Painting An Abstract Watercolor Landscape | Jean Lurssen | Skillshare

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Painting An Abstract Watercolor Landscape

teacher avatar Jean Lurssen, Jean Lurssen Watercolors

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

    • 1.

      Intro Landscape 3


    • 2.

      Materials, Composition And the Sky Wash And The Sky Wash


    • 3.

      Creating Landscape Textures


    • 4.

      The Finishing Touches


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About This Class

The point of this lesson is to encourage you to use your imagination to make your watercolor paintings unique. We will use colors that don't usually appear in the landscape and I will show you how to create textures for more interest.

What techniques you will learn in this course:

  • Painting wet-in-wet
  • Learning the importance of good composition
  • Using household materials to create textures in your watercolor.
  • How to use acrylic ink for special effects.

Be sure to also post your painting in the gallery to share with other students in order to get feedback. I love to see what students achieve and will help with any issues you may experience.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jean Lurssen

Jean Lurssen Watercolors


Welcome to my Skillshare channel. I hope this is where you will find inspiration to explore your inner creativity to create unique watercolor paintings.

I like to paint atmospheric watercolors and continually try to stretch the boundaries of watercolor, sometimes using other media to create interesting textures in my watercolors. I look forward to sharing my techniques with you here on Skillshare.

For more tutorials, tips and techniques visit me at:

My Facebook page

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Level: Beginner

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1. Intro Landscape 3: Hi, Jean. Loosen here. If you've done any of my previous courses, you will know that I like to stretch the boundaries of watercolor losing, composition, color and texture to create my watercolors. In this course, I'm going to show you how to paint a simple landscape using just three colors. But we're going to use colors other than what appears in the landscape, and we're going to use textures to create something unique. When I started painting in watercolors more than 25 years ago, I used to paint more, more realistic paintings and an Impressionist style paintings, and I was never quite happy with the results. But I didn't know what it waas I was searching for. It took many years of practice to realize that what I really wanted to do was to pained atmospheric semi abstract paintings and to achieve this are needed to stretch the boundaries of watercolor, have chosen the simple painting to share with you how I achieved these results. So come and join me. Let's have some fun and paint this imaginary landscape 2. Materials, Composition And the Sky Wash And The Sky Wash: This is a painting I did about one to two years ago and I was very happy with it. Sometimes paintings just work the first time that you do them. And it's a very simple landscape. And I used only three colors and some acrylic ink for the trees. And I thought it would be a good demonstration to show you how to do an interesting landscape. You don't have to use the colors that are in the landscape. And then how to use textures to create interest in your painting. So I don't normally like to paint the same painting a second time because if you are very happy with the way it came out, the first term, usually it doesn't work again the second time. But I'm going to use this painting because it's very easy for beginners and anybody else who's interested in doing something a little different, using textures and different colors for the landscape. Let's just talk about composition first before we get started with this painting. And I always follow the rule of thirds. And if you haven't heard about the rule of thirds, let me just give you a quick explanation. When you design your composition and you always think about your composition before you start painting. And you can even make little marks with a pencil on your paper. So the rule of third says that if you divide your paper up into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so with this painting, that would be bad. 1 third there, 1 third there. 1 third there, 1 third death. Just think about these imaginary lines. If they, if they were drawn across the paper, when you plan your composition, the focus of your main subject should never be directly in the center of your painting. That doesn't make for a good composition. And it, it doesn't let the I circulate around the painting, which is what you really want to achieve. So if you look at my painting here, I've taken up about two thirds of the paper with the landscape and trees, and then the sky has taken up 1 third. And I've put this, if we had divided this into thirds, I've put the subject of the trees in the first third of the painting. And this is what you always want to think about. Before you do any painting. Just think about your composition. What is your subject and where are you going to place it? Now that I have described their tier, I'm going to go over the watercolors that I used for this painting. It's very simple. It's a simple painting. I'm using only three colors. Connected and burnt orange, Perlin, violet, and connected and gold. Now you don't have to use these colors. You can pick your own colors that you want your landscape to be. The idea is not to use colors as they appear in the landscape. Let's use something different and to make it black semi abstract into also use Dale Ronnie's burnt umber acrylic ink. Now you don't have to do use that either. I like to use it and you'll see later on why. But if you wanted to do your trees with paint rather, just choose the colors that you want. You can choose some of the colors that in painting, or you could add some burnt umber into that. It's just practice on a piece of paper and you, and see which one you like. Best. I've used three brushes, a one inch flat. This is a number for script brush. And my favorite texture brush, which is the cheap hogs a brush that you buy at any hardware store. And also with, if you do use the acrylic ink, I used a little bit of granulation medium, not a lot. And it's not totally 100% necessary. So that's my watercolor paper was a 140 pound hot press paper, but this can be done in cold press paper. I just prefer to paint on hot press paper. It's, I love hot press paper. And, but a lot of people don't enjoy painting on it. They find it difficult. Member you do also need two containers of water, one for mix for cleaning your brush and one for mixing your paints. Very important also, you're going to need a piece of clean wrap, lot wide enough to go the width of your painting. So make sure you have that ready with your materials. We're gonna do the sky first and I'm going to do the sky, Remember, in the top third. So I'm, I'm, I'm thinking about composition all the time while I'm painting. It's going to be in the top third of the painting. So I'm putting a little bit of quinacridone gold and I'm getting to introduce some parenting violet into that. And just so we don't have some kind of a little bit of interesting sky non made that a little to dog I'm getting too. If you do that, you can lighten it with water, just add water. And just remember though that watercolor paints, I'm dry, about 20% litres. So you really want to have a darker than you think you need it. Because, you know, they say that if you if it looks just right, then it's wrong because it's going to draw 20% lighter. So you always want to make it darker than than you need. And then it should dry. Just right. Now again, let that dry. And when it's dry, we'll work on the land area. 3. Creating Landscape Textures: Now that the skies dry, we going to do the lower half of the painting. And I wanna start off with the Periclean violet, love this color. It really is pretty luscious and vibrant, clean off my brush. And no one to go into some of the connected unburned orange. Another great Kayla. Just sort of randomly add colors and then some connectors and gold. It's just true for interest. And you don't have to be too careful how you put it on. Because we're going to put cling wrap over this. And I would like that the way that drain down a little bit. So it's just giving sort of like making a third, fourth color. Now, let's take the your cling wrap. And I'm not going to put it ever the purple and then you're going to end up having too much patent. So basically I want to put it over the lower half of the painting and I didn't pull off enough cling wrap, so I just have to get myself another piece. And we'll let that dry. Sse the sum R1 backs into the purple there, which I kind of like also. And I just wanted to mention that I actually have not clipped down my paper to a board with some of these binder clips so that the paper, the watercolor paper, weren't buckle. Now, all we have to do is let this dry. Then we can paint in the trees and will have yourself a very nice but simple landscape painting. 4. The Finishing Touches: Now that the paintings dry and I've pulled off the clean rep. I'm very, very pleased with the pattern that this has made. If you can see it's not too busy to some interesting markings. And I like the way where this has gone. A little doc who said that the yellow is not too bright. And that was because some of the Perlin violet got into the yellow and their opposites on the color wheel, so created a sort of gray color here as well. So I'm very pleased with that. And so now we need to do is put in the trees. The reason that I like to do this with my acrylic ink is because it gives a really nice almost abstract design to the trees. If you wanted to paint your trees with watercolors, you know, you can go ahead and do that. There's no rule that says you have to do it this way. But I'm just going to show you how it comes out when you do it with, with the acrylic ink to take your width brush and just do some sort of tree top designs. And then I'm just going to, I take this puppet and just touch it lightly because see what happens when you do that. It creates interesting abstract designs in the water because this is acrylic ink and it, it works against the water and creates these interesting designs. So I'm going to take my script brush and do the branches. And this is where you've got to be careful because this is acrylic ink and it doesn't come off once it's dry lot watercolors. Do it. Take your time and just so that's the first tree. Now remember we're not going to do the trees all the same size. So my second one, it's getting to be a little smaller. Whoops. Got to much smaller in. But I want them to touch. You can maneuver the surround until it's until it dries. So you put in too much, it's too dark so I can lift some out with the brush. And just wanted to do a third tree. And, and loved the way it just shoots out. Now, I made the mistake of making these trees just equidistant. That's something you should actually avoid. Rarely. I wanted to just give the trees some grounding. So I'm going to just dwell at swayed. The stuff will. Now I'm gonna take my hugs haha brush, which is one of my favorite brushes, and dip it in the Inc and do the little bushes that are on the other side here. Just to give it some interests on the other side and you don't want the stuff on the other side to be the exact same height as the trees. And putting in some texture with the parallel inviolate. Just to give them, again, to give the tree some grounding. But I still think trees need a little bit of talk coming down here. Just to because the painting doesn't really have any docs and, and just give it a bit more texture up here. And don't want to overdo it. I feel that the trunks are a little bit light, so I'm going to go over them again. You have to be very careful. When you do treat trunks, you should hold your brush right at the end here. Because it gives you, it begs Victor, gives you less control, but it gives you more interesting patterns. Now, I did get a little bit of ink up here in this, but you had to be careful of and you just want it while it's still wet. And I can always when it's dry, take some white wash and mix it in with this color and just go over that. This is where you can do your touch ups and put in some more darks. And then I'm going to put some maybe some granulation medium into this just to make it granularity little and create some more textures. So let's see if that helps it. To have some more texture. Kinda like that. Maybe put too much in. See it starting to granulate. Maybe I can do it with the brush, make it granulate more. Instead of lifting it up and letting it run onto the sky, it needed a few more docs. And if you can see bring it closer up, you can actually see the granulation. And when that's dry, it'll just have so much more texture to it. Okay. We'll let that dry and take a look at it and see if it needs any touching up. But I'm feeling fairly happy with that. Now that the paintings dry, I don't think there's anything more than I wanted to add to a TEM, sort of happy with it. The only thing I would have done differently on here, and this is listens to learn. When is so concentrating on doing all sorts of things when you're painting, that I should have done these trees different distances apart, that would have made the painting more interesting. So just remember that when you're doing your composition, and I hope you enjoyed painting along with me. So until next time, have fun painting.