Urban Inspired Watercolor Landscape Demo


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In this urban inspired watercolor landscape demo, I’ll take you through my process of creating a loose painting with houses, cars, and figures walking. I’ll be using a photo reference for this demo.

Let’s start with the photo reference

This photo was taken in Williamsburg, VA while visiting several weeks ago. The light and shadow were perfect but I always like to put my spin on the scene. Making it personal is where the art happens. I’m not one to copy photos exactly how I see them, that’s a little boring IMO.

photo reference
– Photo reference

Here are the changes I made

  • Add a corner house
  • Place a car in the road heading into the background
  • Add several figures with one crossing the street
  • Eliminate as much detail and clutter as possible
  • Add some strong vertical elements, such as the two trees
  • And use arbitrary chromatic colors starting with a crisp, blue sky

The materials

Here are the watercolor materials used in this demo and pretty much all my art.

  • Holbein paint – Cadmium red light, alizarin crimson, Cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow lemon, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, neutral tint
  • Brushes – Princeton Neptune pointed round #12, #6, Rigger #3/4″, Silver brush black velvet jumbo (medium)
  • Paper – Fabriano artistico, bright white, 140 lb. cold press 11″ x 15″
Urban Inspired Watercolor Landscape Painting
– Urban Inspired Watercolor Landscape Painting

And the results

All in all, it turned out well! I’m happy with the overall design & composition, the colors pop’ and the light and shadow work well to give the scene a beautiful three-dimensional feel.