Wild Slopes! Watercolor Landscape

debiriley.com, wild watercolor landscape, wet in wet technique, ultramarine blue pb29, debi riley

I suck my breath in, and hold it…..  for The wild ride. Out of control. I love it.


She is the perfect medium for a gambler.


debiriley.com, wild watercolor landscape, wet in wet technique, ultramarine blue pb29, debi riley
Wild Watercolor debiriley.com


Watercolor Landscape Techniques


my definition of watercolors

  •  “Roll the dice”
  •  risk taking,
  •  whats going to happen,
  •  roller coaster ride
  • playful, moody, serious, bright, contemplative
  • sensitive
  • bold and audacious



Control and Letting Go 

I  can learn more about art  (and,  life in general)  from the unique quirks of this medium than perhaps all the others.

  • Because it is in the   “letting go”     that  I can  achieve the quality of art that my heart strives for every time I sit down to create.
  • And watercolor,  is a medium   that nearly all of us will struggle mightily with For Control!!
  • Watercolor does not wish to be mastered, but to work alongside us.
  • She is happy to partner with us and work in unity, to help and to release her abilities.
  • But. She does not like to be fought with for control.  It gets ugly.




Watercolor Wet in Wet Technique


  • Watercolor has the most natural affinity for the Wet in Wet technique.
  • Watercolor,  looks her best flowing, soft and merging. Seemingly “Out of Control.”
  • With those soft edges, flowing, merging colors, it is beauty in itself.
  • That. Right there is where Watercolor excels over the other mediums.
  • When that effect is what I am after,  I choose Watercolors.


The results are nearly random.

Definitely random,  in beginners’ first initial efforts to learn and understand the medium and this technique.

But progressively less so with ….. the hours of brush experience (you)  put in.



But still,  its always a thrill.

The unexpected hair pin turns,  bumps and jumps will appear from out of nowhere on these wild watercolor landscape slopes.  





Process and Steps of Wet in Wet

Wet in Wet Technique


  1. wet the paper 100%  thoroughly
  2. slightly tilt the paper
  3. apply palest tone first
  4. leave Some areas… untouched, by any paints
  5. apply medium tone next
  6. apply deepest dark last
  7. allow to dry 100%
  8. if any alterations are needed at all, correct when bone dry only
  9. fast paced Process, so have 3-5 sheets out to do quickly
  10. reread   #4   this is   very,  very important




  • it is only…… a piece of paper
  • you CAN  rinse it off, and start all over
  • you can use it for gorgeous collages later
  • or paint acrylics over top
  • good cotton rag paper can be used for oils if gessoed
  • paint the backsides too
  • wow!   what great value!!
  • relax…..its just, a piece of paper.    


  • it is tonal values light (especially)   that is crucial
  • colors are ‘pretty’  but its Tonal Values that creates Success
  • patience is a virtue,  much needed.  imperative, actually
  • a limited palette of 2-3 colors, is your best friend
  • mixing up your own greens, oranges, purples, greys is smart!
  • its ok if its abstract,  right now.
  • then, come back to it later…. 3 months or so
  • your answers and solutions are revealed by the passage of time
  • so I have discovered



Hopefully,  these tips I have gleaned over the years can encourage and inspire you on your journey on the fun and creative wild slopes of watercolor!  



Below, is  another  Wet in Wet application channeling the best attributes of watercolor -the lovely,   Magical Mists.


magical mists, watercolor painting, cobalt teal, debiriley.com
Magical Mists watercolors



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Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

62 thoughts on “Wild Slopes! Watercolor Landscape

  1. Awesome info as usual Debi! I forgot to dance with my watercolors today, I tried to lead and control and it was u.g.l.y! lol put then it is just paper, right? I will come back and study this more as the week plays out. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ….Totally INTO it🎶 …❤️❤️💙💕💛‼️.. I LOVE your post..Debi.. WATERCOLOUR WONDERFUL……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well, hello JOANNE!! great to ‘see’ you! now I just wish I had those icon thingies, but I don’t ! hugs to ((you))
      Thank you for your lovely comment, you know I appreciate you every time I see “Joanne” I 🙂 Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Both paintings were a delight. I am looking forward to using all the helpful information you gave us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Susan, thank you for your lovely comment today, that was very kind of you! I’m glad the information was useful to you, excellent!! cheers, Debi


  4. I love this one Debi a wonderful combination of colors and I am totally agree with you watercolors is a wonderful medium and you have to let go while painting! The best paintings are when they are loose and fast! 😉 great tips as usual! Thank you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I guess that’s why the watercolor medium is considered one of the hardest medium because take time and practice to archive that looseness that we all love I am working on it…;-)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. yes, maybe so! though, to be honest some of my acrylic students….. give the watercolor group a real good run for the money in that dept. lol
        And, you’re right.
        It does take time. to build the confidence to be bold and loose. and not afraid.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I love playing with watercolors, just dropping in colors and watching them bloom in whatever way they want. I think that’s how I’ll spend my morning. It’s a rainy day here, and I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than put on a little music and dance with my paints. A cup of herbal tea sounds good, too. 🙂 Love the post, Debi. Thank you again for the inspiration you give.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and that sounds like a perfectly Delightful way to invest your day!! brilliant 🙂 thank you for your comment, so glad it worked for you! now back
      to your tea and dancing with your brush!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I did! I just didn’t want to bug you and ask for more info lol. I feel like one of those little kids pulling on mommy’s skirt, needing this and that and oh just shuddup kid lol! 😀 ((((((3d))))))) You are sooo very patient. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. that is soooooo funny! I don’t mind when I know the person is a nice person. honest, not using me, not just out to take advantage of people. And, YOU are not, like that. Honesty and non manipulators are big with me.
        so, when you ask, and I have the time… I’ll answer. If I have the answer! lol

        Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you 🙂 well, for me when I finally related it to ‘gambling’ and those kind of odds… it was easier to let go the Control freak inside and chill out (some).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A beautiful and very generous post. I love the image at the top! Letting go of the “illusion of control” is one of the constant themes of my life – doing watercolour may help. I really enjoy your brief, poetic text with the images – easy to read and enjoy. Will follow along!

    Thanks also for your supportive comments on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you are so welcome!! and Thank you for your wonderful comments! that is so lovely.
      its taken me ages, but finally, it dawned. being able to let go control of watercolor …. is a transferable skill! lol

      Liked by 1 person

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