Monday, March 17

Landscapes Have Mood, Too

Morning Tide
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
9 x 12 in/22.9 x 30.5 cm
Copyright 2014
It seems like we only think of certain motifs as having a mood; that is, the ability to make you feel some sort of emotion as you view a painting. I usually think of interiors or figurative or cityscapes as having moods, rather than landscapes.

Think Edward Hopper. There's a painter who could create a mood with his urban cityscapes and thought-provoking interiors. I'm sure you've seen Hopper's famous painting, Night Hawks. Nothing but mood there.

However, landscape paintings can also evoke a mood even if that's not what the painter intended. It happens by the time of day in the painting, the atmospheric conditions, the amount of ambient light or lack thereof, and the motif itself--forest, desert, rocks, rivers, fields of waving grasses, etc.

If you only paint exactly what you see on location while painting en plein air or working from a reference photo, you may be leaving out the most important part of your painting.

Understand what mood your painting will have, either naturally by the conditions already mentioned or added by your own creative artist license and fertile imagination.  Landscapes have mood, too.

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