There are no rules when it comes to landscape painting. You’re free to approach your painting in whatever way you want to. Every artist has their own preferences and that’s what makes painting in general so exciting. Here are four general tips for you to consider if you want a bit of help painting landscapes:
- Appreciate colours
One of the most wonderful things about nature is the huge numbers of colours. There are all sorts of shades, hues and tones of colours out there to be seen. Pay attention to colours that feature prominently in the landscape – if you’re painting a field, for example, note all the different shades of green. Likewise, if you’re painting a snowy landscape, observe all the different varieties of white. Whatever type of landscape you’re painting, take some time to explore the colours in depth. Experiment by mixing different colours on your palette to try and match the colours in the landscape before you. Make note of what colours to mix to produce the colours you’re going to use in your painting. I find it always helps to get some colours prepared beforehand.
- Include what you want
There’s no obligation for you to include every single tiny detail you see before you. There’s nothing stopping you including everything if that’s what you want to do, but at the same time it’s your painting and you’re free to create your take on the landscape. You could include the parts of the landscape, such as rivers, trees and hills, while omitting smaller details such as animals, bushes and rocks. I like to focus on a few particular parts of the landscape that capture my attention the most for whatever reason. I feel that my paintings are more likely to capture other people’s attention if I include the things that caught my attention.
- Create what you want
Your landscape painting is your unique representation of a scene. By all means, be creative and use your imagination when deciding what goes into your painting. You’re using the landscape before you as a basis for your painting, but there’s nothing stopping you adding your own touches here and there. Rearrange elements to suit your vision – if you think a tree, for example, would look better on top of a hill rather than at the bottom of a hill, place it at the top of the hill. If you’re painting a really famous, well-known landscape, you want to be sure to include whatever makes it famous, but don’t be afraid to add things and move things about.
- Decide what should have prominence
You want your landscape painting to draw people in. If you give something prominence, that’s going to stand out and will draw people in more. If you paint everything with the same amount of detail, there’s not going to be anything outstanding to really capture people’s attention. A good way of having something stand out is to paint whatever’s in the foreground with a lot of detail, using less and less detail the further into the background you get. Alternately, you could choose to focus on something that’s not necessarily in the foreground but further away. It’s entirely up to you.