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6 Tips to Help You Improve Your Landscape Painting

Landscape painting is a highly popular art form for a wide variety of reasons. To start off with, it can be a highly relaxing activity. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment, and allows you to feel more in tune with nature since you will be deeply involved in the process of recording it onto a physical medium for the whole world to see. Landscape painting is in some ways better than taking a picture because of the fact that you will feel the pride of having made something yourself once you are done. Here are some tips to help you get better at landscape painting:

#1 Focus on Value Definition

If you want your landscape to look truly beautiful, you need to focus on attributing values accordingly. Light shades can focus on the sky if you’re painting in the afternoon, and the shades should get progressively darker as you proceed to paint the horizon, and continuing this darkness progression as you paint objects that are elevated.

#2 Paint Light on Objects

If you are painting grass, you can’t just paint the green blades and be done with it. You need to focus on the light that is being cast upon the grass as well. This is because of the fact that light doesn’t just illuminate objects, it affects their color as well. Sunlight has a golden hue, and the moon has subtle shades of silver. Add these shades to your paintings to make them seem more realistic.

#3 Distance Affects Shade

A common mistake painters make is that they don’t alter shades to mark distance. If something is far away, it will be hazier and less distinct. You can use grey to create this affect. It will make the colors pop a little more on the objects that are closer to the perspective from which you are painting as well.

#4 Only Add What Fits

Landscapes are rarely as serene as they are depicted in paintings. There might be cars driving by, ducks in a pond, people lying down on towels, balls bouncing around. You can choose what you want to add to the painting based on the vision you have for the finished product.

#5 Simplify

Just because there is a lot of detail in a landscape doesn’t mean you have to add all of it. Grouping colors together and smoothening out the view in your painting might very well make the painting seem even nicer to look at. Allowing people looking at your painting to try to figure out what exactly they are looking at can make your painting a lot more interesting.

#6 Have Fun

Just because you are trying to get better at painting doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun in the process. Painting is something that can give you untold amounts of joy, and that should always be present while you are attempting to paint a certain landscape.

6 Tips to Help You Paint Skies And Clouds Beautifully

If you want to take up landscape painting, whether you are pursuing the art for pleasure or to improve other aspects of your craft, you need to learn how to paint skies well. Skies have been featured in art since time immemorial. This probably has something to do with how wild and free the sky looks, how endlessly it stretches to the horizon. Here are some tips to help you learn how to draw clouds and skies beautifully.

#1 Work on Soft Edges

A soft edge is basically a boundary between an object that is hazy and poorly defined. You need to work on this. It’s difficult to master because it’s often so imprecise, but with a bit of practice you will be able to get it done. Look at how soft edge exist in the natural sky, this will give you some pointers.

#2 Use Chromatic Grays

It can be tempting to stuff as much bright and bold color into a painting as possible, but this can often make the painting too intense. Colors that would otherwise be considered dull, such as grey, can actually make the painting seem more realistic. Grey can be used to complement bolder and brighter colors. You can use shades of grey along with complementary hues to bring realism to your painting.

#3 Different Shades For Distance

It is important that you use different shades for clouds that are further away. These clouds should be painted using color shades, whereas warmer shades should be reserved for clouds that are in the foreground. The colors should also get less intense for clouds that are further away. The previous point can help you make distance visible in your two dimensional painting.

#4 Never Use Pure White

Clouds aren’t actually white, not if you look closely at them. They have tinges of blue from sky, or golden or red from the sun based on how high or low it is in the sky. Nighttime clouds often have tinges of navy blue. Make sure you use white chromatically otherwise it will make your clouds look somewhat unnatural.

#5 Feel Free to Improvise

You don’t have to try and copy the landscape onto a canvas if you don’t want to. The sky is your inspiration, and you’re not taking a photo you’re painting which is completely different. You can improvise and add colors and objects as you see fit. There are no hard rules in this regard. Just keep your skills as a painter in mind and add things accordingly.

#6 Mind Your Brush Size

Small brushes can make landscapes look a little too deliberate, and at times even forced. Bigger brushes can help make this less of an issue by adding a bit of looseness to the overall aesthetics of the painting. The finished product will look slightly less precise but that is how it should be because nature is hardly ever precise. Rough lines and soft edges are what landscape painting is all about.

Planning Color Schemes Using a Color Wheel

Sometimes as an artist you might find yourself struggling to find inspiration. Even if you have an idea of what you want to paint, figuring out the right color palette can be a struggle. Using a color wheel would help you make the process a lot easier to deal with overall. This is because of the fact that a color wheel allows you to get new inspiration about out of the box color patterns that you can use. Whether you are going for more harmonious color combinations or if you want some contrast to make your painting seem a little bolder, a color wheel can help you get the kind of combinations you need.

There are six basic color schemes that you can go for on a color wheel:

Monochromatic

This focuses on a single color and adds shades and tints to add a bit of variety to the mix.

Analogous

This is the next step. There is a bit more variety here. The colors that you will be using with this kind of scheme are going to be closely linked to one another, but they will still be more or less different colors from one another.

Complementary

If you want to use a complementary color scheme, you will have to use colors that are directly opposite one another on the color wheel in tandem with one another. This is a further step away from the pure harmony of monochromatic schemes towards a more contrast oriented frame of mind.

Split Complementary

With this kind of color scheme you are going to start off with a base color and then use one complementary color from each side of it on the color wheel.

Triadic

In this color scheme you will be using three colors. The colors will be equidistant from one another on the color wheel. If you look at the three points from a bird’s eye view, you will see that they form an equilateral triangle.

Tetradic

This is one of the boldest color schemes you can go for. You basically choose a color, choose a complement for the color, choose another color and then do the same with that. Two colors and two complements, all of which are equidistant on the color wheel. This will look like a square of you look at the color wheel from above.

Using a color wheel can help you figure out patterns and combinations that would look incredible. Not only is this good for painting, it is good for selecting a wardrobe as well. You will be able to find colors that match in ways you might never have thought possible in the first place. Try to understand the color wheel and use it regularly. The more you use it, the more likely it will be that it gives you the kind of results you need to think outside the box in terms of color combinations.