Tuesday, November 3

How to Paint a Good Landscape

View from The Getty
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
20 x 16 in/50.8 x 40.6 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2015
The headline of today's blog sounds simple enough, and it is if you can perform a few basics of landscape painting. However, that's the catch--knowing the basics is one thing, but being able to master them with accomplishment is quite another.

I'm no master, and since painting is a life-long pursuit, I have miles to go, but I have learned a few things, though.

I hope you will find some of these suggestions helpful in your landscapes.

- Find the most beautiful and pleasing landscape to paint that you can, and don't settle for anything less. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so only you have to love it to be satisfied.

- Atmosphere is, in my opinion, the most important part of a landscape painting. If you don't know how to paint the different kinds of atmospheres, stop. Go learn how and then continue.

- Use the palette colors that you usually paint with as you are already experienced in how to mix and match them, but don't be afraid to experiment with a new color.

- Beware of green, the painter's horror color. Most landscapes have several greens and they must be believable. Learn to mix a variety of greens; but is OK to use a pre-mixed green if it's the right one. Also, greens are usually, but not always, more neutral or toned down than your eye would have you believe.

- Use the biggest brush you can for as long as you can.

- Objects appear bluer or cooler in color as they recede and warmer as they approach; similarly, objects in the foreground usually have more chroma, depending on the light of course, and less in the distance.

- Objects in the distance, including the horizon if there is one, should be painted less distinct to approximate the illusion of atmosphere,

There you go, that's all there is to it \o/.



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