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Friday, June 17, 2011

Tips for Painting Landscapes with Oils for New Artists

Oil painting is a style of painting followed by many artists and as these paints are tough and long lasting, they can be used easily in any type of painting. Especially for landscape painting, oils are very effective. Many famous paintings are made using oil paints and one of the most liked and best selling paintings are those which are landscapes using oil paint. Let me share a few tips for painting landscapes for the new artists.
Make it a habit and try to observe nature as much as possible. The most inspirational and symbolic artworks are those made by observing nature at its best. For your first landscape use a reference photo if you have of a landscape. Select a corner or the best you like from the scenery. This is one of the most common mistakes done by many artists is that they try to put too much in one painting. Even when I began, I felt the need to put too many things on one canvas, the result is you get an painting that does not have focus, or focal point.
Selecting simple student’s colours or artists colours is your choice. Keep the painting area clean and clutter free and have rags and other materials like cleaner, pencils, colours and drawing board ready, in other words make the place for painting. Beginning of any artwork especially landscape has to be done by making a rough sketch of the scene on paper or canvas. By doing this you demarcate the areas for water, stones, mountains or sand as is in your picture.
If you like to paint directly from the tube like I do then it is very simple, place colours selected on your palette along with some black and white for mixing to get proper shades. If you use thinner then have the dipper ready near the palette of colours. Observe the colours in the landscape as many of us neglect this aspect is that no single colour will give you the desired result,   nature has many shades and you will have to mix different colours especially for making the greens. The red of flowers is also not ready and an artist has to try and mix different shades and colours of red to get he correct colour. So also for other colours for mountains, water and sunlight try mixing colours on your palette and not directly on the canvas otherwise there are chances of getting a muddy colour or stains in your landscape.
It is better to make use of lighter colours first and then move on to cover up or give specific shapes with a darker shade of that colour. Many artists also do the mistake of making outlines with black colour. Please!  Nature does not have any outlines, you have to use similar shades of that particular colour and darken it to define outlines of any shape. Since you are using oil paints in case of any mistakes you can over paint it, or remove the colour by using a cloth with remover or thinner applied on it.
The most important point while doing landscapes is that there is no right way. You can proceed painting any way, start from top or bottom, side or cross ways, as you like it. Do not be tied down by too many rules as this will hamper your creativity and remember the most beautiful landscape is the one that gives you satisfaction on completion and not the one that you have done following all rules of painting strictly but ended up making a painting which looks like a copy of your photograph of landscape.  


  1. Such an amazing article! I really enjoy reading it, very good insights, the article is very ell-said. A thumbs up!

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