Looking for a watercolor marker painting idea? Simple landscape paintings are a fun and easy way to use your watercolor pens.
In this step by step tutorial, I’ll show you how to paint an easy mountain landscape with Karin brush markers that’s great for beginners.
If you’d rather watch, the video tutorial is below!
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Supplies you’ll need for a watercolor marker landscape
Here is a list of the supplies you’ll need for this simple painting, along with some specific ones that I used.
- Watercolor markers (or watercolor paints) – I used Karin markers
- Watercolor paper – I used Fabriano Artistico
- Paintbrushes – I used a 1″ wash brush and Princeton 8 round brush
- Dish or paint palette
- Washi tape (to tape around paper edges)
I used four Karin Brushmarker Pro pens for this painting, but you could use any kind of watercolor or water-based marker.
They’re great to use for paintings and other art because they’re so portable and quick and easy to use.
The exact Karin marker colors I used are below. (All you really need is a blue and a green.)
- Arctic Blue #264
- Cyan #207
- Ocean teal #377
- Grass #253
I used Fabriano Artistico paper because it works better than most watercolor papers with watercolor brush pens, meaning the markers are easier to blend.
Painting with watercolor markers
If you’re new to painting with watercolor markers, read this guide I wrote about how to use watercolor brush pens.
I used two different methods for this painting.
- Scribble markers directly on the paper and blend with water
- Scribble markers on a palette and paint with the ink
Use whichever method you prefer!
The downside to coloring the markers directly on the paper is that it’s rough on the tips and it’s harder to blend out the marker lines.
In either case, you’ll need to use water to blend and paint with the pen ink. You can use paintbrushes with a jar of water or a water brush (here’s my guide to using water brushes).
How to paint a landscape with watercolor brush pens
After you’ve gathered your supplies, follow the step by step instructions with pictures below.
Step 1. Tape paper edges
Before you start painting, use washi tape to tape around the edges of your paper. This gives you a nice crisp edge around the finished painting.
Make sure to seal down the edges well!
I still taped my paper even though I used a watercolor block, which has the paper sheets sealed together into block.
I just really like the edges of landscape paintings to be nice and clean.
Step 2. Paint the sky gradient
To start, use your blue markers to add color to the top half of your paper.
I used a deeper blue at the top (cyan) and a light blue (arctic blue) further down.
Use clean water and a big paintbrush to blend it out into a smooth gradient, gradually getting lighter as you move down the paper.
Go back and forth until it looks nice and smooth.
You can see that there are still subtle marker lines visible, but I don’t mind because it’s not very noticeable.
If you don’t want that to happen, use the second method of painting with markers: scribble them on a palette or dish first and paint with the ink.
Once you’re happy with how the sky layer looks, let it dry completely before moving on to the next layer.
Step 3. Paint mountain layers
Once the first layer is dry, you can start painting the mountains, about 2/3 of the way down the paper.
The first ones will be the farthest away, so we’ll make them light to fade them into the background.
Paint the contour of a mountain with a very diluted light blue color.
I scribbled my lightest blue pen on a plate and added plenty of water so it was very light.
Let that first one dry, then repeat for a second one beneath, using a little bit more blue this time.
Make sure to vary the mountain lines you paint so they don’t get too repetitive, and use water to blend the color down a little bit.
For the third mountain layer, start mixing a little green (I used my grass color) into your light blue.
This helps you gradually transition from blue mountains to green ones in the foreground.
Again, make each layer slightly darker than the previous one.
As you add more mountain layers overlapping the others, you’ll gradually build depth.
The next mountain layer should be more green than blue. I used mostly my grass green marker with just a little light blue in it.
I painted six layers of mountains, but you can paint however many you like!
I switched to my teal color marker for the last two layers (ocean teal).
First I diluted the ink with a little water, and for the last and darkest layer I used less water so the color would be more concentrated.
It takes a little patience to wait for each layer to dry and build depth gradually, but the finished result is definitely worth it.
I could have added an even lighter blue mountain at the beginning to make it look more hazy in the distance.
Step 4. Paint birds
You can leave the landscape as is, or you can add some details.
I just added a little cluster of birds flying in the sky, using a small size 4 paintbrush to paint little v-shapes with the tip of the brush. Nice and simple.
Step 5. Remove the tape
Wait for the painting to dry before you peel the tape away to reveal your finished work of art!
Remove the tape slowly so you don’t tear the paper. It’s also best to pull the tape away from your painting to avoid any tears into your artwork.
If you’re like me and had some paint leak under the tape, you can cover it up with some white paint and no one needs to know!
I used Dr Ph Martin’s Bleedproof White paint.
I love the simplicity and blue-green color scheme of this painting. It looks so peaceful, and it’s such an easy art idea for watercolor markers!
This painting came about during a time when I pulled out my favorite teal marker colors to paint something with them, and I really liked the result.
You could try this with other color combinations, too. Just pick a few colors that blend well together.
If you enjoyed this tutorial, I’d love it if you’d take a moment to share it!