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Painting Landscapes with Acrylic Paints

Tricia Deed enjoys and relaxes with her hobby of painting portraits and landscapes with acrylic paints.

Red Door of a Stone Cottage

A red door entry to a country cottage framed with greenery in red planter pots on either side of the door.

A red door entry to a country cottage framed with greenery in red planter pots on either side of the door.

Landscape Painting Defined

Landscape painting comprises drawing, sketching, or painting elements of nature that do not include human beings or animals. Three categories:

  • Mountains, plus rivers, streams, creeks, winding roads, hills, lakes, and ponds. The ocean, sunset, and sunrise. The desert and plains represent flat country areas.
  • Vegetation including trees, shrubbery, assorted plants, flowers, and grasses.
  • Land usage with or without objects. This includes buildings, highways, ranches, and types of farms. Windmills, trains, and bridges are examples of structures.

Depicting outdoor scenes is relaxing and calming. The tranquilizing effects occur both indoors and outdoors during the entire procedure. There are emotions of contentment and serenity. It adds meditation benefits to our quality of life. Compositions from the past and into the present contribute to history, showing how natural scenery varies throughout the seasons.

The scene may portray realism, fantasy, or originate from your imaginative images and ideas.


Tropical Landscape

A tropical house nestled among trees with a couple walking on a sandy road carrying baskets on their heads.  Note the overall balance, tropical tints, appropriate clothing on figurines, scale and size.

A tropical house nestled among trees with a couple walking on a sandy road carrying baskets on their heads. Note the overall balance, tropical tints, appropriate clothing on figurines, scale and size.

Paint Indoors or Outdoors

A universal method of arresting a permanent memory is to have photos. These images record bright and dark light sources throughout the day, saving repeated personal visits to the site seeking to seize the ideal bright effect.

The second advantage is painting the selected scenery indoors, never fearing inclement weather or troublesome insects while painting. Consider sitting by an interior window painting as long as you please.

Acrylics dry quick. Use an atomizer bottle to spray both the artwork and the canvas with water. Two alternative solutions to drying is to add retarders or slow-dry medium to prolong wetness.

May you have people or animals included in a picture? Yes. however, some artisans may experience difficulty. It can be tricky.

Figurines and Animals:

  • Scale and size of the figurines are important.
  • Choose detail or free form images.
  • Clothing and tints to suit the environment
  • What is the figure doing? Is it essential or troubling to the scene?

Painting landscapes is peaceful. Artists capture nature and replicate it on canvas using a variety of application tools and techniques. Outdoor scenes are familiar decor in homes and offices. Buyers decide their choice by color or theme.

Tips and Ideas

  1. A popular method of capturing the outdoors is to take photos during different times of the day or use photos from your travel adventures. This can be more time saving than sitting outdoors for long periods of time or venturing out on different days hoping to capture the right light effect.
  2. Look around your immediate environment, do you have exceptional scenery that you would like to capture on canvas?
  3. Set up your easel at the beach, your favorite lake site, a mountain site, or a neighborhood park.
  4. Sit by a home window which presents beautiful scenery from the lawn or flower beds.
  5. Review magazines for landscape pictures.
  6. Meditate; then draw and paint a landscape picture from your memory.

Watercolor Techniques

Illustration of a bridge crossing over a water location painted with watercolor techniques.

Illustration of a bridge crossing over a water location painted with watercolor techniques.

Sketching

You may or may not choose to lay out your ideas before applying paint. I have worked it both ways.

Sketching allows making corrections and viewing the final product in its outlined form. Draw or sketch using light strokes. Several layers of acrylic paint may not cover up light grey or black exposed markings. Use colored pencils to support coloring choices and easy cover up.

It may be necessary to prepare paper or canvas surface with a layer of background paint. Use a broad synthetic brush to make a series of horizontal, vertical, or interweave strokes for the intended mental sketch and include color guidelines for trees, plants, and other vegetation.

A brush load of paint without sketching is freedom to permit errors and happy accidents. Your colored creation will have many twists and changes as it shapes your landscape painting. It is an excellent challenge.

Hint: The acrylic paints which are thick in consistency like oil paints have more pigment and are more expensive.

Qualities

  1. Proportion-The sizes of the objects should be scale-appropriate. Use perspective techniques.
  2. Order-Begin the landscape outline starting from the background to the foreground.
  3. Repetition-many items will renew, but size, frequency, and coloring differ.
  4. Unity-The picture needs to make sense.
  5. Organization-Be trained to use essential and innovative composition skills. Introduce new ideas.
  6. Simplicity
  7. Balance-Nature is orderly. The size, color, and diverse elements enhance your work by delivering a visual story.
  8. Texture-The artist produces flat surfaces representing smooth, rough, silky, plus more to bring the art piece to life.

The person reviewing the picture needs to perceive that they are in the scenery experiencing their personal feelings. The artists paint their heart-felt passions with each brush stroke.

Acrylic paints create texture by either thinning with water, layering, or using thick paint straight from its container. The dense acrylic paints are like oil paint consistency. The higher the pigment content, the more it costs.

oil paint texture

Sample of creating oil paint texture with acrylics high in pigment content.

Sample of creating oil paint texture with acrylics high in pigment content.

Painting Principles

There are seven items to consider when drawing, sketching, or painting.

  1. Proportion-The sizes of the objects should be scale-appropriate. It uses perspective techniques.
  2. Order-Begin the landscape outline moving from the background to the foreground.
  3. Repetition-many items will repeat, but their size, frequency, and coloring will vary.
  4. Unity-The painting needs to make sense.
  5. Organization-Be prepared for basic and creative painting techniques and ideas. Art supplies should well stocked and within easy reach.
  6. Balance-There is order in nature. The size, color, and other issues to help enhance your work should complete the visual story.
  7. Texture-The artist creates flat surfaces,smooth, rough, course, silky and more to bring the art piece to life.

The person looking at the painting needs to be in the scenery and experience sensations of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.

Acrylic paints create texture by either thinning with water, layering, or using thick paint directly from its container. Hint: The acrylic paints which are thick in consistency like oil paints have more pigment and are more expensive. ..

Assorted Painting Tools

Acrylic painting techniques for painting landscapes is an adventure onto itself. Using different techniqes will produce various results. However, the painting tools and your brush stroke style will create many variables.

How you use your painting tools is critical for creating beautiful landscape art. You may use brushes, palette knives, towels, fingers, paper towels, sponges, craft sticks, and other notions.

The acrylic paint itself will also create interesting textures from watery transparency to thick oil textures. Acrylics are very versatile which will match your artistic style of traditional through experimental.

Horizontal Tinted Sky and Water

Red, orange, and yellow hues streak across a sky dotted with white clouds. A border of pine trees on land are reflected in yellow tinted water. A flying eagles graces the sky.

Red, orange, and yellow hues streak across a sky dotted with white clouds. A border of pine trees on land are reflected in yellow tinted water. A flying eagles graces the sky.

7 Brush Stroke Types

Use horizontal, vertical, plus diagonal strokes to prepare the canvas color guideline for freelance landscaping. I find layering the hues helpful as guidelines for final tint choices. The technique of layering seems to offer added richness, a variety of unannounced colors, and color intensity enhancement. Apply wet-on-wet, dry techniques, or mix and match.

Are you composing a sky?

  1. Horizontal Strokes of coloration will prepare the canvas for your sky. Applications of white, blue, violet, and pink start a sunrise, sundown, or a splendid blue sky with light fluffy clouds.
  2. Layering is one of many acrylic painting skills. It is a brush stroke application which artists may apply in painting on their work surface of paper, canvas, textile, wood, glass, and other surfaces. Layers of tints can generate the illusion and the tactile quality of a rocky road or wood bark.
  3. Thin your paint with water, creating water coloring consistency to have translucent images, such as windows, sheer curtains, and raindrops.
  4. Blend colors designing effects in setting up a sunrise or a sunset. The tints will combine with each brushstroke. There are no telltale signs showing the beginning or the end of a color.
  5. Vertical strokes produce lake scenes with its reflective look by pulling downward with the brush at the edge of the shoreline into the water. Your strokes can be short or long.
  6. Use vertical strokes for tall and upright structures. Fill gaps in surface areas with interweaving strokes to form texture. I have discovered this technique fills background paper peek-a-boos and sets a backdrop for shrubbery and other flora.
  7. Scumbling is placing a thin second coating of color on another. A popular use for this method is illustrating sparkling effects on water, creating mist, and making clouds. You may choose to scumble with dry or wet-on-wet techniques.

Fantasy Landscape

Having a problem with reality? Try painting a fantasy landscape.

Having a problem with reality? Try painting a fantasy landscape.

3 Acrylics Styles

Acrylics offer the opportunity to illustrate three distinctive styles using a single product source. Incorporate one or three options to design your masterpiece. This adaptability allows freedom to experiment and work out a style without investing in assorted tints and supplies for a one-time use. There are no pungent fumes or harsh chemicals to incorporate or to clean brushes and equipment. These tints are water based rating them non-allergenic.

Applications:

1. Direct control

Apply a coat of color to a selected surface. The adaptability of this tint helps you to choose several methods to achieve any illusion. Add water getting transparency, layer to develop depth or quality, get higher pigment concentration to resemble oil pigments.


2. Watercolor effects

Water is the key ingredient for this style of painting. The pigment is the color describes the object. Use recommended paper or canvas. Use both wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry techniques. Keep paper tissue or paper towels available to wipe away bleeds or surplus water. Do you enjoy experimenting? This may be your favorite medium.

3. Oil paint

Use a large count pigment content to imitate the heavy rich vibrant colors of oil. Add layers of color to gain your visual ideas. The developing layers will mirror the lifelike dimensional quality noted in oil paintings.

Tips:

  • Use synthetic brushes with these tints.
  • Acrylics dry rapidly. Be prepared to perform fast or include a retarding agent.
  • After the paint has dried, it is permanent.
  • Use a cloak as acrylics will stain fabric.

Autumn Mist

Water coloring effect of mist scanning across mountains and lake site.

Water coloring effect of mist scanning across mountains and lake site.

Acrylic Painting Techniques

Acrylic painting will require practicing different types of techniques.

Practicing is our path to understanding how to work tools to create effects desired on canvas. The advantage of working with the acrylics is its versatility.

Do you enjoy water coloring?

These paints can be applied as water coloring, oil painting, or as itself. Thin your tint to the watery consistency you wish; apply to canvas. It is important to use textured paper designed for water coloring. Have a sheet of a paper toweling handy to wipe and stop bleeds as needed.

Do you like the texture found in oil paintings?

This is easily done by layering acrylic paint to desired thickness. Less paint will be needed by purchasing a higher pigment content. As the layers build it will create texture and lifelike dimensional quality as seen in oil paintings. There is acrylic paper and canvases designed for this type of application.

Painting with acrylics

Apply the paint to the selected paper or canvas and start. The versatility of this paint will allow you to use all three methods to create any illusion. Adding water for more transparency, using the paint as it, or layering to create more texture. Acrylics open a world of choices for texture. Have fun with it.

10 Simple Acrylic Painting Tips Do's & Don'ts,

Types of Paints

Comments

AbsorbArt from United States on October 10, 2016:

Cool hub! The image using the vertical technique with the waves and the surfer is awesome! The color of the waves was a good choice!

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