Watercolour Landscapes

January 26, 2024 | 6 Comments

We have just finished Lesson 2 of the Live Version of Watercolour and I had a lot of fun doing some watercolour landscapes in the past week.

I love painting landscapes but normally don’t have many chances to do them from life. Even when I go on road trips it can be hard to find somewhere to pull off the road so that I can get my paints out and record the countryside.

Typically the occasions when I do the most landscape sketching are during trips to Scotland. My sister lives on the Isle of Lewis and so in the past week I’ve been looking through some of my sketches from previous  Scottish visits and I shared some of them in the second half of this article.

But first…

In this week’s livestream as part of the Live Version of Watercolour I shared some simple approaches to doing landscapes in watercolour. And I then showed four small quick landscape studies that I had done earlier. I then chose one of them to redo as a live demo. 

You might notice in the photo a page of thumbnails. These thumbnails were done to work out the overall shapes and to decide whether certain areas were to be watery, juicy or pasty. And I was then thinking about whether I would be layering or working wet.

We’ll be doing value studies in Lesson 3 but at the moment the focus of the lessons is understanding the consistency of our washes, mixing washes with the right amount of pigment and water and then increasing our awareness of wetness on the page and in adjacent washes. So I did the above ‘WJP thumbnails’ to help make these types of decisions.

Note: If you have purchased the Watercolour course at any time you can watch replays of these livestreams. Simply go to the Watercolour classroom via My Courses at SketchingNow.com

Here is a closer look at these quick sketches…

Mudgee, NSW, Australia

Sofala, NSW, Australia

Seilebost, Harris, Scotland

Newcastle, NSW, Australia

In the livestream I also showed the group some examples of my Scottish landscapes. I wasn’t trying to create a traditional style of watercolour landscape painting. Instead I was playing with colour and texture and trying to produce lots of pigment parties.

You can see all these sketches in the context of previous trips to Scotland here. 

I’m not sure when I’ll actually get back to Scotland but in the meantime I love looking at these sketches again because they bring back so many wonderful memories.

Finally, thanks to everyone who is part of the Watercolour cohort. I’m absolutely loving going through the course again with you, seeing all your work and encouraging comments in the classroom.


  • monica mitchel says:


    Loving the course and the livestream is very helpful to reinforce the lessons. And what a fantastic post! I love landscapes, and often I am stymied as to what to paint. Silly, as I can just pick something and put brush to paper. I found the four thumbnails and small quick landscape studies very inspiring. Especially because they were simple–big shapes, and small. It would not have occurred to me to put more than one on a page. Good reminder to try them WJP to see what I like and don’t like. I might try some monochromatic landscapes as well. Good practice for values.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Monica – great that you found these four landscapes inspiring. WIll be talking about monochromatic landscapes in Lesson 3.

  • Danuta Lacka says:

    Hi Liz,
    I simply LOVE your LIVEs, learning so much every time!
    I started the self-paced course early last year but dropped after 3rd lesson :-(. Hopefully this time – the LIVE sessions energy and a bit of pressure (to be ready with exercises on time) will help me to last till the end. 🙂
    I just did one landscape from your thumbnails. So much fun!

    I truly hope you can come to Europe some time soon…, and do a workshop maybe… ???
    All the best!

    • Liz Steel says:

      THanks Danuta – I’m loving going through the course together with you all and doing these livestreams!
      I hope to come back to Europe one day too!

  • Jamie C says:

    Loving the landscapes. I’m particularly captivated by the inclusion of cobalt turquoise light in the foregrounds of your examples from previous travels. Such energy and texture comes through there! I’m reinvigorated for the upcoming lessons!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Jamie – I was thinking to myself ‘ I don’t use CTL much these days… I should get back to it!”

Leave a Reply