Landscape & Plein Air Painting Lessons

Welcome to the Landscape and Plein Air Painting section of The art instruction on the following pages has been generously donated by professional artists from all over the world. We are most grateful for their generosity and we hope you enjoy! Happy painting!

Free Landscape & Plein Air Painting Lessons

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  • How to Paint a Landscape in Watercolor

    How to paint a landscape in watercolor

    By John Fisher

    My class for beginners in watercolour tackled their first serious landscape recently, and I wanted to incorporate many of the techniques we have been using over the past season. I chose this subject matter based on a old pencil sketch I’ve had kicking around in my “ideas” file for years as it uses wet-in-wet, dry brush, stone and brick, reflections, foliage, sky, and water....

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  • A Lesson on Atmospheric Perspective

    Lesson on Atmospheric Perspective

    By Richard Robinson

    Welcome to Teal Bay, Northland, New Zealand! My name is Richard Robinson. I’m going to take you through a lesson about atmospheric perspective. Here’s the perfect place to do it. Let’s get started.
    It’s very easy to be inspired to paint in a place like this, but to express any place well, we need to have some basic painting knowledge. This lesson covers a crucial part of landscape painting and one which is often misunderstood. I’m often asked, how do you make those hills seem so far away, and how do you make your painting look so soft, like it’s got light in it? Well, here’s the key, understanding atmospheric perspective. Let’s get into it...

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  • How to Paint a Landscape in Oils by Graham Braddock

    How to Paint a Landscape in Oils

    By Graham Braddock

    Sometimes I set out with an imagined mental picture and then go looking for suitable reference that will give the painting authenticity. Other times I go prospecting for good painting subjects. The demonstration painting, “Memories of Taranaki”, is the result of one such trip. The low light was perfect one still winter afternoon. An ethereal Mt Taranaki presided over the land, majestic, disembodied, cut off from the middle distance by low cloud and mist. I knew my problem was going to be finding a suitable foreground. So, as the light faded, I drove hurriedly down a country road, stopping whenever I saw streams or trees that might prove interesting.

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  • "Sierra Splendor" Landscape Painting Demonstration

    Sierra Splendor By Mike Callahan

    By Mike Callahan

    In the fall of 2007, I was contacted by clients who needed a large painting for their home. They weren’t sure of exactly what they wanted, but they knew they wanted something that captured the majesty and grandeur of the Sierras…I have many reference photos from hikes I’ve done in the area, so using the two photos shown above of the majestic Sierra Buttes from a ridge overlooking the Sardine lakes, I set out to paint a study…

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  • Landscape Painting Demonstration by Dan Schultz

    Oil Painting Tutorial By Dan Dos Santos

    By Dan Schultz

    For this 18″ x 24″ studio painting I used Claessens double-oil-primed linen canvas, #15 (my usual painting surface), mounted on 1/2″ Gator Board. I applied an initial wash to the canvas with a color that I hoped would end up being pretty close to my final color for the creek bed in the foreground. I don’t use any medium with my paint, just mineral spirits (Gamsol made by Gamblin) that I sometimes use to thin the paint (which I did for the initial wash, then lightly wiped it with a paper towel).

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  • Plein Air Painting Demo in Acrylics

    Plein Air Painting Demo

    By Donald Neff

    I have always loved the deep greens, yellows, and sienna's of some of the deep pools as the Merced flows through Yosemite Valley. The colors stand in sharp contrast to the grayish walls of Yosemite Valley. This plein air demo tries to capture that feeling.

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  • Landscape Demonstration in Watercolor

    Landscape Demonstration in Watercolor

    Julie Hirons and Kim Loydall

    Wonderful step by step painting demonstration in watercolor.

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  • Landscape Painting Demonstration in Oil

    Oil Painting Demonstration

    Julie Hirons and Kim Loydall

    Excellent step by step painting demonstration in oil.

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  • Making and Using a Viewfinder to Compose Sensational Landscape Oil Paintings

    A landscape oil painting is wall art on canvas depicting a scenery that is found out in nature. It can be of mountains, trees, pasture, lands full of grass or flowers and other various elements that make up the landscape around us. Sky and weather conditions are often included in these types of compositions too. It can be any place in the world. A recognizable place that a lot of people know or simply a small country home where you grew up. A landscape painting can also be of an isolated cottage in the woods where summers were spent or the city park where flowers blossom and trees tower overhead. Regardless of where the inspiration comes from, a viewfinder can help the artist capture nature's beauty for everyone to appreciate....

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  • 3 Easy Techniques for Dramatically Improving the Composition in All Your Landscape Oil Paintings

    In art, composition is how you arrange the various elements to create a pleasing and eye-catching arrangement or design in your oil painting. Good composition is paramount to whether or not your painting will be a strong and interesting work of art or a weak and disordered one. When the composition is done well, you do not notice it so much. You just know there is something interesting about the painting that you find appealing. However when it is done poorly, the painting doesn't look quite right and just feels awkward. Creating a good composition will be challenging in the beginning and you will have to work at producing a strong one, however eventually with practice, it will become second nature. Here are three easy methods of good composition that you can use to dramatically improve your oil paintings.

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  • Suggestions For Painting Sunlight And Atmosphere Into Your Landscape

    To be a good landscape artist, you have to be a student of nature. If you study the effect sunlight has on the trees, dirt, flowers, rivers, streams, oceans, snow, and everything else in sight, then you know the colors are in constant change with the time of day and the atmospheric conditions. If you are painting your landscape from nature, you may find the hues changing as the sun crosses the sky. In many instances there is the need to finish the work in the studio. You should get in the habit of constantly making color swatches of what you see. If you do this, be certain to make good notes describing the time of day, the month (season), the atmospheric conditions at the time, and the exact color mixing formula. Always keep these filed and notated. It takes time, but you will eventually have hundreds of color swatches that gives you perfect reference material.

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  • Oil Painting Landscapes - Five Valuable Ideas to Create a Spectacular Landscape!

    If you're a true oil painting landscapes aficionado, you find true inspiration in a beautiful landscape!

    There's something about a breathtaking landscape that motivates the artist in all of us to capture its essence on canvas. Speaking for myself, I always want to create a piece that reflects my level of emotion, and I want all future viewers of the painting to feel the transference of these same feelings.

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  • Landscape Painting Tips For Oil Painters

    There is something quite magical about painting outdoors. I feel comfortably secluded with nature having an almost spiritual connection when I paint a landscape. Landscape painting is a passion of mine. I would like to share some tips and techniques that I have become accustomed to using over the years.

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  • Plein Air Painting Tips

    Every artist has his or her subject. It could be people, portraits, group studies or working outdoors, away from the studio. If you like to paint landscapes or cityscapes, then being prepared can save a lot of time and hassle once you set up easel and are ready to paint. Palette, easel and brushes at hand and one should be ready to begin working - and for how ever long it might take, brave the elements till the days work is done.


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