Paint A Serene River and Mountainscape with Watercolors. | Shanan Subhan | Skillshare

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Paint A Serene River and Mountainscape with Watercolors.

teacher avatar Shanan Subhan, Fine Artist | Art Educator

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

15 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Sneak peek of the class!

    • 2. Art supplies

    • 3. Colors and tonal values

    • 4. Techniques

    • 5. Practice - Sky

    • 6. Practice - Mountain and River

    • 7. Practice - Boats

    • 8. Sketching and Painting Base layers

    • 9. Painting the Mountains

    • 10. Painting River - Base layer

    • 11. Distant Mountain

    • 12. Mountain Texture

    • 13. Painting the Boat

    • 14. Painting Ripples

    • 15. Thank you

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About This Class

Hello.. Let's learn to paint a serene river and mountainscape with watercolors. 

This class covers everything that you need to get started. I will walk you through the colors, tonal values, and basic techniques of watercolors that you need for this class.

We will practice the elements of the painting to brush up on your painting skills and build some confidence. 

I will also show you some easy techniques to paint the boats.

Lastly, we will together paint this Serene river and mountains. I cannot wait to see your class projects. 

I will see you in my class soon:)


Meet Your Teacher

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Shanan Subhan

Fine Artist | Art Educator



Hello, I'm Shanan Subhan, an Artist currently residing in Bangalore, and born & brought up in Udupi,India 

I am an Engineer by profession and an Artist by passion and everything.

Nature/landscapes are among my favorite subjects to paint. I thank nature and great photographs for inspiring and challenging me.

I started coloring at an early age, even before school taught me to read and write. Unaware of art and the theory of colors, I loved scribbling on papers, books, and walls! All I felt was colorful walls are merrier than monotonous ones. 

Although I loved painting and coloring, because of studies and the competitiveness of day-to-day life, I somehow got disconnected from art a few years ago, but I always f... See full profile

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1. Sneak peek of the class!: Hi everyone. I'm Shannon and artist based in Bangalore, India. Today I'll show you how to paint this city in reward and mountain. Painting with watercolors. For this class covers everything that you need to get started. I will walk you through the colors, tonal values, and some basic techniques of what the pillars that you need for this class. We will practice the elements of the brain being to brush up your painting skills and make some confidence. I will also show you some easy techniques to paint the board. Lastly, we will talk about doping in this setting. They will add mountains. I cannot wait to see your class projects. So yeah, I'll see you in my class soon. 2. Art supplies: First I'll talk about the art supplies that I'm using for today's class. I'm using arches, 100 percent cotton, cold press paper. The cold press texture is ideal for what the color lines. It is recommended to have a 100 percent cotton paper because they're drying time is low and the paper remains wet for a longer time. Next, we will talk about the colors. Here. I'm using Payne's gray by Sennelier and in the goal by Art Philosophy. So these two are artist grade paints. So if you don't have been created, then you can use black or mix or CPR and cobalt blue that will give you a similar shade. And if you don't have indigo, you can make so ocean blue and burnt umber, you can go with any similar shade that you have. Now, talking about brushes, I'll be using these three brushes. Princeton Neptune size four brush. I'll be using this for the washes. Then I have silverware size eight round brush. I'll be using this for the regular brush strokes. And silver brush size two round brush. I'll be using this for their need ailing work. And up until for the basic sketching. Next we would need Ball jars of water. One is to wipe off all the colors from the brushes. And either one is to take the clean water father washes. And I have this palette for mixing the colors. This has several wells in it, so it is easier to mix the colors as we paint. Next, I'll be using this napkin and a tissue paper to wipe off the excess water from the brushes. Then I have masking tape to tape down the paper on a cardboard. I am using cardboard because I'll be building my board so that the water flows down. And lastly, I'll use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process. So these are all the supplies that I'll be using. You can go with any similar supplies that serves a purpose. You need not have the exact same supplies. Okay, So let us move on to the next chapter. 3. Colors and tonal values: In this chapter, we will discuss about the colors and their tonal values which will be used in the class. Let me take this palette to mix up alerts. So first I'll take Payne's gray, squeeze out a small amount of paint that will be enough for the entire painting. And next ILD in the group. So I have placed them into different ovals. So this has multiple events, so it is easier to make some paint. Now, I'll take a watercolor paper. So you can, so before using your pins, you can see that tonal values by swatching them. Alright, so let me show you the tonal values of these colors. First, I will take Payne's gray. So here I'm not adding much water. So it is the concentrated tone that I'm taking. So this is the deepest value of the dollar. Now we will add water to this. To reduce the intensity of the ILO. You have to keep on adding the water to achieve various tonal values. In what the pillars we don't add white color to achieve those bones. You add water instead. So if you add more water, you get diluted. And equal amount of water gives you a medium or middle tonal value. So you have to keep this in mind when you're painting. The next color is indigo. So I'm taking the concentrated tone of this color. So you can see this very strong and concentrated. And we decrease the intensity by adding water. So we add water to reduce the pigment. So this is the middle tone or the medium consistency. Now you add more water, we get diluted consistency. On this end it is very diluted. So if we want a lighter colored, we add more water. And if we want the darker color, we could Dupain's directly from the tube or add very little amount of water. So that's all about the tonal values. We will use a combination of all these colors to create a beautiful painting. 4. Techniques: Next we will discuss the techniques that we will use in the class. So first is wet on wet technique. So for this we apply clean water on the paper. Then we will be applying wet paint on this theme wet area. With this technique, we achieve soft edges and the color spread really well. The next technique is where Andre, here we use wet paint on a dry surface. So this gives us a sharp edges. As you can see, I'm painting lines and details with this. So if you want to paint details, you can use this technique. And if you absorb here, I'm trying to add lines on this wet, on wet surface. It is not possible to achieve sharp and crisp details on the wet on wet surface. So we go with the wet on dry in order to achieve details. Next one is dry brush technique. For this, we use a dry or a damp brush. I'm wiping my brush on a napkin to remove the excess water. Make sure your brush doesn't have water in it. And we take dive into with this dry or damp brush. So if you slide your brush with your damn brush, you get this kind of texture. In this painting, we will use this particular technique to create texture on the mountains. The next technique is lifting technique. So we can have wet on wet or wet on dry as an underlying technique. Yeah. I'll go with wet on wet. So I leaped like clean water and then I'll apply beans. We have this base layer ready. Then you can take a damn brush, wipe off all the water on your tissue or a napkin, and then gently slide your brush to remove the excess paint. So here, by sliding my brush, I am removing the pins. So this can be used to create highlights or wipe off the extra pins. So these are the basic techniques that I will be using in the class today. Let us move on to the next step. Go and practice some of the elements. 5. Practice - Sky: Let us practice some of the elements of the pain in one by one. So first time start with the sky. I'll be using wet on wet technique. I love like clean water on the paper. Next, I lose diluted indigo. And that the colors to depict the blue color in the sky leave some spaces in between. Applying the colors vary randomly on the sky. Next I'll add some diluted payne's gray on the blue color. It is okay to overlap or Payne's gray on Indigo. The application of beams are totally random. So with this simple technique, we will add a nice and soft sky. 6. Practice - Mountain and River: In this chapter, we will learn to paint the mountains and rivers. So first I will draw two mountains, middle ground mountain and a district Mountain. So here if you see this green thing, this one is the middle ground and the one in the back is distant mountain. So this one is further away from the viewpoint and the middle ground is slightly closer to the foreground. We will go with wet on wet technique. So I'll apply clean water inside the sketched area and then apply some diluted payne's vote indigo. Payne's gray. Again, the application of paint is random. So we'll let this dry. Meanwhile, I'll show you how to paint misty river. Again, it is wet on wet technique, so I let likely in water using my mop brush. Now in the bottom part of the river, I'll be applying indigo and leave the middle area as it is. So you have to create a graded effect in the bottom part to suggest or misty effect indelible. Now I use a hairdryer to dry the entire layer. All right, so the paper is dry. Now for the mountain, I'm wetting the paper again to apply second layer. This is again wet on wet technique. So I'm applying water only inside this area. So here we will be building multiple layers to achieve a sense of depth. And now on this wet surface, I'm adding medium consistency paint. Adding both Payne's gray and indigo to have a nice variation. And on the upper area that is the peak of the mountain, I'll add some darker colors to add some more shadows and depth. Okay, So this layer, we will let it dry. And then in the next layer, I'll add texture using dry brush technique. Now I'm using a dry brush technique to create texture on this dry paper. So I'm using a damp brush and taking some pins. Make sure that your brushes dry. And gently slide your brush on the desired areas. So you can see we have achieved this nice texture. And for the distinct mountain, I will be using a diluted color to add the texture. So the colors in the distant mountain is not really important because it is further away from the viewpoint, so you won't be able to see the details here. Moving on to the river, I'll add some ripples. So I'll first where the ADR and then add another layer of indigo and let this area dry. The paper is dry. Now we can add the repulse using wet on dry technique. I'm using a size two round brush to paint the horizontal lines. Gently add lines to suggest or repulse in the river. 7. Practice - Boats: In this chapter, we will learn to paint the board. So first, I will draw the sketch of the board, draw a straight line. And on the two ends of the line draw chevron shapes or an inclined V-shape. Now connect the two ends of these. Everyone's. Next, I'll add two fishermen sitting in the board and the deflection in the water. And on the other end, I'll add some of their belongings. You can skip this as well. And I'll fill in the area with Payne's gray. You can even use a black color. So we will leave a tiny space in between the board and the reflection to create a highlight. So the initial layer is with the middle tone. Now we will add the concentrated color. Those are just some shadows and depth in the boat. So I lied a single gentle stroke and some darker colors on the fishermen and their belongings. So our board is that ID. So this is one method of painting the board. I'll show you another technique. So here I load diluted consistency in my size two brush and directly print the shape of the board without any sketch. So you have to start with less pleasure and apply more pressure in the center. And then as you're about to finish, lift the brush and reduce a pleasure, and also paint its reflection in inverted shape. So I let this area dry. And now I add another layer with darker colors. This is wet on dry technique. And in the corner of this board highlights some darker color. And again, to fishermen in this board. So there are many ways you can pin the board. This is another technique where I will paint a code chip and in order to depict the deflection. So this is very simple one. If you have any favorite shape, you can go with that. Or you can go through some reference images and being the same over here. In the next step go, We will get started with painting. 8. Sketching and Painting Base layers: Before starting the painting, I'll take you all the paper using masking it. So here I'm applying one inch masking tape. I've given a very tiny border. If you want, you can increase the size of the border here. Right? So once you have taped, just run your fingers over the edges to make sure it is tightly C. Now, let us get to the sketching part. So somewhere around 3 fourth of the paper, I'm marking two dots. Then I'll connect these two dots to depict the horizon line. So this is our horizon line. Above the horizon is the mountain range and the sky. And below this river. So now I will draw the mountain range. Just a couple of mountains on both the sides. So there are two different mountain ranges. One is in the middle ground, and then we have a distinct mountain range which is further away from the viewpoint. Then in the river, we will draw the board. So I'm just marking the composition. You can make sure to draw the lines very lightly. Here, I will draw to chevron shapes are an inclined. We unmute the sides and then you can connect the chevrons using a slant line. So that will make a board. Alright, let us get to the painting. I'm using Princeton heritage size four brush. You can use any large sized brush for the washes. So this is to follow wet on wet technique. That's why we will be wetting the entire people. Okay, apply even coat of water throughout the paper and make sure there are no extra puddles of water in the paper. Okay, So I have applied the water. Now. Let us mixed-up colors. I have indigo, Payne's gray on my palette. So I'm going to take diluted version of these two colors by adding lots of water. Also make sure to keep a tissue paper or a napkin handy so that you can wipe your vibe though, extra paint or the water from your brush. Taking some paint in my brush and making sure that there is no extra pinned. Let's try a laboratory or so my brush has the right amount of paint. Now. Now in the top part of the paper, I'll dab it. Depends the sky. Make sure to leave this whitespaces as well. So it need not be same shape and size as mine. You can do it in your own style. Next, I'll take or diluted payne's gray 0. So this is they're in-between. Medium consistency too diluted, consistency shouldn't meet totally diluted. Okay. So I did this so medium consistency of Payne's gray and apply on these blue clouds. Again, it is random and there is no fixed position as such, which randomly apply on the clouds. Also make sure to leave these whitespaces. And if you're not happy with the outcome, you are. You can lift some beams using a damp brush. That is the lifting technique which I told you earlier. In watercolors. You can correct. So many things with lifting technique. That is it for the sky. Next we will pin the mountains. I'm going to apply this diluted blue just to create a kind of base color. And your, I'm lifting some beans because the paint had flown down to the water area. Next, I will be taking diluted payne's gray and applying it on the mountain area. So this is going to be the base layer. We are going to add another layer over this. Once it dries. This is the wet on wet technique. I'm creating a base layer for the mountain. Next I'll be applying indigo in its medium consistency in the bottom part of 31. So if you see I have applied only in the bottom, in the middle area, I'm only applying clean water. So this is to create a kind of graded effect in the painting. So if you see the fine me painting, you will see is this white misty effect in the middle area. So we are going to retain this white area. Okay? All right, so we will let this dry and then we will add the further details. 9. Painting the Mountains: All right, so the paper has dried. Next I'm going to pin the middle ground mount. So for that, I'll be following wet on wet technique. So elevate this mountain area with clean water. Apply what Ollie inside this area. And not on the sky or the distant mountain. Gently apply what? Because that might live the existing colors. Now, I'll be painting only inside this area. Since this is wet on wet technique, I'll be using white colors. So I will mix the two colors here in medium consistency. When I say medium consistency, it means equal amount of paint and water. Now, I'm going to load some Payne's gray in my brush and dab it on the mountain area. Lose some empty spaces in between. The way you apply colors is random. You can just dab your brush to put down the colors on the paper. Next I'm going to take or concentrated Payne's gray and apply on this same ADS your M there. So this creates a variation and a sense of depth or in the mountain. So next I'll add some indigo. Again on the random areas. Your mountain may not be same as mine. Feel free to explore and come up with your own version. Here in the bottom part of the mountain, I'm applying diluted paint to keep it very light and minimal because this will help us create kind of misty effect at the end. Okay, so the colors are dark or the peak of the mountain? Not in the bottom part. Okay. If you notice, the mountain has different tonal values of Payne's gray and indigo. I'm using diluted and concentrated color as well. So this will bring in a variation in the mountain. Instead of having a flat or simply mountain, I'm trying to create a sense of depth here. Take your time to add some tiny details. Not overwork. Now with the help of my damn brush, I'm pulling the paint down in order to create a soft edge effect. With my size. I'm adding some inclined lines. I'm adding a fine line with darker color to distinguish between the two mountains. All right, so I will leave it to your next. We will paint the river. 10. Painting River - Base layer : Moving on, I'll be painting the area below the horizon. So in order to prevent the water from flowing backwards, I'll keep the masking tape under the cardboard to create a sort of tilt in the paper. And I'll be applying clean water below the horizon. So I'll be creating wet on wet ripples as a base layer. Now with my size 8 brush, I'm taking this indigo and Payne's gray mix. And in the bottom, I apply this horizontal brush stroke. And as I move towards the center, I'm applying tiny lines to create the kind of ripple effect. Make sure to paint a lighter color. Apply some concentrated Fellow in the bottom part. The middle area needs to be retained by it in Palo. Okay, so we will let this dry. 11. Distant Mountain: Next we will paint a distant mountain. So this mountain is further away from the viewpoint. So this is going to be lighter than the middle ground mountain. Okay, so I'm going to take diluted payne's gray and applies them zigzaggy brushstrokes. They're not completely apply the paint here, leave some white spaces. And as I move towards the bottom, I apply very light color, lighter than the upper color. I'm applying the paint randomly. Here. I'm using wet on dry technique, which means I'm applying wet paint on dry layer. Next I'll drop some indigo over this. Now when I drop this indigo on the pins gray layer, this will be wet on wet technique because the underlying color is still wet. If you have applied more colors than you can damage your tissue and lift the weight pins. So you can notice that I have created an illusion of distance in this mound been my painting, it lighter in color. Now under VQ of this mountain, I'll add a little darker color just to create a sense of depth and dimension here. So I live with your. And then we'll move on to the next element. That is the mode. 12. Mountain Texture : Now panes have grade on the paper. Moving on, I will add extra on the Mandan using dry brush technique. So here we have to use damp or dry brush. Remember your pain should not be what? You want to achieve that texture. So I load my brush with contemplated paint on my brush on the paper to create the external effect. Be mindful of the water content in your blood and veins. If that is, what do you want me able to achieve the right? Adding more colors I tomatoes, trying to add some dimension in the mountain. I'll repeat the same steps in London as well. So I'll be using slightly lighter color. Gently slide your brush to create the same textured effect. Going back to the middle down mountain area, I will add darker textures using concentrated color. So you see in the middle down mountain is darker and distant mountain is slightly lighter in color. So that is it with the texture. But let us move on to the next chapter. 13. Painting the Boat: In the next step, I'll add clean what are below the horizon. And then I'll add some medium consistency indigo color. So you have to create a graded color from the center to the bottom part. And then we will let it dry. You can dr naturally or use a blow dryer. Next, I'm going to take size two round brush to paint the board. So with this brush, I lower know Payne's gray in medium consistency and fill in those case to boat area. So I had drawn the board initially when sketching. Now I'm just adding the colors inside this. Since the board is very tiny in this painting, so I'm using my size two brush. And also this has appointed, which helps me details. Okay, So I have painted the board. Next, I'll add the deflection of the same. Leave a tiny gap in between the board and the reflection. So the board and deflection is painted. Next, I'll paint the fisherman sitting in the world. And then they lied some of their belongings on the other side of the board. Now while I had inverted image of these people and belongings to depict the reflection, now, concentrated Payne's gray and add the darker dawns on some of the areas. So this will create a balance of shadow and highlight. You can paint your own favorite style of both. So we are done with this board. 14. Painting Ripples: Moving on, I'll be painting the ripples in the river. So I'll be using indigo and Payne's gray mix. Basically it should be a darker color. So whichever color you are using, mix those two colors and use a medium tonal value. Now, I'm going to apply horizontal lines, make sure to leave some spaces and paint them irregularly. Don't paint lake straight horizontal lines. So these are going to depict the ripples in the painting. Here are the ripples closer to the new point will be broader and the ones that are closer to the horizon will be thinner. So near the horizon, we will paint a lighter color ripples. So when European thing that repulse the ripples should match the base color. Okay? So it shouldn't relate very dark. All of a sudden, you have to see the base color and then paint the ripples. So if you're absorbed in the bottom part, I have painted darker blue ripples. And as I go towards the horizon, I'm painting very diluted ripples. So this thing you have to keep in mind to achieve AS often serine reward. Next, I'll add some tiny birds in the sky. This is optional, you can skip it if you want. 15. Thank you: All right, so we're done with this painting. Let us now removed the masking tape and reveal the final look of the painting. Gently peel off the masking tape at an angle of about 50 to 60 degrees so that you don't prepare for your paper. Okay, So this is how our painting looks. I love the mountains and the rivers. Here. Here we learned to paint the mountains and come repo. So you can use the techniques learned in your other paintings as well. I hope you enjoyed watching my class. If you have painted along with me or if you are planning to paint anytime soon, then please do share your class projects with me under the projects gallery. I would love to see your recreations. And also please do share your reviews or feedbacks with me that would be really helpful. Here, support means a lot to me. All right, so I will see you in my next class until then. Happy painting, Bye bye.