Easy, Watercolor Abstract Landscapes

easy watercolor abstract landscapes for beginners, debi riley landscapes

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 debiriley.com


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.




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

32 thoughts on “Easy, Watercolor Abstract Landscapes

    1. Great!! thank you Judith! maybe I should feature a special “post a palette knife painting” challenge where everyone could post snippets of what they’d played with!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. How lovely Debi! It is very nice and as you say a quick landscape but very beautiful! I just posted too I did some Digital experiment on a sunflower! Wish you a great creative day! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Boy I need to try this! I have a bunch of palette knives but nothing that looks like the one in that other post. Do I need to break my supply buying ban? It sounds like maybe I do. May be worth it tho! Love this one and the artwork at that other post was stunning! I’d have commented there but it wanted me to log in, n/s why. 😬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have 25+ knives…….. and i can tell you, that the only one that I personally find responsive, not dull, blocky and heavy handed…… is the pk1008 a right hander forgot the lefty #.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tell me about it. I’m still stuck on pixels! I think I need a whole new scanner or to have my stuff professionally scanned to sell digital images. It’s all so mind blowing when you have no clue. I need one of those Dummies books. But I’m too dumb to know which one to get! They must make one for this stuff. I can’t be the only dumb one. I know there is a Dummies book for WordPress. I think it is supposed to be good. Maybe that would answer this question for you but I think sometimes WP is just buggy and weird. I know it has a phaser gun and deletes comments randomly. Hopefully it won’t delete this one. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. getting work scanned might be spendy? working on learning this scanner now. Still do not know why, You would need to ‘sign in’ to make a comment. weird.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It is weird. And I do think it would be spendy. The artwork you’re uploading to society6 – is it kind of big, Debi? Or are you scanning at over 600dpi? I think I may need to work larger for my images to have enough pixels…….I did find an article last night (finally) that seemed to explain it pretty clearly. I could email it if you’re interested but my guess is you’re past that stage if you’re already uploading stuff. I think the abstract stuff is really great for places like that; and it’s no fuss no muss from our side in terms of shipping and that.


  3. I do a lot of what I call, Imaginary Landscapes — in different mediums (my latest in metalpoint). I don’t think of them as either abstract or representational.



    Like these!

    Liked by 1 person

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