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5 Easy Watercolor Landscape Painting Ideas

These simple watercolor landscape painting ideas are perfect for beginners who want to explore their creativity. Unlike realistic landscapes, these paintings feature abstract and minimalist elements that capture the beauty of simplicity. With just a few basic supplies, anyone can create stunning watercolor landscapes that showcase the flow and blending of colors. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just starting out, these easy watercolor landscape ideas are sure to inspire and delight.

Supplies Needed:

To get started on your watercolor landscape painting journey, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Watercolor paint
  • Watercolor brushes (both flat and round brushes)
  • Watercolor paper or a watercolor sketchbook
  • Washi tape

You can choose any brand of watercolor paint that you prefer. If you’re unsure which one to choose, take a look at my favorite paint for beginners in this helpful guide. For these tutorials, I used flat brushes for creating washes and round brushes for adding fine details. It’s important to use watercolor paper as these techniques require a significant amount of water. Don’t worry though, affordable options are available that work just as well.

Variations for these Watercolor Landscape Paintings

One of the great things about these watercolor landscape paintings is that you can easily customize them to suit your style and preference. Here are some variations to consider:

  • Experiment with different color schemes to create various moods and atmospheres. Warm colors can evoke feelings of the desert, while greens can bring to mind fields or forests.
  • Don’t be afraid to use colors that aren’t typically found in nature. This can result in completely abstract landscapes that are uniquely your own.
  • Explore the concept of night scenes by darkening the overall tones of the painting.
  • Play with different levels of paint bleeding and blending. Wet-on-wet effects can produce interesting textures and patterns.
  • Add additional media such as ink, colored pencil, or gouache to add intricate details to your paintings.
  • Consider adding paint splatters for a touch of whimsy and spontaneity.
  • Feel free to add as many or as few details as you like. The beauty of these landscapes lies in their simplicity.

Quick tip: When painting landscapes, it’s generally more visually appealing to divide the composition into thirds rather than splitting it in half. This creates a balanced and pleasing effect for the viewer.

Remember, watercolor paint is considered dry when it no longer has a sheen. You can check by looking at it from the side if needed. These paintings can be done on large sheets of paper or simply fill a spread in your sketchbook.


Let’s dive into our first watercolor landscape: the ocean. Feel free to experiment and change the colors of the sky, water, and sand to create your desired effect. For this tutorial, I used cerulean for the sky (though any diluted blue would work), cobalt teal and phthalo turquoise for the water (you can mix phthalo green and phthalo blue as an alternative), and a diluted mixture of burnt umber and yellow ochre for the sand.

  1. Begin by taping your watercolor paper down to a flat surface.
    Paper taped to drawing board

  2. Dilute the cerulean paint and use a flat brush to apply it to the top third of the painting. If there are pools of paint, gently move them towards the top and side edges.
    Painting blue sky

  3. Use a mixture of diluted burnt umber and yellow ochre to add paint to the bottom of the painting for the sand.
    Sky and sand painted on paper

  4. Allow all the paint to dry completely.

  5. Add a diluted mix of cobalt teal to the middle area for the water. It’s okay if it overlaps with the sand part, but try to keep the area where it meets the sky relatively straight. If the paint flows into slightly wet areas, it will add an interesting texture.
    Painting ocean in progress

  6. Blend phthalo turquoise into the lighter blue of the water, creating a smooth transition. Use an almost dry brush to gently smooth out the edges.
    Ocean painting in progress

  7. Add lines of phthalo turquoise to represent waves in the water. Adjust and smooth them out as needed.
    Ocean painting process

  8. To make the sand look like wet sand, add a bit of darker brown to the bottom of the sand and near the water’s edge.
    Ocean painting

  9. Enhance the sky by adding a bit more cerulean and gently softening the lines with a dry brush.
    Painting an ocean with watercolors

  10. Darken the waves and horizon line with phthalo turquoise, adding depth and dimension to the painting.
    Painting ocean watercolor

Grassy Field

If you’re in the mood to paint something vibrant and green, let’s move on to our next watercolor landscape: a grassy field. Feel free to add color to the sky if you desire. For this tutorial, I used green oxide (you can create a muted version by mixing sap green with brown), olive green (mix sap green with more brown), perylene green (add a touch of black to sap green), and yellow ochre.

  1. Start by taping your watercolor paper down.

  2. Use a flat brush to wet the top third of the paper.
    Adding water to watercolor paper

  3. Paint the bottom of the paper with green oxide, allowing the color to flow into the wet area. This technique creates the illusion of trees.
    Green watercolor paint wet on wet technique

  4. Add diluted yellow ochre to the bottom of the paper.
    Watercolor painting in progress

  5. While the paint is still wet, use perylene green to add tree trunks, making organic shapes. Avoid creating a perfectly symmetrical tree line.
    Adding trees to watercolor painting

  6. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  7. Use yellow ochre paint to add lines for the grass at the bottom of the painting. Make the grass larger at the very bottom to create depth, and gradually make them smaller as they go higher up. Avoid aligning them too precisely.
    Watercolor painting of field in progress

  8. While the grass paint is still wet, drop in bits of green to add variation and texture to the grass.
    Painting of field in progress

  9. Use perylene green to add dabs of paint to represent trees. A round brush is perfect for this task.
    Painting of field and trees

  10. Feel free to add as many details as you desire, creating a landscape that speaks to you.


If you’re up for a more dramatic and majestic scene, let’s tackle painting mountains. For this tutorial, I used cadmium red, transparent orange, warm yellow for the sky, perylene green and olive green for the grass, and indigo with a touch of olive green for the mountains.

  1. Begin by taping your paper down.

  2. Add a line of diluted cadmium red to the top of the painting to create the sunset sky.
    Painting sunset

  3. Paint a line of diluted orange, blending it with the red as you go.
    Sunset painting in progress

  4. Add a line of warm yellow, blending it with the orange to create a smooth transition.
    Watercolor painting in progress with sunset sky

  5. At the bottom of the paper, paint a line of perylene green with a ragged top line to avoid perfect straight edges.
    Landscape painting in progress

  6. Let the paint dry completely.

  7. Use indigo to paint the mountains, allowing them to overlap the sky and grass. Vary the sizes and shapes of the peaks and mountains. It’s okay if you can still see the yellow through the mountain, as this is the first layer.
    Mountain painting in progress

  8. If desired, darken the sky by adding another layer of red, softly blending the edges with a dry brush.

  9. Allow the mountains to dry fully.

  10. Add another layer of perylene green to the grass area, enhancing the depth and color.
    Mountain painting in progress

  11. Add another layer of indigo to the mountains, varying the amount of paint and allowing some areas to remain lighter. For added interest, drop bits of olive green into the wet indigo.
    Painting of mountain with sun setting

  12. If desired, you can let it dry and add a third layer of paint for even more depth and complexity.


Our last watercolor landscape is a modern and captivating depiction of a desert. This painting showcases the granulation of the paint colors and creates a striking visual effect. As always, feel free to add a sky color if you prefer. For this tutorial, I used a mixture of burnt umber and yellow ochre for the sand, yellow ochre for the initial layer, Venetian red, Indian red, and a mixture of Indian red and violet. The grassy bits are painted with olive green.

  1. Begin by taping your paper down.

  2. Paint a diluted mixture of burnt umber and yellow ochre for the sand.
    Sand painted in light brown

  3. Add a line of rolling hills in yellow ochre.
    Desert painting in progress

  4. Drop in bits of olive green to the sandy area while the paint is still wet.
    Painting of desert in progress

  5. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  6. Add a line of rolling hills in Venetian red.
    Painting of desert hills in progress

  7. Add a bit more of the burnt umber and yellow ochre mixture to the area where the sand meets the hills. Use a dry brush to blend it out.
    Watercolor painting of hills in desert

  8. Use the tip of a round brush to add details to the grass area.
    Painting grass in the desert

  9. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  10. Add another line of rolling hills in Indian red.
    Desert painting in progress

  11. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  12. Finally, add the last row with a mixture of Indian red and violet, intensifying the visual impact of the painting.
    Watercolor painting of desert hills


Our last watercolor landscape idea is a classic: trees. This simple yet effective tone-on-tone effect creates a tranquil atmosphere reminiscent of foggy mornings surrounded by trees. For this tutorial, I used very diluted cerulean paint for the background and varying dilutions of indigo paint for the trees. You can also experiment with greens or turquoise.

  1. Begin by taping your watercolor paper down.

  2. Apply a diluted wash of cerulean to the entire page.
    Diluted blue wash on watercolor paper

  3. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  4. Use a diluted mixture of indigo paint to create light lines for the trunks of the trees. Vary the sizes and positions of the trunks to achieve a natural look.
    Line of blue on painting

  5. Add branches to the trees. If desired, allow some of the branches to touch the trunks, creating darker areas. This effect adds depth to the painting. Feel free to adjust the branches as you go.
    Trees painted in blue

  6. Keep the first layer of trees relatively simple. This allows room for additional layers.

  7. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  8. Use a darker mixture of paint to add another layer of trees and branches. This creates the illusion of lighter trees in the background and darker ones closer to the viewer.
    Painting of trees in watercolor

  9. If desired, you can let the painting dry and add a third layer of trees for added depth and realism.

You Might Also Like:

If you enjoyed exploring these easy watercolor landscape painting ideas, you might also like these related articles:

  • Easy Abstract Painting Ideas
  • Watercolor Galaxy Painting
  • How to Paint Roses
  • Watercolor Painting Warm-Ups

Pin for later!

Remember, these tutorials are meant to inspire and guide you on your watercolor journey. Feel free to experiment, add your own creative touches, and make these landscapes truly your own. Happy painting!

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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