These are easy landscapes that beginners love!  You have fun, its easy and its a wonderful way to create watercolor abstract landscapes. You get on a roll, and churn out several all in under 60 minutes!  Fast and addictive.


easy watercolor abstract landscapes for beginners, debi riley beginner watercolor landscapes
Easy Watercolor Landscapes


Abstract Watercolor Landscape Technique


  • squeeze fresh paint from selected 2 watercolor paints onto  palette
  • have plenty of paint on the palette, in order to scoop it up with the knife
  • dampen the paper completely, not sloppy wet yet not sparsely either
  • load the knife with both colors
  • lighter color placed higher, above the darker…. (usually) is a good sequence for the  best tonal values for the image
  • mine,  is opposite. But, I’ve made it work by ensuring plenty of white and mid tones
  • stroke the knife loaded with the colors fluidly, across the nice damp paper
  • allow the paints to settle
  • the particles will sink into the crevices of the cotton rag paper
  • do not…. be tempted to go back over the top of the palette knife stroke now



if there is some major flaw;  wait til its 100% DRY

  • then, identify the problem and the solution
  • redampen the paper by spray misting
  • then make a smooth subtle correction




The Materials

Minimal supplies and equipment keep this a very ‘do-able’ project for just about everyone.


palette knife pk 1008

2 colors:

ultramarine blue Pb29

burnt sienna Pbr7

Arches 100% cotton rag Rough watercolor paper





What happens if……………


  • too many colors are used?   muddiness ensues as does flat, monotone appearance
  • palette knife is ‘over used’  vs minimal strokes per image?   muddiness ensues, so too does chaos
  • paper is too wet?  control is utterly lost, paint spreads every where!
  • paper is dry in patches?   those areas are stark white.  may look a bit ‘jumpy’
  • student paper, cellulose type is used?   dull flat look.  Plus, an uneven transition of paint, & blotching occurs
  • haven’t Planned where the loaded knife strokes are going to be placed, ahead of time?   too many confusing strokes, movements,  actions take place…. creating too much mayhem



A great read,  for help with watercolor materials is Watercolor Basic Tips.

It has a selection of articles on papers, knives, shops, avoiding mud, avoiding fiddling, creating better tonal values, etc.





The more you do, the more fun you have.  And the better you get….always a good thing.

Watercolor Abstract Landscapes are so easy, so fun with a palette knife!  Try the pk 1008 knife,  it is like a magic wand.