Digital Watercolor Landscapes for Beginners

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Introduction

Remember how in my previous tip, I mentioned I like landscape painting? Well, here we are! Since it's just watercolor landscape painting, I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

Getting Started

The very first thing you need is a reference for your piece. And no, imagination is not a valid reference point. You can try, but unless you are REALLY good at drawing from imagination, you'll get this:

Instead, I recommend gathering as many photographs of the place you are drawing as possible. Photographs you take are recommended. Here, I have three photos from my smartphone to use as reference:

BONUS TIP: If you can't take photographs yourself for whatever reason, try gathering references from stock footage sights or look around sights from google maps. Also, it is not a good idea to use copyrighted or other artists' material. At all.

With my three references in place, I did a mock-up of the final image:

Yeah, it looks kind of off, but I believe I have an idea with what my piece will look like. Now, on to the fun part...

Rough Drafting

First, I sketched a rough sketch, referencing my mockup:

Once I'm happy with the sketch, I made a new vector layer to refine the lines:

Finally, I adjusted some things, such as the size of the tree island and adding detail to the tree trunk and the rocks:

Before moving on to the painting, I painted various shades of gray onto the piece. This will help me determine the values:

Painting time!

Now comes the fun part. First, I added a base painting to all the seperate layers:

Once again, I'm using reference photos for the coloring.

Now, it's just a matter of building up color and adding detail, using more layers. Note that the pencil layer is turned off:

Here is the result:

Finishing Touches

To finish this off, I made another watercolor layer for the fog:

I take that back, THREE watercolor layers:

Next, I inked the rocks, the blade of grass, and the log, areas that need definition:

Finally, I added two overlay layers, one a fill layer set to soft light to give the piece a more moody feel and to tie the values together:

And a watercolor texture I found from this set, also set at soft light:

And with that, I'm all done!

Until next time...

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