Watercolor Mountain Step-by-Step Tutorial | Beginner Friendly | Sarah Burns | Skillshare

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Watercolor Mountain Step-by-Step Tutorial | Beginner Friendly

teacher avatar Sarah Burns, Painter / Photographer / Youtuber

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

10 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Supplies & Quick Tips

    • 3. Watercolor Papers

    • 4. Atmospheric Perspective

    • 5. Painting the Sky

    • 6. Mountain First Layer

    • 7. Mountain Details

    • 8. Painting the Lake

    • 9. Foreground Elements

    • 10. Class Project

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About This Class


About This Class

In this step-by-step beginner watercolor class you will learn how to paint this watercolor mountain scene, but also so much more.

Mountains are a great subject to study when you are starting out because they are interesting and provide lots of opportunities to play with lighting and texture.

I will discuss water control, brush technique, color, and important landscape concepts such as atmospheric perspective.

After this tutorial you will have some repeatable strategies for painting all types of landscapes.


Lesson Plan

  1. Introduction
  2. Supplies and Quick Tips
  3. Watercolor Paper
  4. Atmospheric Perspective
  5. Painting the Sky
  6. Mountain - First Layer
  7. Mountain - Second Layer
  8. Painting the Lake/Reflection
  9. Foreground Elements
  10. Class Project

My Teaching Style

My goal as a teacher is for students to take away a deeper understanding of the topic rather than just copying what they see. That way, students can go off on their own and find success within their own practice.

I began landscape painting in 2015, and since then it has become my career! I am a full time independent artist, nature lover, and online teacher.

I’ve been teaching monthly watercolor and gouache tutorials on Twitch and Youtube for over four years, and I enjoy open communication with my students.



You do not have to use the same colors as me, but if you’d like to know, the colors I use in this painting are:

  • Blues: Schmincke Ultramarine Finest and Pthalo Sapphire Blue
  • Greens: 
    • When I say “warm green” I am using: Mixture of M. Graham Hansa Yellow with Daniel Smith Diopside Green (a Primatek color)
    • Dark Green: Schmincke Perylene Green
    • When I say “cool green” I am using: Mixture of Daniel Smith Diopside Green and Schmincke Ultramarine Finest
    • Pthalo Green is another color I mention.
  • Yellow: M. Graham Hansa Yellow
  • Orange: Daniel Smith Quinacridone Burnt Orange and Schmincke Yellow Ochre
  • Instead of black I use Sennelier neutral tint (for the darkest part of the mountain rock)

Brushes: Silver Black Velvet #12 round, a cheap random #8 round, and a Script brush

Paper: In this video I use Arches Cold Press, 300 gsm.

Quick Paper suggestions:

Extremely High Quality: 

  • Arches, 
  • Fabriano Artistico, 
  • Saunders Waterford

Great Quality: 

  • Bockingford, 
  • Strathmore 500 Series 

Good entry level: 

  • Fluid brand 100 series (cotton) 

Decent Cellulose papers: 

  • Fluid Easy-Block, 
  • Strathmore Watercolor Postcards


  • Currently the “best” cotton sketchbooks on the market are Etchr sketchbooks which use Fabriano Artistico paper. You can also find some handmade sketchbooks on Etsy or similar, but they get pricey. Alternatively, buy big sheets of Arches and cut it down to make your own sketchbooks/travel size booklets. Lots of tutorials on youtube for making your own sketchbooks.
  • Another good cotton option is Strathmore 500 Series Travel Sketchbook 
  • A good non-cotton sketchbook I’ve used lately is Seawhite of Brighton Travel watercolor sketchbook. It handles heavy washes and glazing better than a lot of others I’ve tried. 
  • I no longer recommend Moleskine watercolor sketchbooks because they actually make some basic skills more difficult (like glazing!)


  • Contains everything from paints, brushes, papers and more!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sarah Burns

Painter / Photographer / Youtuber


Hello! My name is Sarah. I'm a full-time artist and illustrator living in the Highlands of Scotland. I moved here from Colorado, where my painting journey began. I specialize in landscape painting with watercolor and gouache. I also love drawing, acrylics, and oil.

What makes my classes special? As a self-taught painter, I know the struggles of what it's like to learn a new art skill and I know how to get through it.

My greatest joy is sketching outside, and I love to take you with me!


What I Do

My focus is on landscapes, but I do all sorts of things! Sketching, hiking, and photography are my three of my greatest joys.

I have self published three books.

My days are spent painting and teaching others.&nbs... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hey, guys, today I'm gonna show you how to paint this watercolor mile in this class is a great place to start for beginners. I'll show you my supplies and give you insights into the different types of watercolor paper, as well as tips on water control. Color and creative mark making will even touch on important aspects of landscape, such as atmospheric perspective. Trust me, it's a lot easier than you think. As always, Michael is a teacher is to help give you a deeper understanding of your tools and subject matter rather than just copying what you see. This way, you can continue to grow on your own using these repeatable strategies. I'll provide you with the liner in value study for this piece in case that's helpful for you, as well as give you some reference photos that you could study from Dr Your Paints and Let's Diamond 2. Supplies & Quick Tips: Before we get started with the painting, I'm gonna show you what supplies we need and give you some quick tips for how to use them. First things first. We need some paint. I use pain out of the tube, but I squeeze it into my palate so that it dries over a course of a couple nights. This gives me a little bit more control over how much pigment I pick up on my brush when I sit down to paint, we also need a water source. So have a either a glass of water or a bucket of water like this. Nearby and for brushes. I typically use 123 brushes per painting, usually varying in size and thickness, which just helps me control the pigment and the water a little bit easier along the way, depending on how much detail I need in a particular part of the scene. No, if you are using dry pain, it's important that we get it wet before we start painting. So I use a little spray bottle like this, and I just give it a nice coating of moisture. This will allow us to pick up the paint much easier on our brushes and not have to dig it it so much when we need it. What I usually do is swirl my brush gently in the pigment, and this avoids getting lots of chunks of color on the brush and just gives you a little bit of a cleaner brush stroke. You can see these round brushes or really versatile. You can get nice fine details, but if you turn your brush and use the fat side, you can get some big soft brush strokes. So the tip releases a nice hard edge more pigment and the fat part is of more watery and gives you a softer edge. You can use this to your advantage when doing different types of brushstrokes, so let me show you how to pull the paint first, get one big brush, drove down full of pigment, then clean your brush off with clear water and drag the paint down the paper very slowly. You'll start to see how the pigment flows into that new water area, and basically anywhere you put water on the paper. The pigment is going to try to flow there, and this is what we call wet and toe wet. So we get the paper wet with either Clearwater or pigment, and then we can touch other colors into it, and it slowly bleeds and flows into each other. One of the most important and difficult aspects of watercolor is water control. And as much as I would love to sit here and tell you exactly how to create different types of brushstrokes, you're only gonna really get it once you start putting the brush to the paper. So I suggest doing little swatch cards and test sheets like this, trying different types of mark making, and hopefully that will get you started. One strategy that works really well for a lot of people when color mixing is to do premixed piles of paint. Since your paper is way and most palates air white, this gives you a pretty good idea of what color you're gonna get. I will list all the colors that I'm using in the description for this tutorial, but just so it's easy to follow for beginners, I'll use simplified terms like light blue, dark blue, warm green, cool green. And by that I mean, if a green has more yellow in its warm if it has more blue in it, it's cool. And yes, we use a lot of different types of greens in our painting so that they don't get boring. 3. Watercolor Papers: the quality of your watercolor paper is of the utmost importance and hear me out. If you start off using really cheap paper that does not perform well, you're gonna assume that it's your fault that your paintings aren't working out. So do yourself a favor and use watercolor paper that contains 100% cotton rather than cellulose. This is a huge factor in paper performance, and you will think yourself leader for doing this. I'll leave some links in the description offering my suggestions, and this is all based on my actual experience. I've tried to so many different types of paper, so I have a lot to say about it. Without getting too technical. I'll show you the different types of paper on the left. Here we have rough paper, and you'll see how intense the texture of the paper shows through. On the right side, we have a cellulose paper. So not only is this not caught in paper, but it's also cold press, so it's slightly less textured. So the rougher the paper is, the more the pigment is going to settle into the little dimples on the surface and become more noticeable. There are some cellulose papers that are pretty decent. This fluid paper is one of them that I first started out with. However, as soon as I discovered cotton paper, I really never went back. Un cellulose paper The pain tends to sit on the surface of the paper rather than sink into the fibers, which makes it really difficult to get smoothed, radiance and even do basic skills like glazing. It can also dry unpredictably, patchy. Now let's compare cold press and hot press. This left side is arches cold press, my absolute favorite. And on the right side we have Fabbiano artistic Oh, hot press paper. Hot pressed paper is extremely smooth, with almost no texture, and because of that it often reveals every single mistake or brush, stroke or piece of fuzz or hair that gets in the paint. So it's a little bit unforgiving. A lot of people stick with cold press, not only because of how beautiful the texture looks, but also because it is a lot easier to work with. The one thing I do love hot press for is good wash. Here are some examples of my studies, and you can see how beautiful the matte texture looks on this smooth paper compared to the very textured surface of cold press, which I prefer for watercolor. As I'm demonstrating these different paper types, I hope it's obvious that, yes, you can get all sorts of different effects with every type of paper. However, the rial difference comes in how it feels while you're painting. So in order for you to really understand these differences, you will just have to try it for yourself. Everyone has a strong opinion about their favorite watercolor papers, but in the end that you just need to figure out which way your aesthetic leans and try different types of paper within that style. 4. Atmospheric Perspective: Let's talk about a very important concept for landscape painting, which is atmospheric perspective. The air around us contains moisture and dust particles and all sorts of pollution, and that affects how we see color. When it comes to landscape painting. That means things that are further away from you are going to appear lower contrast and less saturated. Looking at this reference, we can see this pretty obviously, as we look at the different steps of the land, those furthest hills in the distance or a very light, hazy color, followed by the mid ground trees, which slowly step up in contrast and warmth and saturation. And if we pick colors from each of these sections, it becomes really obvious to us. If we were to do a value study of this landscape, we would use very light tones in the background and get darker and darker as became forward . And this phenomenon is apparent in every type of landscape, even a forest like this. The trees that are furthest away from us are very hazy and low concentrated color lower contrast compared to the foreground trees, which are highly pigmented, highly saturated and much darker. Contrast not only does the value change because of this effect but also color. One of the most common effects you'll see is that the distant elements appear much more blue than the foreground elements. In this case, you can see how incredibly blue that background mountain is compared to the mid ground and foreground, which get a lot warmer. The presence of storm clouds and whether the sun is rising or setting can also make a big difference. So it doesn't always mean that we're going to have blue mountains in the distance and warm elements in the foreground. It really does depend on your specific scene, but you can still see that in all of these examples, the value range in the distance is much lower than the foreground, meaning the foreground has a lot higher contrast. 5. Painting the Sky: This is a bright, sunny day in the mountains. So instead of just a plain blue sky, I want to add some big, fluffy clouds. So after a quick sketch just roughing in my mountain shapes I know where my sky is gonna be . I'm going to start off with a bright blue color and a mixing my ultra marine finest with just a hint of my fellow sapphire blue. I'm gonna lay in this color across the whole top of the mountain range and then leave a little bit of a gap in the sky as low and painting around my cloud. One thing that helps me keep a nice, sharp edge against that mountain is to point the tip towards the mountain. If you need to, you can sketch in where you want your clouds to be. If you are a little bit nervous about improvising, you can see that I'm kind of surrounding my cloud with the fat, wet part of my brush. I also pick up Clearwater here and there and touch it into the sky so it flows nicely across the whole area. And because this paper is 100% cotton, I have a nice long time before I have to worry about it drying. So it's a little bit more convenient when you're trying to do a bigger area like this. Now to give a hint of weight to my clouds, I'm gonna mix in just a tiny bit of quinacrine number in orange or an orange color into my blue. Because they're complementary colors. They're going to kind of neutralize each other a little bit, and I'm going to touch that color into the bottom part of my clouds, And this will make it feel like the clouds are a little bit waited a little bit heavier, and it'll also make the highlight side of the cloud the top area extra bright. If you happen to push your pain a little bit too far over the edge of your mountain, just use a paper towel to pick up that excess paint. One thing I noticed here is that my top array area of this guy was a little bit too light for my taste, so I just floated at my brush again and dragged it across that area. Since the paper takes a little bit longer to dry, it does give me some extra time to do that, and I also want to smooth out some of those cloud edges. So I just take a clean brush with just Clearwater and I run it along that side of the cloud . You'll start to see how it becomes very soft compared to the left side of the cloud, which has a little bit more of a hard edge to it. And I find that when I combine these soft and hard edges, it just adds a little bit more realism to the painting, as opposed to making every single edge the same. Lastly, we can use our paper towel to pick up any pigment where we went a little overboard or where we decided we just want to have a bit of a softer edge. 6. Mountain First Layer: using my blue color that I used for the sky. But in a higher concentration, I'm gonna lay in a bit of mountain in the distance. I'm using a dry brush technique here, which means the pigment is on the brush without a lot of water. And I'm just letting it dance across the surface of that textured paper, which is perfect for making it seem like there are little patches of snow on the mountain. If you're finding it difficult to create these little patches of white area, try reducing the amount of water that's on your brush. Since this is a bright, sunny scene, we have a shadow side of our mountains, and in this case I'm choosing that to be the right side of the mountain. So any plane facing away from the sun is going to be a lot darker or more saturated, and I'm still keeping it relatively light because these are the distant mountains. But in order to just indicate the fact that there is a shadow, I'm dipping a little more pigment into the right side. You can see that I'm kind of alternating between using the dry brush and then touching in more water to get softer edges because I also want to make sure that I don't make too many hard edges back here, since distant elements tend to be a little bit more blurry. And my advice is to take it slow, because a tendency is to just throw on a bunch of pain and swish it around because it's fun . But when we're trying to get thes really subtle changes in direction of the Mountain of the Rock, we need to be careful about where we place our darker pigment. I remember back when I first started painting mountains, I was a bit confused about where to place my shadows and how to create that texture on the mountain. So what I did was pull up tons of reference photos, whether it's my own photos, air ones online, and I would do value studies of them. And just by doing a few of them, you start to notice patterns in your mountains like these long streaks that appear. I noticed that these lines tend to lean down into the valley, and the bonus part of that is compositionally that really helps. Our eyes tend to follow lines and pattern so you can actually use those things to direct someone's eye in your painting. One of my favorite things is adding a big contrast e shadow on one side of the mountain that just really makes it pop forward against that sky. It should have mentioned that when we're painting our mountain, we have to make sure our sky is dry, because if we don't, our color of our mountain will bleed up into the sky, and we definitely don't want that. So feel free to use a hair dryer or a heat gun to speed up the process. But back to the mountain so you can see I'm adding areas of clear water. And then I'm dropping the pigment intuit these air going to give me my softer shadows. And it's also a lot easier to make subtle changes when you do it this way, but just a reminder that it will give us a bit more realism if we combine those soft edges with the harder edges with dry brush technique. And as I worked my way down towards where the lake is going to be, I'm adding a little bit more water and I'm touching in just a hint of green. Now, in this case, I'm using my para lean green because it has a little bit more of a black ish tone to it. So it's a little bit more neutral and because these air the distant trees on the distant mountain and I don't want them to be super, super, highly pigmented green, and I'm just gonna let it fade and flow as it gets closer to the lake and the darker green that I'm adding here will be the last part on the bottom. And we need to let this dry before we do the mountain in the front of it, because otherwise they're gonna bleed into each other. And if we want to have that obvious separation, we just need to be patient. Now that it's dry, we can start working on this mountain or here, and we need to create a visual separation between the two. So in this mountain I'm gonna be going a little bit more saturated and, ah, higher contrast. I'm still starting off pretty slow. I'm not going too bold too quickly because you can always add more leader. But it's much harder to take it away after the fact, and because of the position of this mountain, most of it is leaning away from the sun and in shadow. So there's only a couple spots where the sun is actually hitting it brightly and the snow will be illuminated, like on the top left there. Otherwise, it's almost all going to be colored in, and I'm working my way down towards the lake, and as I get closer to that area, I will start adding in some green. And I'm gonna be varying my greens from dark green toe light green from cool green toe warm green. Because I want there to be a variety. I don't want it to be a big, solid patch of green. And by doing this first layer wet into wet, I'm gonna let the greens and blues flow together. And then as it starts drying, I will come back and add a little bit more variety of texture there. Sometimes as relating in the watercolor, we will start to notice that one area is too dark or too light, so basically it's just a constant state of change and really just adjusting to our decisions as we go. So by now, after I've added in this green, I've started to see that the upper area of this mountain, the blue part, is too light. So in a moment I'll start adding in more blue to dark in that a little bit, and that will help bring this mountain forward against that background mountain. Because of the color shift that happens with watercolor as it dries, it's sometimes not obvious where we need to add more. So it's OK if you want to start with a very light layer and slowly build up your darkness. It just is something that comes to us with time and the more we get used to our pigments. And I will point out that some colors have a much more drastic color shift as they dry. So having swatches and doing some color mixing charts beforehand is very, very useful. As I mentioned, I'm going to start touching and more variety of green down here, so it's still not quite dry yet still our first layer. But it's towards the tail end of it, and as it's drying, it's gonna be harder and harder for me to get that wet into wet look. But you can kind of see now that as I'm touching these little dots of pigment, they're fading just ever so slightly, but not to the point where they just become a blur. So it's gonna start adding that hint of texture, that variety, that I need to make this look like a big patch of forest. At this point, I've also noticed that my foreground mountain still isn't separated from the distant mountain enough, but I will be addressing that in a moment. Sometimes we just have to keep these things in mind as we go and make sure we don't forget to do them before we finish. I'm just doing little teeny Tunney twitchy dots here and there as it flows into that right side. I'm letting my drug brushed kind of dry out a bit and just let a hint of that that forest carry over to the right side. But it's nothing too dramatic over there, because again, I want that to be kind of faded and not really stand out too much. Speed this up just a little, because my little twitchy marks take a little bit longer. Now I can come back and start addressing how to separate the two mountains a little bit more so one strategy is to add more pigment to the foreground mountain, and I wanted to do that because it's still just was looking a little bit too light and patchy. I needed a lot more darkness in that four grown mountain to sort of match thesis situation that I added in the forest area. And as I touched the paper with this pigment, you can see it's still bleeding just a little bit down into the trees, which is good. And again. That's the beauty of using cotton paper because you have more time to work with it. And here I've noticed that some of the green bled up into the blue a little bit too much. So I just dabbed it with my paper towel to remove a little bit of that dark green and continue on with adding thes shadow of my mountain. Now, after adding enough saturation to the foreground mountain, I've noticed that it's still not quite separated from the distant mountain, so I just come back in with a clean brush and I wipe a bit of that pigment off in the distance, and this is called lifting, So some pigments are more staining on others, and you'll have a harder time doing this. But in general, most pigment will allow you to lift a little bit, and all it took was just a tiny bit of removing of that distant pigment to really make those two mountains separate. 7. Mountain Details: time for the final layer of detail on the mountain. So in this case, I'm just adding in little scratches of very dark pigment. I'm using my, uh, neutral tint mixed with my para lean violet. You could use any of your dark pigments. Just make sure it's highly saturated on your brush so that it's not very transparent. And these were the little marks that I'm making these dark marks, that of exposed rock that poke through the snow. And they're on both the highlight side and the shadow side. And if you want to, you can, you know, do very detailed studies of these of really any mountain. But in this case, because of the mountain is quite far away, and it's also quite a small painting. I can only really do so much detail, so I'm just kind of making more abstract place men, abstract marks and basically just little hints of it here and there. I'm not trying to overload the mountain with these marks. In terms of placement, these rock formations are flowing in the direction of the mountain, so basically down in a slight diagonal into the valley, the really cool thing about this is that as soon as you zoom out or look at the painting from a distance, these little marks just kind of fade into the realism of the mountain, and the viewer isn't gonna stare at these little marks. It's just part of the overall experience, so you really don't have to do to many, and you can keep them quite abstract. And my advice is to do a little bit less than you think you will need. Less is more in this case, if you're painting is very, very large. Of course, you can add more detail, and it'll be a lot easier. But in this case, you know this painting is only nine by seven inches, and I don't want to overload it with too much. And especially because I want the overall feeling of this painting to be very bright and happy, and I don't want to get too dark in any one area. I'm holding my brush quite loosely, just kind of letting it twitch and fall across the paper, not really organizing my brush strokes in any particular pattern. In general, we want to avoid too many repeated patterns because that's just not very common in nature. And on this background mountain, I'm making sure the brush strokes don't get too thick or too dark, because again, those background elements are a little bit more faded out. And then we can come back in and add a little bit of darkness down by the shoreline. And this just indicates that there's like a big bank there of either just ground or, um the space below the trees before the water happens. And this is just a hint of brown, and you could use even just dark green if you want. Just if you get a little bit of darkness there, it really helps. And the mountain will look a little bit more grounded on top of the leak that we're about to add. 8. Painting the Lake: before we paint our lake, which is going to be a very soft reflection of our mountains. We need to start thinking about the structure of the mountains and the forms that they're making. So you see that these peaks and valleys are either light or dark, and that is what is going to be reflected in the water. So what I do, because for some reason, my brain just doesn't see it properly unless I turn the paper to the side. I do a very light sketch, mirroring what I see on the left to the right. This is just a light line, just trying to line up some of the forms that I see mostly focusing on the shadows that I see, and I'll try to, like, mimic those on the right side. But I'm not gonna go into too much detail in the reflection, so I don't need to draw every single thing in. But I also need to think about the reflection of the trees and the mountain and the sky. So it's a lot, but just doing this really quick light sketch will help so much. What I like to do is tilt my paper slightly so that I'm using gravity to my advantage. And I just start off with a very, very light blue brushstroke near the shoreline. And this is mainly just to get me started, and then we can come back and add more pigment. Depending on how dark you want your reflection to be, you'll add more and more, but you do kind of need toe work quickly because we don't want to be fussing with our reflection too much. We wanted to be very soft, and the more we touch it, the Mauritz going to reveal our brush strokes. So I'll bring in that blue color down to my foreground. And in this case I'm almost covering the whole bottom of this paper. I'm not using too much water. As you can see, it's not dripping off the paper. If I used a ton of water on any of the pigment, I add, would flow very quickly and become very, very diluted, and I would get even a lighter wash of color. Now I'm going to start dropping in darker pigment wherever I did a little sketch of these shadows that need to be reflected, so a little bit of green by the shoreline to reflect the trees in the forest. And in the lower part of the reflection, I'll do a little bit more blue, a little bit more shadow and try to get a little bit of that reflection of those big shadows of the mountain in. And as you can see, it starts immediately flowing and getting a little bit more blurry. You can still see some of the brushstrokes and their placement, but by the time it dries, it does even out quite a bit. It will also get lighter as it dries, So if you want your reflection to be darker, you have to be brave and add even more pigment. But I understand that this part can be a little nerve wracking, So I suggest doing is doing a quick little sketch or test on another sheet of paper and maybe even two or three times, just to get an idea of how your pigment flows and what it looks like when it dries in a big wash like this. If you let it sit there for a minute and keep watching it as it flows, you'll start to get an idea of whether It's too light or too dark, although I highly doubt you'll be going too dark, because just from my experience when I first started how I didn't go dark enough, ever and I still often don't. But as I said, we don't want to touch it too much because the more we touch it, the more it's going to mess with our nice soft reflection. So after a while, just leave it as it is. In the end, you could end up doing this twice, so once it dries, you could come back in with a whole nother wash of color and maybe make it a little darker . But at this point, as it's drying, I'm good. I'm just gonna leave it alone. I pick up some fuzzies. Sometimes I have cat here in there, so I try to remove those if I can, very delicately. But otherwise I just need to be patient and let it dry. 9. Foreground Elements: If you want your viewer to feel like they're part of the scene, you can use things like trees and bushes in the foreground, crossing over the background elements to give a skit sense of scale to the viewer and make them feel like they're standing among the trees. But to start off simple, I think I'm just gonna add a little bit of a rock and bush combination down here in the foreground, I'll start off with my highlight tones. In this case, I'm using an orangey tone, which is actually my Quran acrid, own burnt orange and my neutral tint, which is, Ah, blackish gray color. And it just helps quickly neutralize any color you add it to. You could also use blue mixed in with your orange, and it'll give a similar effect. I'm not gonna make my bushes go over the horizon line. I'm just gonna add some short bushes here, and I'll start off with my warm green tone, my light warm green, and I'll slowly start adding in a darker, more bluish green to be the shadow tone of those bushes. I will let the bushes that leaves touch into those rocks and let them bleed a little bit. But in general, I'm keeping the use elements kind of abstract because even though they're gonna help the viewer feel like they're part of the scene, I don't really want them to be the focus. They're just going to kind of lead the viewer's eye into the painting. And if you work wet into wet like this with little dots and twitchy brush marks, you'll allow the pigments to bleed and flow into each other, and it will help them remain a little bit more abstract. It will also give it a very expressive look. In the end, when it dries, I'll take a dark shadow tone and I'll touch in my branches in little trunks here and there , just kind of like random diagonal lines here and there. Very, very tiny thin lines. And in the end, it'll when it dries. It'll all become one area. This is also an opportunity to complete the atmospheric perspective idea we had earlier where the background elements are a little bit more faded, slightly less saturated and less contrast. E. And the foreground elements now can be extra bold and really vibrant. I'm picking up a little bit of the pigment here and there with my paper towel. And in the end, when this dries, it'll make some parts of this bush feel a little bit more faded and almost give it that dappled light effect. I also use a hard edge, such as a palette knife, to physically scratch the paper, creating tiny in dense and thes little valleys in the paper. Fibres will collect some of the pigment and remain pretty dark. So if you want to imitate the feeling of a pencil or a pen mark, but without using anything but water color, you can scratch the paper like that and create thes deep marks in the page. I'm also adding a shadow tone to these rocks, which is just my ultra marine finest color. And because it's the compliment to the orange, it's gonna make it a little bit more neutral dark. But you could also use a blackish tone or a neutral 10 if you have it. As you can see, I'm just painting street over the water, the reflection so you know you could add this even if you didn't plan ahead. As long as your foreground elements are darker than your background elements. It'll still work if you're uncomfortable drawing and painting rocks. I do have another skill share class that is all about that subject, and it's very, very in depth. And in fact, you can use a lot of what you learn in that class to apply to several different types of landscapes. So just letting you know that that's there if you need it. I'm using my very tiny brush for these marks and working rather quickly because I want the colors to bleed into each other. And I also want the marks to feel very expressive and loose. So I don't spend too much time worrying about rendering every single leaf or trunk or branch or piece of grass just getting quick marks in there and again, just coming back in with a shadow tone here, using that ultra Marine finest touching it in on the right side of those rocks because just similar to the background mountains, the light source is coming from the left side, so just make sure you're lighting is consistent across the whole painting on the whole scene. Otherwise, it's gonna be very confusing for the viewer. If you'd like to you can wait until these rocks dry and come back in with another layer, which is called glazing. So when you do a thin wash of transparent color over another color, we call that glazing, and it's a really good strategy. It allows you to get some depth of color, and instead of working wet into wet, it just gives it a little bit of a different look. I personally love how wet until wet looks. And when I'm outside painting and I only have five minutes before the lighting changes, I have to work rather quickly. Therefore, I do have a tendency to work wet into wet, just purely from the fact that I can't wait for my paper to dry all the time. So if you're interested in learning all these techniques, if you start with painting outside, you'll quickly realize that it's kind of one of those things you have to do out of necessity, and you get used to it really quickly. The more you can practice the variety of techniques I've showed you today, the more comfortable you're gonna feel with your water control, and you're gonna be able to tackle more complex scenes. I do hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please leave a common or leave a review. That really helps future students get an idea of what this class is like. And if you want more content, don't forget that you can follow me on YouTube and twitch where I do live streams and post a lot more videos and content. If you'd like to share your work with me online used my hashtag Sarah Burns tutor, and I will be able to find you. I love seeing all of the students work. It's been so fun to get to know the skill share community, and I really look forward to meeting more of you. 10. Class Project: your class project will be to paint amount in either using my reference photos and Leinart or one of your choosing. Feel free to play with different colors and lighting situations. Share your project in the class Project section on skill share and let me know if you want feedback. Thanks for watching, and I really look forward to seeing your results.