Landscape Painting in Óbidos, Portugal

See a landscape plein air painting from beginning to end, using watercolor and micron pens to show a panoramic scene in Óbidos, a village in Portugal.

6 min. video

The combination of micron pens with watercolors is explained in depth, as well as the distinctive look of Óbidos through repeated colors throughout the city. Demo by Cat Huang with commentary by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

Video Walkthrough

  • Óbidos is a medieval village in Portugal that is consistent with blue and yellow in the architecture.
  • Cat’s approach to this landscape painting is a watercolor sketch, followed by micron pen lines, and finished with watercolor.
  • Watercolor cakes are super convenient and great for painting on site.
  • Watercolor cakes are portable and really easy to clean compared to watercolor tubes.
  • Panoramic views can be tricky to paint, as they can sometimes come across as flat.
  • A landscape is easier to paint when you can concretely identify objects in the foreground, middle ground, and background.
  • Atmospheric perspective is very useful when articulating a background.
  • How can you do linear perspective when all of the architecture in the village is wonky, and nothing lines up?
  • Each building essentially has it’s own vanishing point and it’s own vanishing lines.
  • Within this landscape, it’s very helpful to look for the biggest shapes.
  • You can articulate an indication of texture in an area like the building roofs, there is no need to draw every single tile.
  • Watercolor doesn’t have to be photorealistic, in fact the painting can “breathe” more if you let it go outside the micron pen lines.
  • Blocking in shadow with watercolor helps build the feeling of the architecture in space.
Clara Lieu, Cat Huang

Reference Photos

Óbidos #70

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