Landscapeitos are little landscape drawings or thumbnails that are easy to finish in the field and fun to paint. The secret is to keep them small. This drawing was only about an inch and a half wide by two inches tall. If you double the size of the drawing, you quadruple the area that you must cover.
The Secret to Controlling Watercolor
The secret to making watercolor easy to manage is water control: managing the proportions of water to pigment and the amount of the mixture in your brush. Do not let puddles form on the surface of your page these take forever to dry and are hard to control. If your want a lighter wash, add more water to your mixture and stroke it on in a thin wash, not a bigger puddle of water on the page. Similarly if you want a darker value, do not paint a big puddle of dense paint and wait for it to dry. Instead, mix more pigment into your mixture and apply this in a thin layer. The watercolor application here is simple glazed layers, each one drying before the application of the next.
Click on the first picture to start a step-by-step slideshow.
Don’t let a vast vista overwhelm you. You do not need to draw everything in front of you. Instead, find the part of a landscape that you are the most interested in.
Here I was drawn the the silhouette of half dome next to the cliff face of El Capitan.
I often use my hands to frame the part of a landscape that I want to draw. This is your time to consider composition.
Start with a small line drawing of your subject. Here I used a kneaded eraser to lighten the lines in the background to make them recede.
Fill in the sky with a quick graded wash. These effects are easily done with a waterbrush.
Darken the land elements with a gray wash.
Let the page dry and then darken foreground elements with additional washes.
Tint the foreground slope with a dull green wash. This is actually a graded wash starting in the lower left corner and moving up and to the right. This puts the most intense color in the foreground.
Deepen the contrast in the foreground shadows. Contrast, color and detail make the close slope appear to be closer.
The last step was to unify the picture with a pale blue wash. The blue also give a greater sense of depth.