I wanted to share my process of how I created this landscape painting using gouache paints.
I hope this inspires you to give this painting a try and create art!
Below is the reference image I used from Howl’s Moving Castle.
- Paint (I used the Himi Gouache Set from Amazon)
- Paint Brushes (I used 3 different sizes)
- A cup of water for cleaning your brushes
- Mixing palette (Mine came with Gouache Set)
- Paper for painting (I used a sketchbook from Walmart)
- Scrap paper for testing colors
- Washi Tape
- Paper Towel
I created this painting in a sketchbook. It’s actually not made for gouache, as it’s just a drawing sketchbook from Walmart, but I like how it stays flat and has many pages.
It’s also the perfect size for creating smaller paintings that can be finished quickly.
I highly recommend if you are are using Gouache to use paper made for watercolors or mixed media. They are heavier and won’t get wavy when wet.
Things to Remember When Painting
Your painting doesn’t have to look exactly like your reference photo. It’s easier and more fun to paint it your own way.
Mistakes are okay. They can be painted over.
Test mixed colors out on a scrap sheet.
Be careful of using too much water – Use a paper towel to remove excess water from your brush.
Take your time and enjoy the painting process!
Step 1: Tape Out the Painting Area
Use washi tape to create your painting area (I used masking tape in this tutorial)
When we peel off the washi tape in the end, it will leave clean edges and it is just the most satisfying feeling – so make sure to do it!
Washi tape is the best tape for clean removal. You can find it in pretty much any craft store or you can purchase a set like this on Amazon.
Step 2: Paint the Horizon
Starting the painting can be a really intimidating part of the painting process.
Creating a light pencil sketch of the painting can help you be more confident in starting your painting.
For this painting, I just started by painting the horizon and the slope behind it.
Painting the horizon is a great place to start because it lays the foundation for perspective and everything else in the painting.
For the first layer, I use gouache in a more watered down way, similar to watercolors so that I can spread the color more easily.
Step 3: Paint the Grassy Hills
Next, I worked on the hills.
I like to generally work at the initial stage of a painting by filling in areas with color.
I don’t worry too much whether it’s right or wrong – It’s just the initial stage and it will be painted over by more layers.
Step 4: Paint the Sky and Mountains
Next, I created the mountains and painted the sky.
I painted the mountains brown initially, but the end result will be very different.
I just like to get color down on my painting, even if that color isn’t what I’m going to stick with.
Step 5: Paint the Water
Next, I painted the water.
I made sure to also incorporate the cloud and grass reflection as well.
I made the reflection below the grass or hills a more darker blue while the cloud reflection is a light blue.
I also painted another layer on the grass to make it more green.
The colors I used for the grass was a mixture of green (Pale Green in Himi Set) and yellow (Lemon Yellow in Himi Set).
Below is a photo of my mixing palette.
Step 6: Paint the Clouds
Next, use white to paint the clouds.
Don’t forget the reflection of the clouds in the water as well.
Step 7: Paint Flowers
Start painting the flowers using the colors pink, yellow, orange, and purple.
Take your times with this step. There are a lot of flowers across the hills and even along the horizon.
Flowers are best painted with little water. I wet my brush and dabbed it on a paper towel before getting more color. This makes the gouache paint more opaque.
Step 8: Paint Details in the Mountain
I first painted the shadowed sides of the mountain using a combination of a dark blue (Ultramarine in Himi Set), brown (Burnt Umber in Himi Set) and white or black.
The tops of the mountains were painted white to portray snow-capped mountains.
I also added some green at the base of the mountain as well.
Here is the finished painting after much work on the mountains and lots of retouching in the water and grass.
As you can see, the mountains don’t look exactly like the mountains in the reference photo, and that’s okay. Paint however you like because that is what’s going to make painting more fun for you!
Painting is a mixture of copying from the outer world and creating from yourself.
Step 9: Peel Off the Tape
Once you are happy with your painting, it is time to peel off the tape!
The Finished Painting!
I hope you enjoyed this little painting session of a scene from Howl’s Moving Castle.
This painting was so much fun to create and I can’t wait to create even more paintings in this sketchbook.
If you are interested in the Gouache set I used to create this painting, you can check it out here on Amazon.
Thank you for stopping by this blog post and I hope that you have a wonderful day or night wherever you may be. Take care <3