Simplify Your Painting: Sketch and Paint 5 Complex Watercolor Landscapes

——   Created by Darren Yeo

Share this course:

4h 22m
Lesson time
Skill level
or $15/mo for unlimited courses
Sign Up

More about this course

Hi, I'm Darren from Watercolour Mentor and welcome to the class. Have you ever struggled to paint from a complex reference photo or scenery? Ever wondered how you can paint quickly and loosely while still retaining accuracy and perspective? Trying to emulate a reference photo/scene exactly is a recipe for disappointment!

In this class we're going to make difficult subjects fun to paint. We will be simplifying and painting some COMPLEX landscapes with a combination of multiple buildings, trees, figures and small details. By the end of this class, you'll see how easy it is to break down a scene into large shapes which you can use as a foundation for your painting. This class will provide step-by-step instructions and tips that will build your confidence in sketching and painting complex landscapes. You will understand how to reduce down details, exaggerate shadows and other features to create a loose, atmospheric painting.

In this class we will cover:

  • How to create a simplified pencil sketch from 5 complex reference photographs.
  • How to paint houses and indicate details with minimal brushstrokes.
  • How to use tone to imply shadows, contrast and draw attention to certain areas of your painting.
  • How to paint shadows and light.
  • How to compose or come up with a unique design for your painting, by deciding what to incorporate from your reference photo and what to leave out.
  • Using complementary colors to create vibrant contrasts in your paintings.
  • How to use essential watercolor techniques and processes such as; layering and glazing, wet-in-wet and wet-in-dry.

I have a lot of knowledge and tips that I would like to share with you. I'll see you in the class!

Demonstration Paintings:

The course project

For the class project, follow along to each demonstration (you can just do a few, no need to do them all as I describe specific variations of my general process in each one). It's important for you to complete the sketching exercise at the beginning of each demonstration, as this will building your drawing and observation skills so that you will feel more confident in sketching from other reference photos or real life scenes. Following the tips and processes outlined in each lesson, create up to 5 landscape paintings based on the reference photos I have provided. Upload your finished paintings as a 'Project' and if you would like some constructive feedback, please let me know and I will get back to you.

For the second part of the class project, select ONE photograph of your choosing of a complex landscape. This can be found online through royalty free reference photo websites, or you can pick a photo you've taken yourself. Using the process I've described and demonstrated in this class, sketch and paint your landscape, and upload this as a project.

Note: all my reference photographs are attached below (royalty free) as well as scans of my completed paintings.

13 Lessons

Materials Required
Country Landscape: Light Areas
Country Landscape: Dark Areas
Mountain Scene: Light Areas
Mountain Scene: Dark Areas
St Petersburg: Light Areas
St Petersburg: Dark Areas
Venice Canal: Light Areas
Venice Canal: Dark Areas
Venice Canal: Final Touches
Paint a Busy City Scene
Class Project
Enroll in this course for $19.97
or $15/mo for unlimited courses

Class benefits

24/7 streaming access
30 day money-back guarantee
Project included
Teacher Q&A
4h 22m of video content
Have a coupon?

About the instructor

Hi, I'm Darren from Watercolour Mentor, and I'm here to Mentor, Encourage and Inspire you in your watercolour journey! I like to provide as much value as possible in my courses, and different subjects to paint, so students can pick and choose which lectures interest them the most. Need …

View full profile

Access unlimited courses for only $15 per month

Start your 14 day free trial. Cancel at any time.

Join Today