A forum for artists who paint with Water Soluble Oils
 
HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 Tips on painting a landscape

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2  Next
AuthorMessage
Janet
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2050
Join date : 2009-11-15
Location Location : North Bay, Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Tips on painting a landscape   Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:00 pm

Landscapes happen to be my worse subjects and I'm still struggling with it. I would just like to know different ways to complete a landscape. If you could share your process I'd really appreciate it. Smile

_______________________________________________
Janet
http://janet-coloredpencil.blogspot.com/
Back to top Go down
Callie
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1233
Join date : 2009-11-21
Location Location : St. Louis, MO USA

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:03 pm

Hi Janet!
How to paint a landscape? Well, not like me lol!

I'm no pro, either - but one thing that has helped me more than anything else has been painting on-site (plein air). Whether from photos or life, I start the same way; get the sky done, then lightly sketch in whatever's along the horizon (if it shows), next is scrubbing in the darkest areas. I find it easier to paint the mid-tones and highlights over the darks (think of bushes, sunlight on water, tall grasses...). Keep in mind where the light is coming from, and keep your shadows on the thin side to start.
Depending on the scenery, I sometimes smudge some of the background "stuff" into the sky just a bit to avoid a hard cut out look there.

This is a personal preference - I don't like really bright, intense colors (OK for abstracts or cartoons). But I think they make a landscape look artificial. For instance - we've had fall colors in the trees around here, but the grass is still bright green. Like emerald green straight from the tube. Wouldn't that look cheesy! So I tend to start with subdued and earthy colors for the over-all painting, then bring in the lightest and brightest colors for the finish - and use a little artistic license on the greens - throw in some ochres, reds, blues... whatever it takes to make it work.

My earlier landscapes (from photos and not from life) have a rigid, worked to death look about them. Too many hard edges, flat colors, little dabs all over for leaves.... Now I try to stay loose and touch in just enough detail to make it interesting. Not every branch, leaf and blade of grass has to be spelled out.

Do you have something started that you're not sure about?

I'm going to quit hogging the thread now Razz and we'll see if someone else has some tips for you (where's Chantal?)

Callie
Back to top Go down
Janet
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2050
Join date : 2009-11-15
Location Location : North Bay, Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:53 am

lol! Callie, your landscapes are a hundred times better then mine. Thank you so much for your great explanation of your process and tips. I just wanted to get some ideas before I get to the landscape for the current challenge. Eventually I'll get to it. I always find it really helpful when I understand different ways to do a painting. I agree it would be interesting to get Chantals' process... her landscapes are wonderful! Once it warms up I intend to try some plein air painting. I'm a woose when it comes to the cold. Smile

_______________________________________________
Janet
http://janet-coloredpencil.blogspot.com/
Back to top Go down
Callie
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1233
Join date : 2009-11-21
Location Location : St. Louis, MO USA

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 6:09 pm

You haven't seen my "to be sanded and painted over" collection Laughing
But like with most things, the more you practice, the better you get at it (one can hope!). I'm going to try to make time to do that landscape (in the challenge) also. Love the colors in it.

Anyone else have some tips and/or advice? Don't be shy - jump right in! bounce

Callie
Back to top Go down
judyfilarecki
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2685
Join date : 2009-11-16
Location Location : Northern NY and Southern Arizona

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:15 pm

Hi Janet and Callie,
I tend to do pretty much the same as you Callie (not plein air though, yet) except I usually put mid tones after the sky is done and then add the darks and then the highlights. This winter in Arizona, I think I am going to try plein air. The weather out here is no excuse 95% of the time.

Judy

_______________________________________________

judy-filarecki.artistwebsites.com***filarecki.com ***judyfilarecki.hubpages.com/
Back to top Go down
acadianartist



Posts : 79
Join date : 2009-11-23
Location Location : Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:52 pm

Hey girls! Here I am! LOL Seriously, I am no expert on landscapes. Callie had excellent advice and I agree wholeheartedly with what she said. Plein air painting is a great way to improve quickly at landscapes, but it is rather daunting. Other than the elements, you have to worry about making sure the sun isn't directly on your canvas or palette or in your eyes and have to be very adaptable (having forgotten my palette once, I used a piece of birch bark!). It's tough and sometimes discouraging, but when it all comes together, it's the best feeling in the world. I paint en plein air year round and actually enjoy winter plein air painting quite a bit! You just have to dress for it and be prepared.

But plein air painting is surely not the only way to improve landscape painting. I think a lot of studies help - quick sketches on canvas paper pads, for example, or "notans" which are light/dark pencil or charcoal studies, thumbnail sketches, etc. The problem with landscapes, from plein air or photos, is that it is easy to put in too much detail. The challenge is to simplify. And of course, values, values, values...

So yes, my process... well it changes from painting to painting, but one thing I do which seems to be the backbone of my better paintings is find the focal point and start from there. I know we were all taught to paint the background, then the middle ground, then the foreground, but painting the focal point first, at least getting a good sense of it, either through an underpainting or a good laying down of the masses, is essential to me. I don't paint the sky, wait for it to dry, then paint the branches, I paint the tree which is central to the painting and paint the sky around it. Of course my goal is not to paint realistically, but loosely. I don't always succeed, of course.

Once the focal point is laid down, I try to get the darkest dark and the lightest light down. That allows me to judge value for the rest of the painting by constantly comparing with these limits. A foggy painting (which I love to do, especially with water and boats) will have less of a contrast and value range, whereas on a bright sunny day, you might see quite a sharp one.

The last thing to remember, is don't overwork the painting. As Callie said, suggest rather than spell it all out. This is probably one of the hardest things to do as it requires poetic skill, which I still do not possess.
Back to top Go down
Callie
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1233
Join date : 2009-11-21
Location Location : St. Louis, MO USA

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:56 pm

Judy - I envy you that weather! It should be cold and damp here just in time for Sunday's plein air session. Won't need to carry much of a color assortment.

Callie
Back to top Go down
judyfilarecki
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2685
Join date : 2009-11-16
Location Location : Northern NY and Southern Arizona

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:59 pm

Callie,

Have fun. I just spoke to a friend in northern NY where I live in the summer and he said that it was snowing there. BRRRRR!! I hope you have a sunny day.
Judy

_______________________________________________

judy-filarecki.artistwebsites.com***filarecki.com ***judyfilarecki.hubpages.com/
Back to top Go down
acadianartist



Posts : 79
Join date : 2009-11-23
Location Location : Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:01 pm

So here are a couple of examples of how I start with the focal point of a painting and paint around it:



Finished painting:



I don't have any WIP pics on this one, but the trees in the foreground were done first in red, yes, red! I often used complementary coloured underepaintings and let just a bit of it show through:

Back to top Go down
acadianartist



Posts : 79
Join date : 2009-11-23
Location Location : Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:08 pm

Sorry about the size of these! Let me try to show a close up of the first one, but with a smaller pic (just so I can get the hang of this!):



Ok, sorry, this came up as a separate post, but should have been in here... best intentions, trying to figure out this forum.
Back to top Go down
Callie
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1233
Join date : 2009-11-21
Location Location : St. Louis, MO USA

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:13 pm

Hi Chantal! Glad to see you here!
Good advice there. Especially about getting the values in. I think that's more important than matching the colors exactly - better to have a good range of values and shapes to provide interest and highlight the focal point.
I'm going to have to try to keep all this in mind while I paint Sunday!

Thanks for sharing, Chantal-

Callie

Your post came in while I was sending mine - just had to add - Love the painting! And it's really helpful (to me) to see your set-up.
Back to top Go down
acadianartist



Posts : 79
Join date : 2009-11-23
Location Location : Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:50 pm

Happy to share Callie! Yes, you can play around with colours, but without the right values, everything seems off. Have fun on Sunday! I hope to get out myself. But frankly, this time of year is more miserable for me than dead winter. The dampness is what really gets to you! I painted a piece by the ocean last weekend and though it wasn't that cold, it was windy and damp and after a couple of hours, I was shivering so badly my brush wouldn't hold still anymore! Not my best work.
Back to top Go down
judyfilarecki
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2685
Join date : 2009-11-16
Location Location : Northern NY and Southern Arizona

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:03 pm

Thanks Chantal,

I never do that with landscapes because I don't want to interrupt the flow of the sky, but your paintings don't seem to have that problem. When I do birds I tend to always paint them first and then deal with the background. I'll have to give it a try with a landscape.

judy

_______________________________________________

judy-filarecki.artistwebsites.com***filarecki.com ***judyfilarecki.hubpages.com/
Back to top Go down
Sofie
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 713
Join date : 2009-11-27
Location Location : Courtenay, BC, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:06 am

I love plein air painting, but you won't get me outside after September or before May, or in the rain. Chantal, I really admire your fortitude to paint outdoors in New Brunswick at this time of year. It must be colder there than it is here on the West Coast. But plein air painting IS one of the best ways to get landscapes down quickly and loosely - a great exercise if you're having trouble with landscapes. You can always fine tune things back in the studio if needed.

Sofie
Back to top Go down
Janet
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2050
Join date : 2009-11-15
Location Location : North Bay, Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:35 am

Callie wrote:
You haven't seen my "to be sanded and painted over" collection

Hi Callie!

lol! I call those my bonfire and going to have a weenie roast pile.

Callie wrote:
But like with most things, the more you practice, the better you get at it (one can hope!).

I'm still hoping! Well at least my last landscape wasn't a big smudgy mess just a partial smudgy mess so I guess that could be considered a step forward. Very Happy

Callie wrote:
I'm going to try to make time to do that landscape (in the challenge) also. Love the colors in it.

Would love to see your version of the landscape! Hope you find the time. Smile

judyfilarecki wrote:
Hi Janet and Callie,
I tend to do pretty much the same as you Callie (not plein air though, yet) except I usually put mid tones after the sky is done and then add the darks and then the highlights. This winter in Arizona, I think I am going to try plein air. The weather out here is no excuse 95% of the time.

Hi Judy, I'm feeling the envy as well. Cold here but only a sprinkling of snow so far. Thank you for sharing your process! Smile

Hi Chantal, Thank you sooo much for sharing your process and the wonderful tips! Birch bark palette you could probably patent that idea. lol! Thank you for the visuals that helps immensely to see exactly how to begin and that is where I had no clue. Well I had not clue about pretty well everything.

Sofie wrote:
I love plein air painting, but you won't get me outside after September or before May, or in the rain.

Hi Sofie! I'm with you on that one! Very Happy

Plein does seem the way to go. Once it warms up I'll give it a try. I know when that day comes I'll have a whole new round of questions. Very Happy

_______________________________________________
Janet
http://janet-coloredpencil.blogspot.com/
Back to top Go down
Callie
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1233
Join date : 2009-11-21
Location Location : St. Louis, MO USA

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:03 am

Janet - Do you have any good views from sitting inside looking out a window? So you could stay warm and do some oil "sketches"? For me, what makes or breaks the landscape is getting the trees down in a believable way. It's easy for me to end up with lots of brown sticks with gobs of little green dots on them. That's where the plein air painting becomes useful, since there's not a lot of time before the light changes, you have to get the shapes massed in quickly, along with some indication of light and shadows - no time to fuss over every little leaf.

So now, even painting from photos - I find that a good way to start. After, you can add as many layers and/or details to get the finish you want. But start with "good bones" (get those values in place), it makes a difference.

Callie
Back to top Go down
Janet
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2050
Join date : 2009-11-15
Location Location : North Bay, Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:40 pm

Callie, Unfortunately my view consists of a football field and the back of a High School. Not very pituresque. Now that my daughter is grown up and living on her own we're looking into a house in the country. I can see how the plein air painting could help. I can get pretty fussy sometimes when I'm painting a landscape. Thank you for the tips! Smile

_______________________________________________
Janet
http://janet-coloredpencil.blogspot.com/
Back to top Go down
acadianartist



Posts : 79
Join date : 2009-11-23
Location Location : Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:26 pm

Thought I'd add some comments on painting from photos as well - something I do when it's too miserable to paint outside (yes, even I have my limits!). First, I keep an old laptop (an antique, really!) in my studio so I'm painting from a digital photo rather than a print. That way I have a bigger reference which feels more real to me. I also play with my photos quite a bit before painting them. My husband got me some great software by Microsoft (Digital Image Suite), but I imagine just about any software has some of these features. I will adjust the colours, crop it, sometimes convert to B & W to study the values, and then I apply one of the filters that come with my program. Here's an example of a photo I took on Grand Manan Island on a plein air painting trip - there is never enough time to paint everything! Then, the photo through the filter, then the finished painting. The filters allow me to get rid of some of the detail.







In the final stages of the painting, I sometimes go back to the original photo to check on some of the details and I might add a thing or two, but usually, the painting is closer to the photo with the filter. Of course, this is because I prefer a loose, painterly approach to realism, but even for a realist, the exercise is useful because it blurrs the details, forcing you to focus on the large masses before getting down to the details. Kind of like how plein air painters squint to get the large masses down.
Back to top Go down
Sofie
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 713
Join date : 2009-11-27
Location Location : Courtenay, BC, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:05 pm

That filter does a great job - it totally reminded me of squinting. I like the way you picked up the earthy reds in the rocks in your painting.
Back to top Go down
Janet
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2050
Join date : 2009-11-15
Location Location : North Bay, Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:25 am

Chantal, Thank you for the tip on the filter. I'll have to go through my different graphics programs and find one I like. Smile

_______________________________________________
Janet
http://janet-coloredpencil.blogspot.com/
Back to top Go down
Callie
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1233
Join date : 2009-11-21
Location Location : St. Louis, MO USA

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:34 pm

I do pretty much the same thing you do, Chantal. I prefer keeping the reference on the screen rather than printing it out. In Photoshop, I make a few different versions of the photo; a B&W copy, a slightly blurred version, and sometimes a lightened copy if the shadows are too dark.
I love how your rocks came out, Chantal. Very nice painting!
Back to top Go down
acadianartist



Posts : 79
Join date : 2009-11-23
Location Location : Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:44 am

Thanks for the compliments Sofie and Callie! Janet, I'd be happy to put one of your favorite landscape pictures through one of my filters and send it back to you... or even do one for the monthy challenge. I have a number of really cool filters - great for doing abstract work too!
Back to top Go down
Janet
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2050
Join date : 2009-11-15
Location Location : North Bay, Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:49 am

Chantal, You're so kind! If you really don't mind I think the monthly challenge landscape would be great for me and others that would be working on it. Smile

_______________________________________________
Janet
http://janet-coloredpencil.blogspot.com/
Back to top Go down
acadianartist



Posts : 79
Join date : 2009-11-23
Location Location : Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:57 am

I don't mind at all Janet Smile! I'm at work now, and those programs are on my home computer, but I'll do it tonight and post it in the monthly challenge forum.
Back to top Go down
Janet
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2050
Join date : 2009-11-15
Location Location : North Bay, Ontario Canada

PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:08 pm

Thank you Chantal! I really appreciate it! Take your time.... no rush. Oh yes work.... I guess I should go do some of that. Smile

_______________________________________________
Janet
http://janet-coloredpencil.blogspot.com/
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Tips on painting a landscape   

Back to top Go down
 
Tips on painting a landscape
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next
 Similar topics
-
» Landscape oil painting by W E Chapman?
» Tips on how to better drybrush metallics?
» [b]The-front-of-the-bonsai-and-the-three-dimensional-painting[/b]
» Chinese landscape
» White tips on junipers

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
 :: Painting Discussions :: Water Soluble Oils-
Jump to: