Seven Tips for How to Paint Landscapes

by Neadeen Masters on March 5, 2014

How to paint landscapes takes time and study

How to paint landscapes takes practice and time. Time to understand some specific guidelines about the subject. When I first began painting landscapes I tried to capture every little detail I saw.  I tried to paint the leaves on the trees, and every twig and branch I could see. I ended up with quite a confusing composition.  It often looked like a crazy quilt of color and interlocking shapes. At the time I didn’t understand there were painting rules that I should learn how to apply. I turned to the Old Masters and began paying close attention to what they did.

Start with how to paint landscapes from the Old Masters  

As I began studying the works of the great landscape painters like Ruisdael, Constable and Church, a whole new appreciation for landscape style and composition started to emerge. I was able to see the common threads they shared. Relative to light, line, composition, color, and value there were painting concepts that were used over and over. I zoned in on them. Those of us who love to study landscape painting know that being a student of the genre is an ongoing process. As much as our knowledge increases and evolves, so does our perception and treatment of the landscape painting itself.

 Painting rules – how to paint landscapes and seascapes alike:

  1. Squint! Squint! Squint! – this helps remove the clutter and will help you see the shapes of lights and darks.
  2. Line is very important – Every painting should have at least one vertical, one horizontal, one curve and one diagonal line in it. Without these we run the risk of creating a landscape or seascape that looks static. I don’t remember who I learned that from, but I consider it to be one of the most important concepts when learning how to paint landscapes. What is line? Study and learn the principles and elements of design.
  3. Include both warm and cool color temperatures in your painting. Try to avoid painting in only one color temperature, the inclusion of both will create contrast and help your paintings pop with excitement!
  4. Yellow and red are the two primary hues that will disappear out of your painting in the distance. Blue remains.
  5. As distance increases and colors move into the background of the painting, colors will become progressively lighter in value.
  6. The laws of perspective apply to clouds in the sky.
  7. To create the greatest sense of depth, use overlapping shapes. For example: Place a tree in front of a house, a road in front of a tree etc.

Painting Patterns for how to paint landscapes with Neadeen Masters at the Art Apprentice Online.

How to paint landscapes using painting patterns as well as online painting classes.

To learn more about landscape painting I created several in-depth painting studies fashioned after the style of the great Dutch landscape artist Ruisdael. One popular painting lesson is the painting pattern  shown on the left.

This comes in the format of a downloadable painting pattern. It is packed full of detailed information, a line drawing, step by step painting instructions, the color palette and many step photographs. Students will learn how the Old Dutch Master, Ruisdael applied the concepts of perspective, line, contrast, and overlapping to create his famous painting called The Mill at Wijk-bij-Duurstede.

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