Painting a Landscape

Jaysen Batchelor
A free video tutorial from Jaysen Batchelor
Illustrator & Designer
4.5 instructor rating • 13 courses • 653,167 students

Lecture description

In this lecture we will be taking the different layers you blocked in, in the last lecture and converting them into clipping layer masks. This is so we can paint all the detail into our landscapes without having to worry about painting outside the shape. By the end of this lecture you will have a fully finished landscape painting!

Learn more from the full course

The Ultimate Digital Painting Course - Beginner to Advanced

Everything from drawing fundamentals to professional painting techniques

27:07:40 of on-demand video • Updated September 2020

  • Digital painting techniques
  • Drawing Fundamentals
  • How to create concept art
  • Color theory
  • Character design
  • Photo realistic painting
  • Perspective
English [Auto] In this lecture we're gonna be finishing up our landscape painting. So let's go out and get started. We're going to start with the background so we're gonna start with the sky. So down here in our sky folder we have a sky layer. We can paint directly onto that layer if we want. Or if you want we can add a new layer above it to paint or clouds. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go ahead and select one of these cloud colors. One of the darker colors. I don't want to pick this really light color yet and then I want to go ahead and I'm going to grab a different brush. Let's grab something with some texture in it so that we can kind of create these wispy effects with. So I'm gonna go ahead bring my bra size up and I'm just gonna paint back and forth like this and it might take you a few tries trying to find the right brush for this. I'm going to try a few other brushes. Let's see and you don't have to use a brush exactly like mine if you don't have the same pack that I'm using. You might have different brushes there's all different ways you can do this so just experiment with different brushes or look for something similar that I have I think I'll just stick with a watercolor one undo all these and I'm just gonna basically paint across my canvas like this and just get these nice wispy looks just like that and if it doesn't match the clouds. Exactly. And our photograph. That's fine. We don't need it to look exactly the same. Go ahead and select this blew up here. It's a little bit darker and a little bit less saturated I think. Woops paint some of that in I'm going to re select this cloud color. Here and go and just fill this in. All right great. And then I'm gonna go ahead and take my smudge tool and I'll just use that kind of smudge woops let's give that a second go ahead and change my strength and bring it down a little bit. So it's not smudging so much actually maybe I'll use an effects brush so I'm gonna come up here to my effects brushes I'm going to use something like I see special effects brushes going to come into something like Kyle's concept brushes and this is gonna give me some nice smooth mixing which is what I want I want that background to be kind of blurry a little bit to go ahead and select some of this color up here some is darker grey color switch back to my watercolor brush I'm just gonna paint a little bit more of that and over here it's like this color and paint some more these clouds kind of whispering across here. A switch of the brush to so just basically want to get this idea that these clouds are kind of whispering across the sky to look super fancy or anything like that. I think that looks pretty good. I'm also going to go in there and I'm going to find a cloud brush. If you don't have a cloud brush I'd recommend that you go and you find a brush pack that has some cloud brushes or some smoke or something like that. And I'm going to look for forest fog. I like that one. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to pay a little bit this in you can see it just gives it really nice realistic looking cloud effect I'm gonna go ahead and select this white in the clouds right there. I going to paint in some few bright clouds out here right about where you see it in the photo. Something like that you can see with very minimal work. It just it already creates pretty realistic looking clouds in the sky. All right great. I think that's looking pretty good. Next. Let's go ahead to move on to our next layer. So we're going to close that folder. I'm gonna open up the mountain one folder which is this layer right there. Go ahead you raise that. Got a little black or a little blue thing out there in the sky. What I want to do is I'm to go ahead and create a new layer. Right click and create a clipping layer mask so however you need to create a clipping layer mask in your software go ahead and do that. So that way we can paint within here and it will go outside of it to go ahead and grab a soft edge brush. So something like this. And then what I want to do is I'm gonna go ahead now get a color pick the dark shadow areas over here so I want to pick something like that bring up my brush size I just kind of want to fill it in right over here and I'll slowly fade into the other color. We can select some of this color right there some this background area is just gonna basically be shadow colors just like that color painted down here looking for the darkest colors I can find I think if we can light in this area of actually a little bit because it seems that everywhere I'm color picking it's pretty dark. So I just keep that pretty dark out there. All right great. And then what I'm going to do is I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna color pick some of these lighter colors out here some of these highlights in the mountains and I'm going to grab a tapered brush or something like that so I can create these nice fat thick and thin lines and what I'm going to do is going to go ahead. I want to go ahead and add a new layer bringing above that layer so it automatically creates a clipping layer mask over or hear my layer tray and then using my brush Well I can just start brushing in some of that stuff. So I'm seeing that right down here we kind of got the surface up here above the mountain we also have some stuff over here something good in color slick some of that you can see I'm not going to super detailed with it I'm just kind of almost sketching in some of these highlights that I see in there. We're going to kind of clean these up a little bit and make them look a little bit better but a lot of painting landscapes especially when you're doing just studies or concept art or stuff like that. A lot of it is just going to be kind of suggesting things to the viewers. I to make them think they're looking at snow or Rocky Mountains or something like that it's like someone s just keep this nice and simple don't overwork it just gets it in nice and messy because it's rocks. It'll look good in the end so don't worry too much about it. It's like this color out here some of this stuff she that in something like that is looking good. All right then I'm going to go ahead. I'm gonna grab a brush hammer grab something like it's come home to my brush tips we're looking for something that has a decent amount of texture so maybe something like this. Yeah that looks nice. Let's switch toy racer we want to be on our racer tool. See how this looks if we were to race with it. If we were to change the spacing like that you can see that we can kind of your race out some texture there. Let's try a few other brushes see how we like them. Maybe that one kind of cannot race out some spots and add a little bit of texture to that. Let's see what else we have try something like this. All right. So we can kind of use that to race out some of this texture and kind of give us something a little bit more interesting looking going to space it out a little bit more like that and then we can grab something else just grab something like anything with a little bit of texture and we can go in there and kind of just you race some of these shapes out a little bit more to shape them out. Kind of like we did with the profile of the mountains but we're just looking to get a little bit more definition form and texture in there. So it doesn't look like a bunch of paint brush strokes wanted to look a little bit more organic and jagged on a painting with just a little bit of this darker color and kind of darken all this up a little bit. I think it's a little bit too bright All right. And then we could try bringing the opacity down on this layer so that looks I want to bring it down too much but maybe just a slight bit. All right. It's looking pretty good. You go ahead and you raise this out just to sharpen that up a little bit more where we could take some of this color as well paint it up here at the top of this mountain. All right great. Now let's go ahead and let's work on the snow. So when I had a new layer underneath that one but drag it above it. So it will automatically turn into a clipping layer mask and Photoshop. And so the snow works basically the same way. So what we want to do is we want to go ahead and select this darker snow color up here. And I basically just want to fill in anywhere where the snow is going to be. So it basically is right there in that big general area so you can see me draw that but it's basically going to be right across here. Maybe a little bit further down like that then what we want to do is want to go ahead and take this lighter white color on the mountain and then let's grab some sort of a softer brush. So maybe like this watercolor brush again and I'm going to paint in some of these highlights that we see on the mountain so we can see right there and what they are is I think it's just like kind of coming between or through the sky through the clouds I mean sorry so we only want to add this bright color anywhere we see the bright snow on the mountain. All right great. I'm gonna go ahead and take this blue and I'm just going to kind of reshape some of this because some of the areas need to be a little bit thinner. It's kind of like uh remember that we're painting in a layer mask so we can paint outside of the shape of the mountain. We don't really have to worry about that and also kind of blend some of this if we want kind of soften up some of this all right. Great. So now what we're gonna do is we're gonna start erasing out the shape of our snow and the way we're gonna do that is we're gonna go ahead and create that layer mask on the actual layers. So this is a layer mask for that layer. And what it allows us to do is if we're painting with black or if we paint with white light switch to white you can see that it raises it out. And then if we paint with black it paints it back in. And that's exactly what we want. So let's go ahead and switch to white and then I'm going to switch over to a brush which grab something that has a taper and a hard edge. And we just kind of want to erase everything out on this amount and the way we see it up in our photo every little detail doesn't have to be the same. But the closer you can get it the better. Great. So now we have kind of the impression of some snow on the mountain we need to make it look much more realistic. But one thing that you can do is now if you want you can switch back to black and you can kind of reshape some of this stuff out if you need to. So somewhere you made a mistake and you want to add some more snow back and if you paint in with the black while you have your layer mass selected then you can go ahead and kind of add some of that back in there. So don't go and just add a little bit of snow back in there in some areas especially a little dance and stuff like that. Up here right now looks pretty good. Now what I want to do is I'm gonna go ahead and switch to my racer tool and I want to grab some stuff with some texture that I can race out with. So we can experiment with a few different things and find what it is that we like that looks kind of cool. Let's see what this guy looks like if we race out with him and I need to make sure I switch back to my actual layer to erase that out. Let's go ahead and try racing some of this out. You can see it just starts to almost organic fire. The image makes it look a little bit more like powdery snow off in the distance it just adds that layer of texture that we need right. That's looking pretty good. We could even come down to this layer down here and you just add a little bit more texture all right. Great. All right. So that's looking pretty darn good. We could also add a texture layer in here and drag that underneath and back above. So it becomes automatic clipping layer mask and then I could grab a brush something like a speckled brush I can speckled in some texture in there maybe I'll use some dark texture and maybe I can also bring the opacity down on the speckles and I can also probably create a new layer and fill it in with let's say the sky color just like this blue sky color back here it's kind of a gray color. Fill that in. And what I can do is I can bring on the opacity on that and I can just kind of control the likeness of those mountains because maybe they look a little bit too dark to you. So I could bring those up a little bit if I wanted and some are right about there probably looks good. We can also try things like smudging some of this detail so maybe on the rocky part of it can come in and use something like this concept brush that kind of smudges the paint. And I can just kind of smudge that a little bit anyways. All right. I think that's looking good for a background layer. So again this is just a study so it doesn't have to look perfect or amazing. We're just trying to create something that looks nice good and we understand the composition the colors all that stuff. So I think we're done with this layer for now. Let's go ahead and let's close it. So that's all on one layer as you can see now next. Let's go ahead move on to the second mountain. So come onto this layer add a new layer create a clipping layer mask and now we can start painting this one. So we're going to do the same thing. We're gonna start with the under rocks. So I'm just gonna select one of these colors. Make sure you're on your paint brush and let's select something with some texture. I'm going to go back to my watercolor brush. I'm just gonna kind of start painting and what I see is if it comes straight down to there kind of get this little thing going on here. Now we get this whole sort of landslide area right here in your color pick that color just to make sure I'm using a good color for it. Kind of darkened about the it's like that right there. So you can see that doesn't have to be perfect it doesn't have to look exactly like the photograph you just need to kind of represent those rocks and end forms in their parched kind of runs in front. Right here we can kind of blend these in a little bit as well. All right. And then we can go and take a racer and just kind of race out some texture to go ahead and flip it. So if I come in here I can rotate my brush. You can see down here it all rotate so actually let's try flipping it. So I'm going to flip it on the x axis so it's just kind of in the other direction and kind of moving the texture is kind of moving more with the mountain being that size up then I'll switch over to something more like this hard round brush and I'll just kind of race out some more of these shapes so you get something looking more like what I want let's try and underbrush get a little bit more texture in there see what that is. Try something like that. You want to try all different types of brushes when you're trying to get texture into your paintings. Sometimes brushes that you would never think would look good can create some really interesting textures. All right. I think that looks pretty good. Now I going to go ahead and add a new layer drag it above. We want this snow later to be on top and then I'm gonna go ahead and start painting this now. So select the color of the snow. And just like we did before we'll start let's use a hard round brush and we'll go ahead and paint that in right. Great. That's looking pretty good. I'm going to go ahead and switch over to my race tool window my brush size and now I can just go ahead and actually wanting to race it out. We want to do what we did before where we made a layer mask for this. So this isn't a clipping layer mask. It's just a layer mask on this actual layer. So that allows us to paint with white which will basically race it out but we can paint with black and we'll bring it back. So we don't completely lose what we painted. And I want to get a different brush hard round with pressure opacity or pressure sensitivity and I'm just looking up at my reference seeing what it looks like all right. That's looking pretty good now. I'm not really liking my this background area the Rock area. So when I come back into my rock area and I'm going to kind of play with this a little bit I'm going to paint some more in there to try a few different things grab some more gray right there. I'm also gonna go ahead I'm going to come down to my color layer. I'm not a new layer above that so I'm gonna kind of change the color on this background area. I'm gonna go ahead and select this lighter blue right there and bring my brush size up and I'm gonna kind of paint that because I think the shadows on this part of the mountain need to be a little bit more light and that looks pretty good. And I can go inside this dark color and kind of paint that back in right there and keep that area dark. I gonna go ahead and come to this layer I need to kind of shape that out a little bit more and give it a harder edge and a darker edge just something like that and I can go ahead and select this color and then paint that so like that race out some sort of round shapes who just kind of signify some bushes or something out there and we don't have to paint him and we can just use the blue color because of the way things get the more blue they look I'm going to go ahead and grab some sort of a textured brush or something. Let's see that might look good. And I'm just going to kind of add some texture to that by raising it out great. That looks pretty good. Go ahead and see what happens if I bring down the opacity on my snowmobile that looks won't bring down too much maybe the 90 or something like that. I can even add a layer above this I'll actually drag a bellows is still stays a clipping layer mask and I can do another layer. This will be kind of a test layer. We'll see how it looks. What I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna add some more painting and highlight and stuff onto this background mountain range. I think that looks pretty good. I think this layer is pretty much done. Maybe we could darken in this area right here a little bit more assaults like this dark blue color come down to my layer where I was kind of playing around with my background color and I'm gonna fill this in darker right there like that. Problem make it a little bit darker down here as well. All right great. That's looking pretty good. Lastly we let's go ahead and let's just add some splatter paint effect to it. So I to create a new layer. Make sure it's clipping layer mask know my brushes. Let's just select one of these speckled brushes since a little bit to bring them brush size down just paint a few speckles in the air like that. Those are really big so I'm gonna undo those paint a few sparkles and maybe you could try another color like this brown color paint a few of those and just add some detail and texture in there. I can also actually come to the snow layer I forgot to give it a little bit more texture so when I come to that and use my race tool I couldn't race out just some of the snow and give it a little bit more texture. Great. That's looking pretty good. And then coming back up to my special texture I'm going to go ahead and just bring down those speckles a little bit just so adds a hint of texture when I want it to overwhelm the painting. That's looking pretty good. And maybe we could actually touch this layer up a little bit more so we're going to select this color because I'm looking up here and it has some pretty light areas where you can see the mountains pretty well so want to make sure that I just really kind of capture that switch brushes just kind of repaint that and a little bit more then back here we get this light area that we kind of lost in the paint that back in as well. All right. That's pretty good. It just kind of gives you the idea of this mountain and the snow and the texture which is what we're looking for. All right let's go ahead and move on to the next layer. So we go ahead and close out folder and then come to my Hill's folder add a new layer and turn that into a clipping layer mask and then we're going to go ahead and start painting in there. So all we have to do is let's just select this lighter color out here and I'm just going to start painting in highlights like this. I'm just looking back at my reference to make sure that I'm painting it pretty close to what I see and what's in that reference and I think just for simplicity's sake I'm just going to leave this river out but don't forget just keep everything nice and loose as you go along. You'll get better time in your paintings up and stuff. But the the worst thing I would want you to do is just be really tight with your paint strokes and be really focused and all the tiny little details and stuff but I really wanted to do is I want you to just be focused on painting loose and just remembering that you can always undo things because you're working digitally and not only that but you can always you can do things you can't do in real life with paint such as what we did with the snow where we could erase it away and then draw back in. We can do stuff like that on a layer. So just don't get too worried about how your painting is going. Just take it slow just take it one part of the time and focus that on one part at a time. All right. That's looking pretty good. Want to go ahead and maybe add a little bit more texture here on these hills and I want to go ahead and select this lighter color right here and we can kind of paint in a little bit more of a lighter color out here on these hills switch to a different brush because I'm having a hard time with this one. So let's try painter's cell and see what that looks like. OK maybe I'll switch back to that brush. I'll try to texture brush and give a nice edge to that hill out there because I want there to be a difference between the background mountains and this hill and I'm going to go ahead and take my razor and we're going to kind of race myself out some texture so try some other textures you for instance find something better. That's kind of a cool texture and it rotates automatically for us so I try that texture right there. Then I can just grab something like a hard edged brush the taper I can just kind of shape some of this out a little bit more all right. Great. Now I'm gonna go ahead. I think I need to actually darken this color up here a little bit more so just like the color that I see on this hill and just kind of color this. And what that color try selecting a different color a little bit more of a muted color. Yeah that looks looks pretty good. I'm going to switch over to a harder add more of a hard edge brush such as this textured paint brush because I feel like the soft edge isn't looking very good so I want to give it a little bit more of a hard edge to my paint strokes. Great. I'm gonna go and use my razor now can be a race a little bit more this hour. Most gonna go ahead. I'm going to select one of these darker colors in here. I'm gonna create a new layer and I'm gonna use this as my color adjustment layer so I can adjust the shadow colors so I'm going to try painting that and see how that looks. I'm gonna go for a lighter color. Just keep picking until I find a color that I like. You will bring that up a little bit. Let's switch our brush tool will actually be able to see as many re select colors. Yeah that looks kind of dead someone to go out and bring the brush size up who's gonna paint in this area of the hill with that color. Select this mix color here paint paint. Some of it out there as well maybe a little bit of their All right now I think actually appear to want this to stay pretty dark so not paint some of that back and dark all right. And then I think we can go ahead and come up to this layer and I'm gonna race out some of this thin out kind of these highlighted edges a little bit more. Great. So I think that's looking pretty good. Go ahead soften all this up over here a little bit more. All right. Next let's go ahead and let's start adding in some grass. So let's figure out how we're going to do this. There's a few ways we could do this. I'm just going to add a new layer and this does not have to be a clipping layer mask necessarily. And what I'm going to do is when I come in here and you should be able to find a brush that looks like grass a lot of brush that's we'll have that if you have this exact same brush set that I'm using then you'll find it. And you can even see that we have brushes that can create sort of fern like plants and stuff like that. So there's a lot of cool brushes in here. We have tree brushes. Let's look for something that would work is grass let's try the shrubbery now like that. That's what we're looking for is right there that shrubbery. What we're gonna do is we're gonna go ahead. I'm going to start furthest back so I'm gonna go ahead and select this light color back here and we're just going to start painting that end. So bring a brush size down because these are gonna be really small shrubbery and this is basically going to start back here on a hill kind of moving upwards like this and because of the spacing on a brush like this you can actually just kind of paint that in real quick across like as if you're painting a line you can see that just kind of automatically starts adding in some nice shrubbery and make sure that you don't use the same color the whole time. Choose a few other colors out there see how they look. Go ahead and try another color so maybe something more like that and try selecting one of these darker colors all right. We can start bringing her brush size up now and get some larger shrubbery in there. Go ahead and slide to a different color now you can see very quickly with a brush like this you can start to get the look of actual grass and plants and bring my purse size up Arkansas and in some plants that are even closer go and select some of these other colors maybe kind of brownish green color some of these darker colors as well we just want to keep layering these in and select some of this color out here we can add a bunch of shrubbery out here along this edge maybe along the top of this mountain let's try a few other brushes so we don't just have all the same brushes in here so maybe we could try to leave brush looks like brush might give us a little bit of interesting texture in there all right let's see what else we have let's see. You could try some of these Fern plants you know those look want to add that I know they're not in the photograph but I might just add a little bit more interests are drawn. If we had those in try shrubs. That's what we're just on the spray foliage that kind of gives us some interesting leave effects go ahead and select sort of this green color you can add some of that in there. No go ahead and layer in some more shrubbery over top of that texture just so it kind of looks like it's just floating there. Slick is really. Shrubbery and a lot of that in there. All right. Great. Now the shrubbery kind of has a soft edge to it. And I'm not a huge fan of that. So I to come down to my color layer for my hills and I'm going to paint in the different brush so I'm gonna switch to something like a goes on like this watercolor brush. I can just kind of paint that background in a little bit and kind of get rid of that blotchy looking effect. I must select a color like I can kind of fill in those gaps back there a little bit. Kind of bring it all together all right those looks pretty good. Now another thing I can do is I can go ahead and add a layer above all my layers. I can select some of these colors in here and switch into a brush. Let's switch to something with a taper. I can actually paintings hand paint some of my own little grasp pieces like that that were kind of be in front of that walkway I can also draw some of my own and they're just so this isn't so monotonous. We can have some that kind of curve over and stuff like that you on so any areas that look kind of weird or blotchy too. This is a good way to go in there and manually just paint it in by hand and get the look that you're looking for. Sometimes painting with stamp brushes isn't enough. You really just gotta go in there and get it done yourself and that looks pretty good out here so kind of looking weird to me. So I want to see if I can fix that let's go to our shrubbery layer. I think that's might be where it's looking kind of weird to me. Some may raise some of the shrubbery out here whoops or on the wrong layer. So when I read some of that out because it's making it look a little bit soft and fuzzy and I don't really like that look. So what I will do is I'll come back out to this layer. I'm just gonna paint in a little bit more detail out here which come give a little bit more of a hard edge to my detail you will come up to my shrubbery I when I read some of this weird green texture out I think that looks kind of weird. I'll come back down here and you actually come to my color layer just kind of paint this area and dark right. Great. And then if we wanted to we could come to our our walkway layer we could leave it the way it is or if we wanted to we could create a clipping layer or mask for that can select to create a darker version of it of the color leave a little bit right there to be light so we can come back in color pick that green color pick that brush size now. And now what we can do is we can just kind of paint in some of these wooden slats and stuff or at least just give the idea of them just do it nice and quick have to take a long time or anything like that. So the way I'll do that is I'm just gonna draw straight lines coming across like this. It's nice and easy. And if they're not all evenly spaced it's totally fine just to get the idea that there's some wooden slabs out there. Bring the brush size down as I go back further and further till I give way back here and then I can just all basically go into white. All right great. I mean if we wanted to we could even add a layer beneath it. So I'll drag this layer beneath our walkway layer. I can select a color like this right there and just kind of paint on the edge of that walkway that might be a little bit too dark let me find a lighter color. Something like that looks good All right. Great. So there we go. It looks pretty good. Is a little bit rushed. Just because I don't want to keep you guys here for ever. You should get the gist of how you do this but I want you to understand that the more time you take to do your paintings usually the better it's going to come out. So make sure that you really take your time. I did this painting earlier before as a test so I'll just share that one with you as well so you can see that they're pretty similar. There's there's good and bad things about each one. But if you really take your time you can get it looking really good. But once you have your painting done you go ahead and crop it so if you crop it should snap right to the bottom of our reference photo like that go enter and then we have that image crowd we have this beautiful landscape painting let's going to do the same thing to the other one. I think the contrast in this one just looks a little bit better have a lot less detail out here so you can see that it looks like I just painted some really solid colors out here and up here. So I kept this one actually pretty simple so maybe when you do yours if you're not followed on along yet go ahead and just paint yours a little bit more simple than this one. I think I overworked this one a little bit which is a good lesson in overworking your paintings. You don't want to overwork your paintings is simpler and the less brush strokes you have to do to create that image the better because one it's going to be quicker but too it's just it's going to look better. It's going to look more like your strokes were meant to be. So I think the foreground of this one looks a lot better but I would say the mountains in this one look better it's up to you you choose but so go ahead and paint this painting and you can change some things about the composition whatever you want but when you're done go ahead and post that to the Q and A session the course so we can all see it because we I love senior guys progress I love seeing the work you guys are creating. It really gives me a lot of joy and purpose in being an art teacher. Thanks for watching and I see. I'll see you guys in the next one.