An easy watercolor landscape might still be challenging for a beginner like you. However, there are things you can do to make it more fun and exciting rather than daunting!
You can start by learning watercolor basics for beginners before starting this tutorial. It’s super easy and enjoyable. You’re gonna love it!
Second, remember that watercolor painting is personal. Your goal is to interpret the object, not duplicate it, based on the emotions it arouses in you. And watercolors are uniquely capable of helping you do just that.
Third, you should ease into painting a landscape, going from simple to less simple, which is what I’ll help you do in this blog.
Join this free email course to help you start and navigate your watercolor journey!
learning easy watercolor landscape: your practice flow
You’ll start learning how to paint trees first because they’re one of the most common elements in landscapes.
Next, you’ll practice painting monochromatic landscapes which require only one color. This way, you can focus on learning more about controlling color values by adjusting color and water ratios.
Finally, you’ll move on to colorful landscapes where you can apply your previous learnings and explore color harmony. You will also do some color mixing here and there, so this tutorial will help with that, too!
All of the tutorials I’m featuring here are in this easy watercolor landscape tutorials playlist so make sure to check it out at the end.
Alright, let’s get started!
easy watercolor landscape: painting trees
Materials & Colors you need:
- Arches 190gsm Rough
- Silver Brush Black Velvet Round Size 8
- M. Graham Paints, colors Sap Green, Raw Sienna, and Sepia
- Take Sap Green and paint clusters of leaves (they don’t have to be distinct) by dabbing on the brush and creating short lines.
- Create color variations by poking (wet-on-wet) the bottom parts of the clusters with Raw Sienna. Let the colors bleed and blend to create a gradient effect.
- Take Sepia and create the branches between the clusters. Use your creative instincts to place the branches where they make sense.
- Add more leaves and branches as you please.
- You may stipple some Sepia onto the leaves to make some of them darker for that autumn effect.
- Pull the branches together at the center and drag the sepia down to create a trunk.
- Using Sap Green and Sepia, paint grass stalks from the trunk outward and sideward.
- Dilute the Sepia with some water and apply long and thin washes of it beneath the grass to imitate the ground.
Easy Watercolor Moody and Monochromatic Landscapes
Don’t be intimidated by the title of this part. I made this easy to follow for beginners, so just have fun!
You are about to paint a black-and-white fantasy: a dim, foggy entry to a forest that looks like a picture taken in the 1950s.
- Arches HalfPanPh Journal 300 gsm
- M. Graham Neutral Tint
- Japanese brushes
- Dilute a neutral tint until it’s almost transparent, and create cloud-like blobs on the paper.
- Clean the brush and apply a wash of water on the paper to distribute the color across the page.
- Then, using a more pigmented neutral tint, draw mountain-like shadows or some tree lines in the middle and the bottom of the paper.
- Increase the color intensity even more by adding more pigment and start dabbing the color onto the paper to create trees and bushes on either side of the paper from top to bottom.
- Next, maximize the color intensity; it should appear black. Take this color with a smaller round brush and start drawing on the trees with more detail.
- Then, draw the grasses and the ground the same way you did the previous tutorial: by pulling the color from the ground up in thin strokes and applying the color beneath the grass.
- Add trees in the background in lower color intensity than the trees in front to create distance and haziness.
easy watercolor landscape: Birch Trees
Painting with many colors shouldn’t be scary if you have a guide with you. Get ready to put your twist on this easy watercolor birch tree landscape.
- Washi tape
- Round Brush, size 8
- Saunders 300 gsm, 100% cotton
- M. Graham Paints, colors Hansa Yellow Deep, Indian Yellow, Azo Orange, Sap Green, Prussian Blue, and Burnt Umber
- Take your washi tape and cut some strips based on the size and quantity of the birch trees you want to put in your painting. The variation in size will help you create distance among the trees.
- Once that’s done, use a huge flat brush to apply an even wash of water all over the paper.
- Afterward, take your size 8 round brush. Pick Indian Yellow and with a dabbing motion, recreate the leaves by applying the color on the upper thirds of the paper, focusing around the washi tape trees you placed. Apply some Azo Orange on the same areas as well.
- Then, clean your brush, grab Sap Green, and start slightly stippling around the washi tape trees, letting all the colors blend. This will create variation and dimension in the leaves.
- Next, it’s time to recreate the grass. Take Sap Green again and from the bottom of the page, start making upward strokes. Focus on the base of each washi tape tree.
- Moving on to Prussian blue, recreate the sky showing through the trees my painting this color in the negative space in the middle.
- Next, use a well-pigmented Sap Green to add depth to the grasses and the leaves.
Here’s the part where you should breathe and drink water, refresh!
- Now you freshen up, add more Indian Yellow to the leaves to achieve an autumn atmosphere.
- From here, use a smaller brush to add details like faint branches and stalks of grass.
- Then, peel off the washi tape trees, and use a diluted Prussian Blue to color in the negative spaces. Make sure to leave some areas unpainted to recreate the light hitting the trees.
- Continue adding more details using Sap Green, especially on top of the birch trees to help them blend in with the entire painting.
- Add overlapping branches using Burnt Umber and paint on leaves with Sap Green wherever you see fit.
- Lastly, add some texture and shadow on the tree trunks.
- You got it! Amazing job! That birch tree landscape wasn’t so hard, was it?
- Make sure to watch the rest of my easy watercolor landscape tutorials playlist, so you can continuously practice and gain more confidence in your skills!
more resources for easy watercolor landscape
I hope you had fun with the easy watercolor landscape tutorials in this blog. I’m excited to know how far you could come after following these step-by-step tutorials.
If you need more boost to your watercolor painting skills, I encourage you to make the most of my FREE guide to watercolor basics for beginners.
You can also pre-order my book The Beginners Guide to Watercolor so you can keep a beginner-friendly guide by your side forever!
This book is carefully designed to help you navigate the unpredictability of this medium. All the basic watercolor techniques are accompanied by easy-to-follow projects. With ease, you will learn how to paint easy watercolor landscape like meadow, backlit forest, body of water, lakehouse, window and more!