Simple Watercolours: Painting monochromatic landscapes | Mandar Marathe | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Simple Watercolours: Painting monochromatic landscapes

teacher avatar Mandar Marathe, Fine Artist, Sculptor, Illustrator, Designer

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

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Tree trunks in a forest


    • 3.

      Pine Forest


    • 4.

      Moon Reflections


    • 5.

      Towards the mountain


    • 6.

      Country Road


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class


I am Mandar Marathe and welcome to the class  

“Simple Watercolours: Painting monochromatic landscapes”

Just as the title says, I’ll show you how to paint simple landscape paintings, step by step and using just one color. 

You’ll see that these paintings look very impactful and yet they are very simple to paint as there is no color mixing to be done.

So, this class is completely beginner friendly!

But even if you are an experienced watercolorist, you’ll pick up some ideas and techniques that you can use in your own paintings.

You’ll see my color palette and the final painting throughout the painting process so that you’ll know how each brushstroke contributes to the end result.

I narrate my process throughout the painting activity and explain the reason behind my every action. 

Along the way you’ll learn to use watercolour techniques such as wet-in-wet, wet on dry and color lifting that are the speciality of the watercolour medium.

All this learning will help you go beyond just copying someone’s painting and actually creating your own works of art.

We’ll be painting these landscapes on a small size paper so that they can be completed in a short span of time, and easily be given as a greeting card or turned into an inspiring desk decoration.

Going through this class and doing the project will not only give you immense satisfaction, enjoyment and relief from daily stress but also improve your painting skills overall.  

I am very happy to have you in this class and so, let’s get started!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Mandar Marathe

Fine Artist, Sculptor, Illustrator, Designer



Download my ebook. 



I am a fine artist, illustrator, and sculptor based in Pune, India.

I chose to become a full time artist in 2011 after 15 years of corporate career in manufacturing and IT.
During my education and corporate career I made art on weekends and exhibited it through solo and group shows. But I wanted to make more art and more often!

After quitting my day job, I've created and sold my own art more often and have taught 20000+ students through my workshops, courses and membership.

My art teaching method got refin... See full profile

Level: All Levels

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Amanda Marathi and welcome to the class. Simple watercolor painting, monochromatic landscapes. Just as the title says, I will show you how to paint simple landscape paintings step-by-step using just one color. You will see that these paintings look very impactful and yet are very simple to paint, as there is no color mixing to be done. This class is completely beginner friendly. And even if you are an experience in watercolor rest, you'll pick up some ideas and techniques that you can use in your own paintings. See my color palette and the final painting throughout the painting process, so that you will know how each brushstroke contributes to the end result. I narrate my process throughout the painting activity and explain the reason behind my every action. Along the way, you will learn to use watercolor techniques such as wet-in-wet, wet on dry and colored lifting that are speciality of the watercolor medium. All this learning will help you go beyond just copying someone's painting and actually creating your own works of art, will be painting these landscapes on a small size paper so that they can be completed in a short span of time and easily be given as greeting cards or turned into inspiring desk declaration. Your project for this class is to paint at least one painting based on the ones shown in this class. For maximum benefits though, I encourage you to paint all the landscapes shown in this class and some more of your own. Going through this class and doing the project will not only give you immense satisfaction, enjoyment, and really from daily stress, but also improve your painting skills overall. I'm very happy to have you in this class. And so let's get started. 2. Tree trunks in a forest: Welcome to this video. In this video we're going to paint a simple scene with a blue background and some trees. Against that. The way I will be proceeding is that I'll first display a flat wash on this paper. This is a 300 GSM paper and I've taped it all around. And once that layer is dry, then I'll paint few trees on top of it. And while doing that, I'll be using two or three different consistencies of the color so that the faint ones, we'll create a field that is far away from us from the viewer. The middle tone, or semi-transparent, will be the one which had a closer distance. And the darkest tree will be the tree which is closest to us. So let's get started. I'm using a round brush number ten. This is Prussian blue watercolor. I'm going to create a wash. And for that I need lots of colors so that I don't I don't know how to color and have to mix it while I'm painting, which would lead to inconsistency in the wash. Now I have enough color on my palette. And now I'll start. This is taped to a board so that I can lift it easily and tilt it. I'm doing that now. Because of the tilt in the water and the color will come down. That's what I want to happen. You should never allow this to dry. Otherwise, the color doesn't become consistent and you get a hard line, which is not so desirable in a wash. That's it. And now I will have to wait for a few minutes. The paper so that whatever is gathered here can to some extent at least move around and reduce in intensity. Though I had planned for very flat wash. What I'm getting is kind of an uneven wash because of the tilt. Lot of color from here came down. And that's fine with me and just wait for a few minutes. You can also use a hairdryer or heat gun to dry this up. But I'll just wait for a few minutes and we'll be back with you again. Now this layer has dried, and now I'll be painting the trees. For that, I'll be using this rigger brush or a liner brush. The advantage of this brush is that it creates Our with this you can create very nice flowing strokes. And I'll be using that for the three trans. I'll be starting with a thin wash, thin color consistency. Even though this is same as this, because I'm applying it on top of already existing layer. It will become slightly more dark. And that's what I want. And I will start painting the trees like this because the base of the tree will be here. So I'm just starting, paint a few trees. If you want. You can draw these trees beforehand with a pencil and then draw, then paint. You can practice on some of the paper and then paint them on this. I'm not following any particular design. Where do you want I feel it, right? I'm painting branches. And I'm also avoiding symmetry, unknowingly. Got human tendency to draw things in a symmetric fashion. And some ONE in nature, you won't find so much of symmetry. At least in the ways these trees are growing in the wild. These trees are planted by humans, then you would have equal distance between them and so on, which looks so boring to look at. These trees have grown naturally. Obviously, they'll be much more randomly placed. Now I'm going for a second layer. For this, I have thicker consistency of color. Again, fainting a few trees with this consistency. You can see that I'm using the brush this way and not this way. Because this way the line becomes thinner and thinner. And that's how the branches are. They become thinner and thinner as we as they go up. Now I'll be doing one winding, one final image. I'm going to paint with value-added take color, which is going to be the three closest to where the viewer is. And I don't want to paint it in the center. I wanted to paint it either here or here. I think I should paint it here. And again, I want to make sure that the tree trunk is not very upright. Just like I've done for all these trees. Don't like to paint tree trunks which are exactly upright. And that's because in nature also they're not like that. There is some organic curving here and there. I'm making sure that this color, which I'm using is the darkest one in this painting. Because this is the closest object. I'm going to give it much more attention in terms of how I paint it. I'm applying the same color again because I want it to be very dark. Maybe a branch starts here. Just to balance this somewhere, I need one more tree, which is not so thick. But just to balance this triode. Do I need it? I think I'll paint one more here. I don't want to paint it in the same at the same angle. Just paint one here. Let's see how this looks. I think that's enough. We don't want to create very busy scene. And now it's time to remove the tape. Make sure you remove the tape away from the painted surface. Move this. Once I remove the team, the painting starts looking much more beautiful, dynamic looked other ways because that is a clean border around it. Looks perfect. Now, you can write something here or use it as a gift on just keep it on your desk. I hope you like this simple little painting with just one color. Now it's time for you to give it a try and see how it comes out. So thank you and see you in the next video. 3. Pine Forest: Welcome to this video. In this video I'll be painting a very simple landscape. And as usual, I have a paper taped to a board and I'm using Prussian blue. And for the first washes on this painting, I'll be using this mop brush. I'm not drawing it, but I have it in my mind. What kind of structure I need in this painting, the first wash will be very, very thin. Start at the top. I'm not tilting the paper too much because that way the top portion loses all the color. This way I've laid this color on on every portion of the painting. And I'll wait for this to dry so that I can start painting the details. If you see any color of pooling in a corner like this, either you can pick it up with a brush. Event, tilt the paper so that it doesn't create bloom there. Let the paper dry. Now, in this paper it is not completely dry, but it's almost dry. And I want to now paint the mountains so I will not have to wait till it completely dries because I don't mind having a soft edge if that color spreads on the paper. Here. I'm just preparing the color. And I will be painting a few mountains. I'm starting from here. And I'm not rubbing the brush onto the paper. I'm just laying in and leaving it alone and do it, do whatever it has to do. Now I'm want to paint a mountain which is slightly closer to us. I'll be using color. And this will kind of spread in a different way because this color is still wet. I will also use this brush to create some kind of tree-like things without painting, because these trees are very far off. I don't need to paint them individually. But this kind of indication is enough to create that illusion. The Last Mountain which I have, which is closer to us, I mean, just paint it like this because I'll be painting larger trees on this mountain. I don't want to paint this very dark. I'll allow this to dry now before I can add more trees. Now on this color is almost dry. Again, it's not completely dry, it's not a 100%, right? This is still wet. But anyway, I wanted to paint the larger tree is here, this area. So it doesn't matter if this is still wet. Now I'm switching to a thinner brush. And I'll be now using much thicker color. Get some faint. And this color is very well taken. It doesn't have a lot of water and I'll be painting. Please note the first weight will be somewhere in the tree trunk. I'm making these marks like this. Maybe there'll be another HDRI which is in the Which is closer to us. We don't see it stopped but then look like this. I don't want to paint these trees also. And a very similar kind of distance. Award symmetry. I'm believing some areas without any three months. And I'm also consciously leaving some gaps in-between sky holes through which rather holds in the 3s for the age. Through it. We can see the land beneath. Keep some gap and paint film mode trees here. You can see how losing in a simplified manner and bending. There is no new data which is done very precisely. Few more trees here. The farther away look smaller than the ones which are closer to us. I'll wait for this to dry or lead. We can do it with even thicker color. In some places like this. Color doesn't have any water in it. Opaque. Even in the dark shape. That is somewhat ID value. Let's try adding a few birds. Only an indication not I won't be painting them very detailed. So we have to take care to paint them also in a random manner. Paint one killed. This paint is not ready to take. This bird has become slightly darker then what I will need briefer, but that's okay. That's it. Let's see if I can pick up some of them. Make it slightly frame. Yeah, that's fine. That's fine. It was looking too dark. Once this dries, it'll make this burden to slightly darker. It's time to remove the tape. It started with this. That's what we have. And that is a bit of which has come out here. Let's see if we can get rid of that. So I'm using plain water applied on this area. If not a 100%, we can at least reduce the intensity is not going away. Anyway. That's it. That's it for this video. I hope you liked it and you will give this a try and see you in the next video. 4. Moon Reflections: Let's do one mode landscape with the same setup with the Prussian blue. And this time I'll be leaving some white areas. And I want to show one moon here and its reflection in the water here. While I'm painting, you would see that I'm keeping some area without any color. Let's get started. Let me using tin first layer. Too much of color. I didn't keep anything white. Let's see what we can do. Let's see if we can lift some color up. Though. This is not gonna be perfect circles. Trying to lift some. I'm going to lift some more color from around this because that way I can create effect of the ripples on the water. If required. I can of course, add mode of color, do it. In fact, this is an accident which has me trying to make it circular as persimmon, but that's fine. Keep it at that and allow this thing to dry. Before I add anything else. Think it's fairly dry. I don't want it to dry completely because I wanted to paint a mountain which is also long distance. So it's not going to, or it should not have any hard edge. With watercolor, it's best if you don't touch the brush stroke once you've laid it on, because the moment you touch it starts getting bad. And while this is still dry, I want to add some color for the trees. And I'm painting this in color because without allowing this to dry, because I want some smudging to happen. I want the color to spread. If required, I can add details with the consistency color later on. Once this is dry. When I have this short window of time when I can do this wet in wet technique. I'm going to paint the reflection on these trees. I don't want to paint it right now because I want the underlying layer to dry first. Now, by the time I was painting this, this has dried quite a bit. Now I will be painting with the same color, the same consistency, but I'll be laying strokes which won't spread on their own. And I will go on increasing the gap between the brushstrokes as I come down, because that is the reflection. Similarly for these trees, I will use a thin consistency color to paint a few waves here. Please indicate I'm filling in these gaps with this light color. Because then it will have concentrated effect on the EDR where I want to want the people or the viewer DO Loop. If I keep all these highlights here also as bright as this one. 5. Towards the mountain: Welcome to this video. Again, Let's paint one more landscape with just one color that's pushing blue. I'll make a few marks here. What I wanted to paint. There is a mountain here. There is a road which goes like this. There is a bunch of trees here. We don't see their tops. They are toner. Then what do we can capture in the painting? And then there is some piece of plan here. I don't want to make it parallel to this. So let us make it this way. Then there is a bush here which will act as a counterbalance for this bunch of trees. That's the simple drawing. Let me know. Start with, as usual, a very light color. Light mixture of pushing blue. Start applying this. As usual. We'll have to wait till this thing. I'm doing it so that it doesn't the color doesn't pull anywhere. Wherever it's pulling, I'm just lifting it with a corner of a tissue. I'm making sure that it's not pulling in one place. And that's why I'm tilting the paper. You can see the color dripping down here. I don't want to create that line, so I'm turning it upside down. That line is not created. I still see that this area has become too light. This is looking darker, but again, this will also be become lighter when it dries. You can see that the color hasn't dried very uniformly. There is online which has formed because of the color pooling there. But I don't think we'd be a big problem. Let's see what to do about it later on. Let's keep painting. Let's now the mountain. The mountain is like this and carried all through the width of the painting. While this is wet, I can paint these trees. These trees on the left, on the right-hand side will be much darker because they are closer to us. I'm starting with a very dark color. I want to leave some sky holes in-between. When say Come here, the color will start spreading. Not let us see how it goes. Not necessarily that it spreads for the painting to look good, but I'd have to make some changes later on. That's the dark curve. Bunch of trees. Then we have let me take a smaller brush and this won't be as dark as the police themselves. This area will be in shadow. Because the way I'm painting the light should be online is coming from behind the trees. Also will be darker here. Very light color and spread this. Let this dry because it's looking cool completed right now. We're going to do is paint on this side. Maybe a smaller bush. The road side. That is a bit of darker color which has flowed onto the road. I want to get rid of that. Wait, and I'll be picking up picking it up with this tissue. I let this dry and then I'll come back later. Point tomb that I can add few darker spots here. There are three trunks and areas of the tree which doesn't get any light. Ends needs to be done. This is almost dry. It's not completely dry. I can go in and make the changes on the road. The road can be made darker. Now I've washed my brush big some clean water, and then make this color spread. Doesn't appear link of batch. Again, I think I did a bit more. I didn't want it this color to flow down again on the road thing I'm almost done with the painting. Details. Dry brush now because the underlying color has completely dried, I can add details without disturbing than sorry, I think that's it. Some very dark colored your own. So I'm to remove the tape and see how this looks. I think I can add a few more dark paint is on the trees on the left, on the right. Don't make it. This is looking uniform. Let me add a few dark accents. When doing this, you have to make sure that you have enough color on your brush and not a lot of water because you wanted to apply the color and not remove the earlier column. That's something which need some practice. Since seventh added dark, darker areas, doors, the base of the trees. And that's it. I don't want to overwork it. Again, you can see how simple this painting is. Didn't require a lot of time, didn't require any color mixing. Just controlling the thickness of the brain which we are applying. And if you remember, the earlier color has dried here, the wash head, right? Not so pretty. And we continued painting on that and you can see that it's not looking very bad. I mean, not something which is spoiling the bending if we can live with that. Accidents, select this in watercolor are very common. But it's not that the point of the painting altogether. Just try to work around them or you can live with them. I hope you will give this painting a try and see you in the next video. 6. Country Road: Welcome to this video. And this video again, we'll paint one more monochrome landscape with pushing blue, which I have here. I'll be making a few marks on the paper so that I get the drawing correct. You may not see this right now because I'm drawing it very lightly. But you'll be able to see it in the image which is being shown on the screen in the video, which of course I've put in after the recording while editing. And there'll be a bunch of trees here and some smaller trees here. For me. To start with. I'll be using a mop and very, very thin. Let me share of Bush in blue. I've been using this same ballot for many paintings now which I recorded for this class. That's why it's all fiddled with the color. Now let me start applying it. And I'll apply it all over the painting. I will tilt it this way so that there is any extra color. I wanted to come towards the sky, but not pool there, so I want to tilt it in the reverse direction also. I love to wait for this to dry, at least to some extent, before I can apply the next layer of color. Let me just take a small piece of tissue and wipe container on the side. You can of course, use a hairdryer to quickly dry this, but I prefer to wait. This paper is again dry. It's still damp, but it's not wet either. So I'll mix a slightly thicker consistency of color. And I want to paint the mountain here. Okay, So let me quickly paint the mountain. The mountain base will be somewhere here. While this is wet. Carry till here. This is wet. I want to drop in fuel. Dark accents, which will be actually trees. Shrubs, drop one here. Too much color on my brush. Then Trump here on fuel. And use a slightly smaller brush because this brush carries on lots of things. That can be a problem. Sometimes. This is a smaller simple brush. And I'm using it to drop in some color here. And also, what I've done is I've brought this tree slightly closer to the viewer because I've changed the baseline of that. You can see that this tree has a baseline here. Whereas these trees are near the base of the mountains there. Away from this idea, they're at a distance. Now we'll use this same smaller brush. I'll paint these big trees first. I'll take this paint again, which is thicker, but it's not, I don't want to use a color which is as thick as this, but it's not as thin as the mountain also. And let me quickly paint the trees which are nearer. And these aren't the trees which on this side of the road. I'm making sure that this line is not very sharp in the sense it's not very script. I just want to soften that. I also will go ahead and indicate the edge of the road. And you can see that I've not made any continuous line m just made three lines which do give the outline, but they don't create a kind of an outline. Feel as if I've drawn it with a pencil or something. And then I'll create some area where there is shadow and so on. We also create some are indicates some detail. This corner. Let me make base of these mountains, these trees dark so that can see that there is almost no light reaching here. That's why this media is very dark. And then there are multiple trees which are in this bunch, something like this. Then I want to have some indication of the vehicle marks on the tire marks on the road. A few. Dot-com. This area is almost dry, so I'm making these marks as dry brush, less color on my brush. But then because this thing is dry, it's not spread at all. And just to make the sky slightly more interesting, let me see if I can add one or glaze of this column. I will do it very, very fast and make sure that or should I leave it like this? I think I should leave it like this. I was planning to have a brush mark here that would have made the sky darker here and lighter here. But I think it will be due to escape the fluid because if I get it wrong, then the bowl painting we love bad. I will fold on. I will avoid that temptation. And I think I'm ready to remove the tape. Though this is not very dry yet. I don't think that removing the tape will be a bad idea. Let me start with this. That's it. What do you see in this painting is going this way. There is a mountain in the background, a bunch of trees here which are very thick and dark. I'm just using the end of this brush to create some marks which kind of indicate tree trunks. Then there are these bushes which are near or trees near the base of the mountain. And large, larger bush or tree, which is still away from this area. This is the closest object. Then this and then this and then the mountain. That's the way objects are arranged in the space. And you can see that even if we have used a single color, I'm painting looks very, very impactful. At least that's what I feel. I hope you will do like this. That's it. Thank you. And see you in the next video.