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Art Lesson: Easy Watercolor Landscape Tutorial

Art Lesson: Easy Watercolor Landscape Tutorial-The Unlikely Homeschool

Once again, we layered our dining room table with old newspapers for an afternoon art project. We've been working our way through a watercolor unit in our art curriculum and came upon a lesson in sky painting. With a little tweaking, we were able to turn it into a fun landscape piece.

To make a watercolor landscape

You will need:

  • a piece of heavy art paper or watercolor paper
  • a pencil
  • a set of watercolor paints
  • a wide paintbrush or sponge brush
  • a thin paintbrush
  • a paper towel

drawing horizon line

With your paper in a vertical position, mentally divide it into thirds. Use your pencil to draw a "rolling" line across the bottom third of the page. This is going to be your horizon line, so it should not look perfectly straight...but a bit wavy or "rolling".

Painting land

Use a wide brush or sponge brush to paint a light WASH of water from the horizon line to the bottom of the page. Then, paint a rough row of brown just under the pencil line. Repeat with a row of orange and then yellow.

finished land

With a slightly wet brush, blend these rows together by making quick side-to-side sweeps with your brush. Resist the urge to make the color PERFECTLY even. Darker patches here-and-there will make it look more realistic.

To define the horizon line, paint a very thin line of black across the original pencil line. Blend the colors by using more side-to-side sweeps with a slightly wet brush.

painting sky

Using the same wide brush, paint a WASH of water across the top two-thirds of the page. Generously paint this area blue by making large side-to-side sweeps. (Do not go up-and-down with your brush as that would make for an unrealistic sky.) Next, paint random sweeps of black across the entire sky. Blend these colors with a slightly wet brush.

dabbing off color

While the paint is still quite wet, crumple a paper towel into a small wad, dip the tip into a glass of clean water, and dab off patches of blue from the sky to form three or four clouds. Depending upon how paint-filled your towel becomes, you may have to use more than one in order to dab off enough of the blue sky paint.

making dark clouds

Using a wet brush at a 90 degree angle from your page, dab a light layer of black paint on the underside of each "cloud." Do not sweep the brush...dab.

painting a path

By now, your "land" should be nearly dry. Using a generously coated brush, paint a winding brown path. The path should begin at the horizon line and sweep down and around towards the bottom of the page. To show proper perspective, be sure to increase the width of your path as you get closer to the bottom of the page.

painting trees

Using a thin brush, create trees in the "distance" by painting short vertical lines in random patterns at the horizon line.

finished landscape

Here is the finished landscape. (With a little bit of water splash and color bleed from a water cup that was up-turned during our art lesson...oops!)

finished landscapes

Need a few more art ideas?

Be sure to check out my other art tutorials or my Art Ideas Pinterest board.


  1. Those look great! We drew some tornadoes to go along with the tornado unit we did yesterday. Reminds me a little of this. :)

    1. Tornados? Have you and your fam ever read the book Tornado? It's a really sweet fiction story about a dog named Tornado. I think it is by Betsy Byars. Short chapter book with simple story line.

  2. I am always looking for more art tutorials, thanks for posting! :)

    1. Me too! I'm not the artsy one in the family, but I make do when needed.

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