How to Paint a Sunset with Watercolors for Beginners | Art Journal Thursday Ep. 12

(peaceful music) – Hey guys, welcome
back to another episode of Art Journal Thursday where we get creative
every single Thursday here on this channel. Today, we are going to
paint two different sunsets, since some of you guys requested a video about how to paint a sunset. I will show you my way of painting it so you can get an idea, and then you can just play around with it and develop your own way and your own technique how to do that. What I usually do is when
it comes to painting sunsets or sceneries with a background, I start off with distributing some water with a flat brush all over the
area I want to paint later. This way, we can use
the wet on wet technique where we use wet paint on wet surface. This will help the paint
to nicely blend together. So for the first sunset, I will be using just a light layer of blue for the sky because the sky was pretty pastel-looking. Remember when you apply watercolors, the paint will dry a lot lighter, so I would always try
to go for a darker shade but of course, you can
always layer watercolors so you can just experiment. I’m using a picture I took
myself when I was in Thailand, but you can of course
Google any sunset you like and just use that as the reference. Here, I’m just applying the paint from the top to the bottom and create this grading
effect from dark to light and while the paint is still wet, you can take a tissue
paper and lightly dab it over the paper to soak
up some of the paint. This way, you create
these pretty, loose clouds without any harsh lines and this will look really
natural once it’s dry. Now while the first background is drying, we can move on to the second example. Here, the sunset was a lot darker and had totally different colors. That’s why I wanted to show you guys two different examples,
so you can see my process but the steps are similar. You want to start with
applying water to the paper and then you can distribute the paint. I really like using flat
brushes for the background because it makes such a huge difference and you can create such
flat layers of paint that is hard to achieve
with a round brush. Again, you can remove some of the paint using a tissue paper and then just let the watercolor do its magic. Now, once the first sunset is dry, we can go ahead and add more paint on top. Notice also a tiny bit
of yellow in the sky, so here just use a little
bit of yellow color paint and dab it on top and at the same time I blend it in into the background by just distributing it evenly. We just need a light wash of yellow. Now the second sunset was
darker and more vibrant so here I’m just using an orange color and just starting applying
it just above the area where I will be painting the water later. I also blend the color into the sky using a little bit of water and also distribute the paint
into this grading effect. Now comes the trick I showed you in one of my other watercolor videos. You can take a coin and wrap
it into some tissue paper so the coin has a flat
surface covered with the paper and now you can just dab it onto the paper while the paint is still
wet and then lift it up. This way, you create this bright sun. Now we can also add some orange watercolor to the lower part of the
sunset and distribute evenly. Don’t forget that the
sky reflects in the water so you want to apply some
of the similar paints to the water as well. You can also use a tissue paper
to remove some of the paint, especially where the sun
reflects on the water, because even if something
looks really bright, there still might be some bit of color that is just super bright, that’s why I usually
paint over empty areas even if you can barely see the color. And again, since watercolor dries lighter, it’s normal to paint in layers until you’re happy with the intensity and the shade of the paint. So here I just went ahead and used this dark purple-colored paint, and applied it starting from the top with these left to right movements while leaving out some of the background so it looks more like clouds. Now we can let it dry for a bit while we work on the first sunset again. Again, you can add more color to the paper and in my sunset there
was a tiny bit of pink so I did it around the
area above the water and just use some water to make the paint blend into each other since the first layer
was not completely dry and since the color of the
sky reflects on the water, I also added a pink
layer to the water part. With watercolors, you
really need to be patient and let the paint dry, or otherwise everything will just run into each other as you can see here. You can still remove the
paint with a tissue paper so don’t worry about that. If you don’t want to waste time waiting, you can also use a hairdryer and carefully dry the paint this way, but make sure you do it really carefully or the air will push the water to areas you don’t want it to be. Now we can go back and add
more layers to the water. For the first sunset, you can see the pink was not really dark enough
and you can barely see it, but that’s okay, I kind of like it. Here, I used some blue-colored paint and applied it starting from the area where I wanted the water to start and I just created these water reflections using a flat brush again. Here, the water was
darker in the background, so I just used more paint on the horizon and then used more water to create the lighter water
reflections in the front. As I said, watercolors are
all about being patient and working in layers. Even if you find that something looks off or is too bright or too dark, you can always paint over it or just lift up some of the paint and just intensify the color and make it more saturated if you want. You can really play around with it. If you are afraid of
wasting watercolor supplies because they can be pricey, you can just use cheaper
paper and cheaper paint, because it’s more important you start playing around with it and just get in touch
with it and get familiar and once you get more confident and familiar with the medium, you can go and try out some other and more expensive paper or paint. As you can see with the second sunset, I used way too much water
and this watercolor paper can’t hold so much water that well, so it started to curl a little and that’s why the paint
was just running around but that’s okay, you can
always use a tissue paper and remove some of the water. I feel like it’s really
difficult to explain how to paint a sunset
or sceneries in general. I feel like it’s a lot easier for you guys to just see the process
and how I apply the paint and what I do instead of me
explaining weird stuff in words. The question I got was about
how to blend the colors when it comes to the painting a sunset and there are different methods and it depends on your personal style. I like to use the wet on wet technique that I showed you here where
I just apply the water first and then created a first layer
and then add more paint later and let the colors blend in to each other and from there I just
build up the intensity and created more and more
layers until I’m happy. But it always depends, you can play around and see how it turns out. You don’t have to paint a whole
big painting to find it out, you can just create a
small square on the paper or a few squares on your paper and that’s enough, and just play around. Once you’re happy with the overall sunset you can start adding the darker parts like stones, boats, or something else. Here, I added a few stones in the water and also a person that sits
in the front of the sunset and you can also use
some of the darker paint and add it to the water
as more dark waves. This makes the painting
a lot more realistic and when the paint has dried, you can still go over the painting and see if you want to
add more paint somewhere or change something else, it’s up to you. I feel like watercolors are so forgiving and they do their own magic. Even if you plan out something, they still kind of do what they want. You can just show them the way and control them in some
way but not entirely. But that’s the fun part about it. Remember, this is not the
only way how to paint, I just wanted to show you my way so you’d get the glimpse and some ideas so you can work on your
own way and your own style, and I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to see more
watercolor painting videos, check out my playlist that I
have linked here for you guys and if you enjoyed this
video and found it helpful, be sure to give this video a thumbs up to support this channel,
it would mean a lot to me, and if you’re new to this channel, Don’t forget to subscribe for more arts and crafts
videos in the future and to click on the bell button to get notified when I
have uploaded a new video. Thank you so much for watching guys, have a wonderful day and I
will see you on Saturday, bye!


  • makoccino

    Hey guys! I really hope you enjoy this video and find it helpful! <3 If you are interested in more watercolor videos, you can check out my playlist right here: <3

  • Sanju Late

    wow,,i would like to see all ur painting videos,

  • Ellie

    Thank you! for sharing your knowledge and helping the beginners to start! and not to pushing them to buy expensive materials! because most of the teacher say : "you can not create a good piece of art with watercolor if you use cheap products 😐 .

  • jay ray

    thats my problem it always curls up

  • HedgehogPH

    What paper you use

  • Tasha Nony

    Already follow this tutorial and it turns out so gorgeous!

  • Camille Haduca

    Wow, I'd learn a lot.

  • Goddess of Love

    how thick is her paper? ?I see that she use soo many water soo??? ?if i do that the paper goes very Ugly and goes holes and make the other place goes and others goes down so yea HELP!!!

  • Thermic

    Do you have any acrylic videos?

  • Bana Nana

    I love your tutorial! New subscriber here. Could you do more landscape watercolor videos?

  • Mariza dayao

    wow! you're really good artist..

  • Rosie Pinkz

    you bring happinesssss to my days!

  • noor yeol

    ur vids really make me smile

  • Manki Jhana Shree

    What is the tape that u have used?

  • My Dream Art

    What paper you use you're art

  • radhika nair

    Wow beautiful and your voice is so melodious!

  • stephie ys

    i really loves all of ur video.. it help me so much..

  • Ruchi Sharma

    I love your work

  • Sana Khan

    Wow .. it was amazing..

  • Ask Alice

    I just found your channel and I’m OBSESSED!! I’ve been hanging out with you basically every afternoon and trying out all your ideas! Love it!

  • Hannah Dutson

    I have tried this and it actually looks AMAZING ??. Love your channel and al of your art videos. I always wait for you to add another video

  • Malooka Tamer

    Thank you?

  • Khaleesii Lorry

    Hello again @mokaccino I am realy glad I found your channel here. I prefer Wet in Wet technique and you made a great impact on me as an aspiring artist. Kudos. More videos soon sis keep it up. Love you

  • Zamya Carter

    You are my bob ross


    I am Thai ????????

  • Sandrine Sabrina

    Hi! sorry to bother but would you rather keep some cheap bad watercolours or buy some new and good watercolours? love your channel!!

  • Rithvika Govindan

    Black made magic??

  • Zee Ness

    I tried out this painting and it turned out great.

  • Ernestina Cruz

    Did you use cold pressed paper?

  • Phillip Coffman

    This past week my doctor told me that I had to slow down I've had both a small stroke and a heart attack in The Last 5 Years I used to enjoy doing watercolor but life got caught up and I dropped it for almost 32 years finding you on here was definitely a godsend you show and tell everything so perfectly I'm looking forward to trying to see if my mind in my hands will connect and make the colors keep up the good work I keep it coming thank you so much

  • Ann-Marie Löfberg

    I Will try this later today.

  • Katt Santiago

    I just started watching your videos and I really like them! 🙂 Please go on and make more to inspire others!

  • Ruchi Sharma

    Really loved the whole video

  • Tiare Nopera

    You're amazing thank you for this video

  • Hira Khan

    MashAllah its so beautiful ?

  • Summan Khan

    your videos are so relaxing. 🙂

  • Aryans Chandra

    hey which paper u r using fof making this painting ?

  • Batandik Batandik

    I like it so much. Thank you

  • Fiorella Ortiz


  • Thuy Pham


  • Alexandra Wimmer

    … removing water puddles and/or paint could be done with a dry brush also .

  • Alexandra Wimmer

    Is this Washitape you always use?
    And it goes straight to the bin afterwards?
    Or do you reuse?

    Washi is quite expensive for people who have to buy their supplies.
    I suggest ordinary masking tape for people who don't want to throw about with Washi.

    Never use OLD maskingtape tho!
    And do not leave it on the paper more than 4 days or else it might not be properly removable.
    You could make it un-stick a little at first by taping your shirt or pants a few seconds – pull it off -and now mask the edges of your painting.

  • Ouch That hurted

    Pinterest is the key to finding photos like that ?

  • 文海悦


  • Prakruthi Muthappa M

    Hey Mako . I really enjoyed painting with you .Thanks for the ideas.

  • sharmila mary

    Fake tricks I tried but it did not work

  • noopur mer

    I like how you have such a light touch on your brush and on the paper.. it helps prevent the paper from corroding.. I learnt it the hard way because I always write/paint using a very hard hand on the paper.. and my watercolors start eroding.. It took me a while to figure out why that was happening and I really looked at your hand and how you were holding the brush.. and my painting has gotten slightly better although I still need to keep reminding myself to not press the paper too hard with my brush..

  • oof lol

    I'm inspired 😀

  • Janhavi Aherrao

    U are just great……….???

  • Janhavi Aherrao

    Can u pls do a vdo on poster colours

  • sultana nishitha

    Wonderful. But is that washi tape?? I want to know about that tape.

  • Fãhmîdä Khâyêr

    I love your style and tectonic

  • gorejko.elena alexandrovna

    You are you are a liar

  • オレンジシャワー

    very beautiful picture!
    I like your picture!

  • Umama Fakhar

    U r really beautiful and I love the way u explain its really easy to understand when someone is explaining anything in ur style

  • sree vinesha


  • David Soekana

    Amazing tutorial and presentation Makoccino ? I love it because I'm a painter to??

  • Hashida Hydros

    Thank you 🙂

  • Hashida Hydros

    Thank you 🙂

  • Samantha Taylor

    Thank you, this is so so helpful.

  • امل بشار

    Love it ??

  • Just lio

    You're so talented mako!!!?❤

  • Archdemon Melodies

    You paint so awesome ! ?

  • Sidharth Kumar Mendhirutta

    Very nice and pretty didi

  • katrina ross

    i was wondering if you could do diy on how to paint a person on a bookmark thanks.

  • • ʏᴏᴏɴ •

    Hi mak, I know this video is old but your art journal Thursday helps me so much , I recently got watercolours and other supplies that I'm not sure if how to use and your videos help quite a lot.I've been a fan since like 2017 but I'll never get bored ,because the techniques you show are really outstanding.
    Thank you so much

  • Shilpa Kamath

    thank you so much. love your tutorials


    What is the kind of paper that you have used?

  • tadka of social media

    I just want to be like you

  • 131419 man

    May i know the name of the intro music? Thank you

  • Nation Banzai

    I love to idea of watercolors but not patient. Can't you use a hair dryer to speed things up a bit?

  • Crus Alexanderson

    8:05 da wae

  • Amber Shively

    Shes like the bob ross of watercolors

  • Dinesh Tyagi

    Beautiful ?

  • hayah khalid

    I tried makin it and it’s perfect thanks mako

  • Nalini Sundar

    Please do more videos with watercolours!

  • JustJ

    What do you lay down before you paint? Like is it tape?

  • Johnraba Raba

    Can I use cardboard??

  • Adrienne Williams

    What kind of tape is that? The artists tape I bought takes up the paper top:(

  • Tarib Abidi


  • Keutoi S


  • Don Evolves

    Which kind of drawing book isused please tell?

  • ahmad sobri zakaria

    What name of the tape you it available in other country?by the way..I'm from Malaysian..your painting so cool..?

  • DNSH

    Have you put the white color in the handkerchief?

  • A Roy

    Hey makoccino… I like your art sense very much, i am waiting for an abstract paintings video from you…?

  • Richa Reyhana

    hey, I want to know what kind of paper you used for watercolor painting in this vid? looks loose, light-feel, and smooth on ur brush and not feel-smudge, doesnt it?

  • Lucy Heartfillia

    Her: beginners
    Me: ahem ahem chokes

    You are a great artist ???

  • Claudia QAC

    Congrats for your channel! I love your work! And I’m learning a lot with your videos for beginners! Thank you very much! ?

  • Syed Hatim

    I just can't do it??

  • wargabumi

    why is it looks so easy, but when I try it, I broke my paper and can not get that beautiful gradation. Need more practice. that's it. well, ok then

  • Anisa Afar

    Her watercolour book r that she's using to paint in is probably like $100.99 because in the UK u can get 15 sheets if paper for £10 wich is so sad and disappointing???

  • Krishna Rao

    What type of paper and tape do u use..?

  • Marthie Scholer

    Excellent THANKS so MUCH!!!


    Hi @makoccino … Love your Tutorials … so easy to follow and learn from them.!! 
    pls have a look at my page and leave comment and suggestions for improvement required …

  • Moonwalker ForLife


  • Tália Noir

    This vídeo inspired me to try paint my first sunset! You are incredible ! ❤❤

  • Sanjitha Bandi

    I love your videos they give me a spark


    What colors did you mix to get a gray for the second sunset

  • Isabella Pereira

    Love your videos!!! Kisses from Brazil

  • Nihao

    Hi! Love the paintings! Just wondering from if you have a link for the tape that you used for framing? 🙂


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