet paper. Again, I'm going to use my aqua brush to wet an area. This time with my brush, I'm just going to draw a line. The paint is spreading a bit and fading in the water. My lines aren't perfect, and it creates an effect like it was far away. To compare, let's paint the same lines, but on a dry paper and now you can see that these lines are really neat. Until now, we just use water and one color. Now, let's see what happens if we use two different colors. For these exercises, I will use two different blues, one to turquoise, and one indigo. We will repeat the same three exercises done earlier. Starting with this one, I'm going to paint with my turquoise a small rectangle and fill it completely. Instead of using water as earlier, I will use my darker blue. I'm painting just beneath, the turquoise, and I'm starting at the bottom in order to touch my light blue at the end, so that the indigo is spreading in the turquoise. Let's try this one. Again, I'm painting as square first, now, I will add a few drops of indigo and it's spreading and blending a bit with the turquoise. It's an effect I really like and I use all the time. Now, let's try to do this but with lines. I will paint a square with my turquoise and fill it completely. Now with my indigo, I will draw the same three lines, just as we did earlier. Now, I would like to show you a few more things about painting lines to finish these exercises. Let's paint a few horizontal lines with our blue paint again, and then using my aqua brush again, I will add a few lines of water, it runs there. The paint will be spreading a bit and not all my lines will be neat. It's great to create a imperfect effects. In this case, the paint is spreading a bit, but not too much. Let's do the same thing, but this time starting with the water. With my aqua brush, I'm painting a few lines and then I will use my indigo and this time the paint is spreading a bit more. You can use this effect to paint water, for example. The result is a bit different than what we had here. You can also use your tiny sponge to wet the paper, so use clean water. I will use my tiny sponge to wet the paper a bit randomly because I don't want to wet on all area, like we did earlier made just a few tiny spots. This way, the paint will sometimes spread and sometimes not. I like this process because it is a great way to combine clean lines and not so perfect ones. For example, you can use this to paint this on mountain. Let me show you. I'm wetting my paper a bit randomly with my sponge and then I will paint some curvy lines. When my paint is touching a wet area, the paint is going to spread a bit like it was far away. It's a great way to add a bit of depth to your composition. Finally, another way to create texture is to add some kitchen set. Let's paint a square with our blue paint. Before my pen can dry, I will add a few grains of salt on top of my wet paint. Then I will wait until it dries and I will be able to remove the grains of salt and you will see that it creates a beautiful texture. Later, we will use all of these tactics to paint our backgrounds. I'd suggest that you play with water and paint and see what are the different results that you can obtain. 4. Elements to add: Now that we saw how to create textures to paint the background, I'm going to show you how to add a few elements, that we will paint on the second layer, that will indicate that your painting is indeed a landscape. First, I'm going to show you how to paint some trees, some pine trees and some deciduous trees, so take a fine brush. First, I will show you how to paint a pine tree. You start by painting a line for the trunk and then, to paint the foliage, I'm just drawing some lines that go from the outside towards the inside. Then I'm doing the same thing for the other side. You can see that I'm painting quickly and I'm not thinking too much about my lines because a tree is really perfect. You can also do the same thing, except that this time you are going to paint the foliage all along the trunk. Again, do the same thing for the other side of the tree. This time you have a bigger pine tree. You can also paint some deciduous trees, so let's start with a bare one. You start at the bottom of the trunk and then you paint the branches. This is one line going from the bottom to the top. Then I'm going to paint smaller branches on one side, and then on the middle, one bigger branch first, going to the bottom. Finally, I am adding a few final lines to add the branches, and I'm repeating the operation on the right side. When we will be painting our landscapes later, they will be really small. You won't have to add too many details to your trees because you won't be able to see it, so don't bother to make something too perfect. Now let's paint a tree with foliage. I start at the top and I'm just painting some random curvy line in a round shape to create the foliage. After that, I just paint a small trunk underneath it, and that's it. Just a crazy foliage and the trunk. You can also add elements in the sky, like birds or moon, or sun. First, I'm going to show you how to paint some birds. I'm taking my finest brush and I will just draw two lines in a v shape, a bit curvy. You can see that the middle is a bit in a triangle, in a v-shape. Let me show you another one, I'm starting at the outside and I'm drawing line a bit curvy towards the inside, and then I am painting the second wing. You can also paint smaller birds, medium ones or really small ones. It's great to mix various sizes to create some depth. In your sky you can also add a moon. It can be a crescent moon, so you just paint the shape and then you fill it completely. You can also paint a full moon, so this time just paint a circle, then fill it complexly with your paint. You can leave it like this or you can also add a few drops of water to create some texture. If you want you can also use a few grains of salt. You can also paint some hills or mountain just by using a few simple lines, so let me show you. I start with a curvy line for the top of my hill and then I'm just adding a few more lines to create some movement. To paint some mountains, I will do the same thing with a bit more edges. Just like I did earlier, I am adding a few more lines to create a bit of relief, of course, if you have other ideas, feel free to add them to this list. It can also be, for example, tiny animals, you can also add bushes or foliage or grass. To paint grass, just paint a few lines with the tip of your brush, starting at the top and going towards the bottom. You can also create a bush with a more rounded shape, just like we did earlier with the top of our trees. You paint just with a few movements some curved line to create a bush, and that's it. Now that we have all these elements, we are going to start painting our landscapes. 5. Preparing your paper: Before starting to paint the little landscapes, I just want to draw some lines on my paper to divide it into little boxes. So my paper is 30 by 21 centimeters. So let's say I will paint five landscapes and the lengths, five landscape of six centimeters each. I'm using a pencil because I want to be able to erase the lines after I will have painted the landscapes. Now, I will do the same thing on the other side. Now I just have to draw my lines. I will do the same thing on the other side and this time, I'm just going to split my paper in two, so each landscape will be 10.5 centimeters. Of course, you can do whatever you want depending on the size of the paper you are using. Now, my paper is ready, so let's start painting. 6. Painting your landscapes (layer 1 part 1): Now we are going to start painting our little landscapes. The first layer will be a more abstract one. We are going to use the textures we saw earlier and try to mix and combine them to create the background. For me, this first layer is all about playing with texture and having fun, so feel free to experiment and try everything you want. For the first one, I'm going to use my aqua brush and wet a part of my paper first. I'm not wetting the all area, but just a few tiny parts, even there, and I will use my one brush and some turquoise paint, and I'm going to paint the shape of a cloud. I'm now adding a few drops of more saturated paint to add a bit of contrast, and you can see that the paint is printing a bit here. At the bottom, I will paint a tiny hill, but first, I will use my smudge to wet a bit more my paper. This time, I will use some green, and I'm just drawing a curved line to picture the hill. Just a few more lines. You can see that the paint is printing again in the water, so I will add a few more darker lines to add some contrast again. A few at the top and at the bottom, and I like how the green hill is spreading in the water. I think I'm going to add a bit more of it to connect the sky and the hill. I wetted my paper with my sponge, and now I'm just adding a few light tiny drops in it. To finish, I will add a few more drops of water with my aqua brush. This is something I like to do and I use it all the time, especially when I'm painting skies, and that's it for this one. Now, for the second one, let say that this time I will paint a dark sky. I'm taking a more darker blue, and I start by painting the shape of the cloud again. You will notice that I rarely paint landscapes with perfect rectangle edges. I like to create a loose shape so that not all landscapes look the same and that each one has its own personality. Now I will add some water. I'm using my aqua brush again to make sure that my water is clean, and I start by wetting an area under my blue paint, and I touch it only after that so that it can spread nicely in the water. I will also add a few drops here, and I will help the paint to spread by creating a movement in my water. I will now wet the bottom of my paper, and using some green, I will paint a pine tree. I'm starting to paint a line for the trunk, and then I'm quickly painting the foliage. This tree will be a bit blurry, but that's totally fine since it will be at the background. Now, I'm adding a bit more green at the bottom. You can see that I didn't refill my brush, so I'm using whatever paint is still on it, and as always, I'm just painting a random shape for the ground. That's it for this one. Now for the next one, I'm going to wet a bit more my paper with my sponge, and this time I will use a more bearish color, and I'm just adding a few drops here and there in what will be the sky. It's a bit like painting a Milky Way. I will add a bit more color because I think it's a bit sad, so this time I'm using ocher, and again, I'm just painting. 7. Painting your landscapes (layer 1 part2): Now, for the next one let's paint some clouds again. I am using some turquoise and I'm going to paint a round shape at the top and this will be my first cloud and you can notice that this time I didn't wet my paper first. I'm painting a cloud at the top and I'm adding a bit more pigments to paint the second one. Now with my 10 sponge and some clean water, I will wet the bottom of the second cloud and now we'll do the same here on the first one. This way the painting is spreading a bit and I want to add edges and that's it for this. Now, I will wet a bit the bottom of my paper and this time I'm just going to add a few drops of green. Just a few drops at the bottom here and there to create a number of texture. It's like I was painting some foliage or some wild herbs and to finish, I will add a bit of this ocher and that's it for this guide. I'm sure that you understand the process now, so I will speed up the video a bit, but you will be able to see everything. You don't have to use the exact same colors that I use. Try every combination you want. This first layer is more abstract, so the goal really is to experiment and have fun. Try wetting the paper first or not, adding a bit of paint and then a bit of water and observe what it creates. You can also add salt and try as many things as you want. It is by doing these experiments that you will obtain a variety of textures and it's also a great way to know what you like and dislike. I want to add a bit of salt at the bottom of this one, so I'm just adding a few grains on my wet paint and then I will let it dry. Now, I will wait a few minutes to make sure that all my landscapes are dry and then you are going to add a few elements, like trees or stars or moon on top of it. 8. Painting your landscapes (layer 2): Now that our first layer is fully dry, make sure that you have remove the salt. We are going to add a few elements to finish our landscapes. Just as I've shown you earlier, we are going to add some trees, some mountains, some hill. It can even be the moon, some stars, whatever you what. Let's start with the first one, and I will add a bear tree. I'm using a fine brush, and this time I'm going to use some brown. I'm starting by painting a line for the trunk towards the bottom, and then, I'm just painting the branches. I start with the ones at the top and then I'm finishing to paint the trunk. You don't need to be too precise. Remember that the branches that are at the top needs to be thinner. I don't want to have a clean edge at the bottom, so I will add a bit of water with my aqua brush. Just a tiny bit of water at the bottom of my tree. Then I will use my sponge to remove the excess water. By adding the single bear tree, it indicates that what we painted is indeed a landscape. The next one, I will add a pine tree. I will use some greens this time. First, I paint a line for the trunk and then I'm painting the foliage on both sides. Now, I will paint another one on the right, a smaller one. It's the same thing. I'm drawing a line for the trunk and then I'm painting the foliage. I will use my sponge to add a bit of water at the bottom, just as we did for the bear tree. I will also add a few lines with some turquoise. Oh sorry, I think there is a cut hair of my brush. Now, I'm just painting four curvy lines at the bottom towards my pine trees. It will add a bit of movement. For the next one, I will be using my very fine brush, and I will paint a few birds in the sky. I will use some dark blue and I will paint four birds from different sizes. The bigger will be at the top and the smaller will be at the bottom towards what I think look like a sea, and that's it. For the next one, I will paint some pine trees again. I will take some green again, and I will paint first a line for the trunk, and then I will add some foliage. You can notice that I started with a very light green because this is a tree that is at the background. I will add still a bit more green because I think it's too pale. Then to paint my second tree, I will use a darker green, and I will do exactly the same process again. I'm adding a last cedron on the left with my dark green, and I think that will be all. Again, I'm taking my sponge and a bit of clear water to soften the bottom. This time, I will paint a deciduous tree with some foliage. I will start with a really light brown, and I will paint the top of the foliage. I'm going to place my tree at the left of the landscape. I'm painting first the leaves that are at the top, and then I will paint the trunk. Now, with some green, I will add way more foliage, create something a bit crazy, not a perfect long shape. While it's still wet, I will add a bit of brown at the bottom of the trunk to add a bit more contrast because I think my trunk was too pale. As always, I will use my sponge to soften a bit edges at the bottom so that the trunk and the background are blending a bit. I want to add a two birds in this sky too. So i will paint tiny birds next to the tree. This was our fifth landscape. For this one, I will add a pine tree again. I'm pretty sure that you now know that I really enjoy painting pine trees. I will paint a single tree just at the top of the hill in the middle. Same thing as the other times, I'm starting by painting my trunk and then I'm adding the foliage. This time I'm using a really pale ochre, and just as we did here, I will add a few lines under my tree. This time I'm using some dark green, and I'm painting some curvy lines again. Make sure that the colors of the lines and the pine tree are blending a bit. Now, to change a bit, I will paint the crescent moon and some stars. I'm using my finest brush and some dark blue and I'm starting by painting my moon. Take your time to paint the outline and then just fill it completely. Now, I will paint a few dots, it runs there for the stars. I'm still using my dark blue and I'm just adding them at the top of my sky. I also want to add something at the bottom. I will add a few pine trees at the bottom with some green, a green a little bit darker than the background, and that's it for this one. Now, I want to paint a bear tree again, and this time I will use some dark blue. I'm starting at the top and first I'm painting a line that go from the top towards the bottom of the trunk, then I'm painting the right side and I will add a few branches. It's exactly the same process as the tree we painted earlier. Now, I will add a bit of water at the bottom of my trunk with my aqua brush again. Just a tiny bit of water, and that's it. Let's try something different. Let's paint some mountains at the bottom. I'm using some green and I'm just painting the all plain, one line, and then I will add a few more curvy lines on both sides. I will add a few birds in the sky with my fine brush, and I will use some ochre because there is some in the background. For this last landscape, I will add a few pine trees, again with some green. That's it. Our last landscape is finished. Now we have our 10 tiny landscapes. You can let them dry, then erase the pencil lines and keep them altogether. Or you can cut your paper scissors to have separate little pieces. 9. Project time: Your project will be to create your own goal of landscapes using the techniques you learned in this class. You can experiment with different ways to create textures using water, water polo insights. I really want to see what you create. Feel free to upload your project in the project section of this class. If you're interested in learning more about painting landscapes, you can also check my other classes about skies, pantries, and hills. Thank you so much for joining me in this class and I will see you soon.