Painting a Landscape

In every country there are an endless range of views. Deciding what to include when painting a landscape is hard.

Consider why you want to paint a landscape...

  • for your own enjoyment
  • to remind you of a special place - a great holiday
  • to have fun
  • to become better at painting
  • for a gift
  • to exhibit
  • to sell

Once you know why you want to paint the choice of what becomes a little easier. Connecting with your subject matter is crucial. Painting is all about expression. Capturing a 3d subject onto a 2d surface.

Share your thoughts on why landscapes ARE OR ARE NOT good subjects to paint.

What are your views about painting landscapes?

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Choose a view that you connect with..

  • is it the colour?
  • the shapes?
  • the tones?
  • the mood?
  • the contrast of darks and lights?
  • is it a view that makes you want to walk on and explore further?

Try and remember this connection as you start painting.

How to Choose

Many landscapes are vast and although you can capture this homing in on a specific area is a good idea. To 'home-in' and focus on a particular view you can...

1. use your thumbs and first fingers to make a frame which when you look through helps you spot a great section of the landscape

2. use a viewfinder (simple frame cut from cardboard)

3. use your camera lens

Digital Cameras

A digital camera is a powerful tool for an artist because...

  • you can take endless photos
  • you can pick and choose your favourite parts of a landscape
  • your camera can be your viewfinder
  • you can crop photos before you print them
  • you can use photo shop etc to alter and manipulate a view

However a camera is only a tool. You need to develop and train your artistic eye. Why not think about sketching or painting on location? See the following links:

Learn more about sketching

Have a go at painting on location

As you consider painting a landscape, think about:

Paintings of Landscapes

Paintings of Barns

Impressionist painting - what we can learn from 'the old masters' about painting a landscape