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How to Paint a Landscape
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What is it that many artists find helpful to observe a subject's essential qualities?
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Hi, I'm Jacob Taxis for About.com. In this video you will learn how to paint a landscape.You'll need:Decide if you'd like to paint en plein air, French for "in the open air" or if you'd like to paint from an image indoors. Take time to study the landscape. Notice the general shapes, values, and tones of the land. Many artists find squinting to be a helpful way to observe a subject's essential qualities.With landscape painting you want to convey the essence of the land – not necessarily every detail. Take time to get familiar with the atmosphere and the essence. Now loosely lay down an underpaint onto your canvas. Burnt Sienna is recommended. The underpaint gives the painter an alternative to starting on a stark white canvas.Next, using your underpaint tone, break up the canvas by sketching in the main shapes and elements of the landscape. While the canvas is still wet, use your paper towel or rag to remove paint from the lightest areas of the landscape. Lift it out to start creating a sense of value in your piece. Study the measure of lightness or darkness in the landscape - in other words, study the value relationships. With paint describe the range of values using your underpaint color.Next, start layering color from dark tones to light. You want to keep the paint thin so that the underpaint will be mildly visible.When painting the sky it is important to hit the right color temperature. Work with subtle, light washes as you fine tune the tones in the sky. Keep the background general and focus more detail work into the foreground of the painting.
Now go in to define the darks and the lights – this boosts an overall level of contrast. When you apply the light colors, use a thicker paint consistency. Soften hard edges and work to resolve any inharmonious elements of your composition.
When your painting is completely dry, add a layer of varnish with a wide bristle brush. Your landscape painting is finished!
Thank you for watching, for more info see Painting.About.com.
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