Easy Loose Watercolor Painting: Simple Steps to Painting Landscapes
For this easy loose watercolor painting workshop, I painted both a night and day scene. Initially, I only planned on painting the first one, but ended up doing another as I felt up for it!
These were scenes I’d never attempted before. I think it’s important to challenge yourself to try different subjects and scenes to continue learning and growing. These both turned out a lot looser than my usual work, and I liked the ‘freshness’ and simplicity of them.
Night scenes are tricky and you have to remember to preserve the light. One of the easiest ways to do this is to paint the lighter parts of the painting first.
In the scene below, I painted the lighter, warmer colors on the buildings and ground first. This makes it easier to add your darker color later, as they can easily overpower your painting if you add the dark areas first. Every time I start with the darker areas first, I always end up accidentally going into an area that was supposed to be lighter!
I’ve used mainly wet-in-wet techniques to paint this scene. While the warmer areas were still wet, I dropped in darker mid-tones in the buildings and ground to imply shadows and soft transitions. You can see how the yellow gently merges into the darker tones in several areas.
This second scene was done fairly quickly. Less than an hour I believe, but check out the workshop and see for yourself!
I used two basic layers here. In the first layer, I added all the lighter and warmer elements, such as the light on the buildings, ground, and light blue sky.
Once this layer had dried, I added in a simplified, large shadow shape extending across the buildings and going into the ground. Notice on the windows, I left some of the blue and previous lighter colors to add some variation to the shadows. It’s so important to allow all the different layers and colors to show through! Otherwise, what are we layering for?
You can repeat the steps in this workshop for any reference photo. You can also slow the steps down to add extra details and sharpness too.
Check out the workshop here.
Did you know there are nearly 50 publicly available workshops? Check out the playlist below for a comprehensive list to keep you busy painting: