Landscape painting is perfect for nature and art lovers! But that doesn’t mean it’s without its challenges. Here are a few tips for beginners trying their hand at landscape painting.
Don’t Bring Too Many Art supplies
The simpler, the better. With lots of supplies, not only will it take a lot of time to set up and take down, but you might miss the perfect moment.
A simple solution is to have an easel that holds everything you need to start painting. An easel with a drawer is a good thing to look for as your supplies will be close at hand, and you’ll have just the right amount of space for only the supplies you need. Your paints, a few brushes, and a palette knife. You’ll just need to bring some water and paper towels as well, and that’s it! No need to have a ton of art supplies.
Know Your Value Distribution
Value is the difference between light and dark. When doing a landscape painting, you want to be on the lookout for those areas. Note in your mind what is the lightest object you can see and what is the darkest. Keeping these values in mind is key to creating your composition correctly. The play between light and dark is what makes paintings come to life and look right.
If your painting is feeling off, it may be because there isn’t enough change between light and dark areas. Create more contrast in your painting by deepening your darks and lightening your lights and seeing how that affects your work.
Know How Light Affects Color
Just as you should know how value will affect your painting, you should know how light will affect it as well.
The color of light affects the color of everything. It’s not just that sunlight makes things lighter, it also makes things warmer. The same goes for shadows. It’s not just that the shadow a tree casts on the ground is darker, but it’s also a bit cooler. So, be sure to pay careful attention to how light and color are interreacting with one another.
It’s All Just Shapes, Lines, and Colors
This goes for every type of painting, but it’s important to remember. When you’re a beginner, you may set yourself up in front of a beautiful scene and find yourself completely overwhelmed by everything in it. There are so many trees or boats or clouds!
The trick is to think about the elements in your scene not as clouds, trees, and boats but rather as various shapes, lines, and colors. The sailboat in front of you may look intimidating, but it’s really just triangles, half-circles, and lines. By simplifying it and focusing on the shapes, lines, and colors, you should have a painting that looks like your landscape.
Keep it Simple
As a beginner, it can be easy to get caught up in the details. But it’s important to remember you don’t need to add every single detail to your painting.
You can do this by adding less contrast in value and making objects less detailed. Or even omitting things like animals, cars, power lines, or people. Remember that anything that isn’t the focal point is a detraction from it. You want everything to flow and emphasize that focal point, so adjust your painting accordingly.
Embrace Imperfection and Variety
Variety and imperfection are the spices of life! In nature, everything is unique. So, train your eyes to see differences as beauty, not flaws. Then add that variety into your painting by varying your colors, shapes, and details.
Trees often lack variety in paintings, so look out for the subtle changes in hues of green. Notice the different shapes of trees, even if it’s subtle. Finding the imperfections and variety in nature and learning to paint it will bring life into your landscape painting.
As a painter, there is never an end to growing! There’s always more to learn and improve on, no matter how long you’ve been painting. So as a beginner, don’t ever give up or believe you’re not a good artist. Keep practicing and taking advantage of opportunities in order to grow. It’s a wonderful thing to learn from other artists and improve your skills.
Sharing my passion for painting is something I love doing. So I hope this little beginner’s guide helps you! If you’d like to own a landscape painting without having to paint one yourself, check out and purchase one of my paintings! And of course, if you have a question about one of my pieces, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for supporting your local Colorado artists!