Create a mysterious, misty mountain picture using a technique known as a graduated wash.

You will need:
  • Paper
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
Take a look at this simple drawing of some mountains.

These are no ordinary mountains; with this technique you can turn them into atmospheric, misty mountains.

First, you need to paint the sky. For this, use some blue poster paint mixed with a bit of water. Add in a drop of pink just for some interest.
A graduated wash works better if you tilt your paper a little bit before you do it.
Wash across the top the paper like this, watching as it slowly runs down.
Gradually add in more water, the further you go down.
Keep adding water, and you'll see that the colour gets lighter and lighter.
Perhaps mix in a very small amount more of pink as you approach the bottom, still adding water as you go.
When you get down to the horizon, leave it flat to dry.

That's the sky finished.
When it's thoroughly dry, you can add the misty mountains. To do that, you'll need three shades of blue: a watery blue for the distant mountains, a normal blue for the middle mountains, and a darker blue for the closest mountains.

Start with the mountains in the distance - a very light blue.
Make it slightly lighter as you move closer, with more water.
When you get to the bottom of the first set of mountains, you can blot off some of the excess with blotting or kitchen paper.

This adds to the misty effect!
Make sure it's thoroughly dry before you go onto the next stage - or you'll end up with a misty mess instead of a misty mountain!
Once it's dry, you can do the same again for the middle distance mountains, starting with a slightly darker blue and less watery this time... but keep adding water as you go down.
Again, when you get to the bottom, you can dab off a bit more paint with blotting or kitchen paper.
Once that stage is dry, you can do the foreground mountains with a darker blue.

Start at the top, gradually working in a bit more water as you go down the page.
Dab off some paint at the end to create some more mist.
When that's dry, you can even add in a faint black silhouette, graduating the colour again as go down its shape.
There it is!

A mysterious, misty mountain range using graduated washes.
You could even try different coloured washes and different mysterious buildings.

How about using red and orange to create a sunset picture instead?
Or perhaps some pink, fantasy colours to make it real fairytale like?

Try it yourself!