Breathtaking Watercolour Landscape Ideas

While browsing for some watercolour landscape inspiration, I came across dozens of stunning paintings created by talented artists on Instagram — and thought I’d share a few of my faves.

There can be a lot of decisions to make when you’re considering painting a landscape piece. The beauty of nature offers infinite ideas, colours, and subjects. Here are a few ideas to help you narrow down your next painting composition so you don’t feel so overwhelmed with everything the outdoors has to offer.

Rocky Waters

By: @poppybalser

Focusing on one focal point like the rocks in this gorgeous painting is a great way to experiment with texture and colour as well as shading and light. Sometimes, a landscape painting doesn’t have to encompass an entire field of view. Focusing on one aspect of what you see can be so visually pleasing.

Loose Abstract Forests

by: levitatingtrees

Playing with wet-into-wet painting techniques allows you to be free and loose, and for your painting to flow in ways that you couldn’t imagine. Refining those landscape elements with a fine brush afterwards sets the entire scene for an abstract style painting.

Wet Beach Scenes

by: @jenni_avec_un_i

This tiny Polaroid idea is a great way to play with different bits of scenery like this watery landscape. They are often quick to paint too!

Gloomy Woodlands

by: @hpwatermedia

Gloomy, dark tones are great for forests. The depth in this painting makes it appear as though the forest goes on forever. The foreground splatters aid in defining details and the yellow touches give it an overall moonlit glow.

Beachy Still-life


Who said you can’t add people to your landscape watercolour painting?! This piece captures a moment in time while still showcasing the wet beach and surrounding areas. I love the pops of red in this composition that compliment the blue tones so well.

Autumn Toned Lands


Autumn leaves and colours are some of the most gorgeous to paint! These paintings use such a lovely combination of gold tones and burnt umbers to convey a time of the year that we all associate with Fall. Isn’t it awesome how colour can do that?!

Misty Sunrise

by: @seanastya

The cool tones in this painting make me feel like this is a misty cool morning with calm waters in a quiet setting. The hazy sun adds a pop of colour which is reflected on the main focal point. So gorgeous!

Splattered Scenic Barns


Try something like this for your next watercolour painting! Rough edges combined with splatters on an otherwise ordinary landscape. A pop of colour on a point of interest (like the barn here) helps to draw your eye through the piece.

Double Exposure Style

This is a fun idea to try as well. You can use masking fluid or just freehand an outline with water and fill in the shape with your landscape scene. I love how she added flowers to the front which extend past the borders for a little interest.

Minimalistic Monochromes

by: @rosannecreates

Working in a single colour can be tricky if you have a complex scene in front of you. Try something more minimal, like this mountain road scene, to experiment with different tones and shades of the same colour.

Stunning Sunbursts

by: @art.drops.rita

Bold colours with a striking light burst in the center is definitely eye-catching! The plants in the foreground help add depth as well. For painting whites like this, you can try the lifting technique while your paint is wet, or use a more opaque paint like gouache or acrylic with a little water.

Foreground Fields

by: @rosenrot.watercolor

Another piece that uses the foreground as a point of interest. This is a simple way to add depth and also experiment with adding more detail to your piece.

Mystical Mountain Scenes

by: @siljetommermo

A landscape can be whatever you can imagine! This scene reminds me of something out of a movie. Bold and dark colours are lit by the moonlight while specks and stars of gold metallic paint help it to glow!

Light Through The Trees

This is one of my favourite ways to play with light in a painting. The effect of the sun casting light and shadows onto the trees and surrounding greenery gives such an ethereal effect.

Brush Strokes on The Water

by: @maj_bricole

I love this idea of using simple strokes for the sky instead of filling in the whole area with colour. Sometimes the little details and techniques like this can make a whole painting!

Landscaped Gardens

A lovely landscaped park area or home also makes for a great landscape! Often when we think of landscapes, we think of mountains or forests. While those are great, it’s sometimes a nice change to paint a local spot, your own yard or home, or scenery from your daily walk.

Highlighted Trees

by: @rosenrot.watercolor

The height of these trees is exaggerated by the length of the paper! Using a wider piece of paper would have minimized the effect of the greatness of these trees. This one also uses the light in the distance to highlight the trees.

Golden Hour Lighting

by: @anna_pole

Golden tones are so lovely both in photography and in painting. This painting uses wet on wet colour blooms and quick brushstrokes to create a scene that is so well composed.

Now onto you… Which style of landscape paintings do you prefer and why?

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By Dana

Besides being a wife and mama, I'm an entrepreneur, artist and author of the Watercolor With Me book series. I'm from Ontario, Canada and founder of the brand Wonder Forest. I'm here to help you on your watercolour journey!

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