Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Watercolor Landscape: Drawing

I have to admit that this project takes several classes but I feel it is worth it. It took me a couple of years to master teaching this project. I hope this tutorial will be beneficial for all of you who are considering teaching your students landscape drawing.


  • Image of a landscape – I let them pick their own.
  • 18” x 24” white paper
  • Pencil
  • Black Crayon
  • Crayola Watercolors(used next post)
  • Watercolor Brushes(used next post)



It was important that the students picked images that had a good use of space(foreground, mid-ground, and background) and color. Snow scenes are not the greatest.


I always have students start by drawing a horizon line. Even if they cannot completely see the line in the picture, it is a good guide for positions objects and it also continues to reinforce overlapping shapes.


Drawing foreground objects first will help them later when they need to overlap.

When drawing trees I always start with drawing the trunk and maybe some branches. Then I draw the foliage.


When the kids were working on tree and bush foliage I would draw examples of different trees using the document camera to project my drawings. I would go over pine trees, oak trees or whatever the kids needed me to show them. We would have a “tree drawing session”. I would sometimes point out that the Ed Emberely drawing books had some good examples of foliage.

Tree examples


The kids favorite Ed Emberley book. I think I love it just as much as they do.


A page from the “Make A World” book that shows you how to draw trees and bushes. So cute!




Another thing I tell the kids is no details until they get all the main shapes are drawn. The kids tend to spend WAY too much time on details, so I make them do it later in the drawing.



READY TO PAINT! Stay tuned, I will go over watercolor painting techniques in the next post.


  1. This was a FANTASTIC tutorial! You gave me some really helpful tips for landscapes. Can't wait to see their finished pieces. Did you find landscape images in magazines or calendars?

  2. I used images from both magazines and calendars.

  3. Great drawing lesson! Can't wait to see the next tutorials.



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