Landscape Painting Ideas 

 February 14, 2024

By  Emma

Landscape painting ideas are easy to find. Every time we go outside, look through a window, or travel, our beautiful world is there for us to see.

This is an introduction page to my landscape paintings, and I’ll add to the post often to share links to other blog posts and lessons. You can also find me on Patreon if you’d like to be part of my community. Over there, you’ll also find copies of my photos and lessons to download.

Anyway, let’s move on. I’ll start with a glimpse of my day so far, and perhaps it will inspire you to look at every moment of the day as an opportunity to train your artistic eye.

Finding Landscape Painting Ideas at Home

I was up at 6 o’clock today, and immediately opened the kitchen door to let some fresh air in. What did I see? My Sweet Peas waving in the morning breeze.

Now, I suppose the question is, do flowers count as landscape paintings?

The answer is of course, sometimes. If you are painting a field of Poppies in Tuscany, or a mountain painting with a wildflower meadow, then I think that fits the brief. So the flowers in my garden can easily be combined with a landscape. I can use the close-up view to get the shape, and pop them into a landscape to create the emotion.

You see, nobody said you have to paint exactly what you see. Yes, botanical illustration is detailed and realistic, as are hyper-realism artworks, but on a daily basis, letting your creative spirit run wild is great.

But back to my day.

With tea in hand at ten-past-six I grabbed my favourite paper and wetted it. With a few dabs of watercolour, a few loose shapes formed at which point I left it to dry.

Then I came back in with a few floral shapes ‘et voila! This was the result (it’s also for sale in my shop).

Landscape painting ideas are everywhere, you just need to take the plunge and stop seeking perfection.

Creating Distance in Your Landscape Paintings

There are simple ways to achieve this, but there is a little knowledge required. Essentially, when you look at a horizon you’ll see that the depth of colour fades. If you can capture this in your landscapes you will improve the painting 100%.

Have a look at the two photos in this post, and you’ll see how the saturation of colour decreases. Do you see?

I often use shades of grey and purple in a very weak mix to suggest trees in the distance. It’s important to stick to the colours you’ve used in the rest of the painting when you create those colours though. Greys and purples are easy to mix, but if you use different blues and reds in the mix it won’t give you a united finish on the painting.

I speak from experience, and in fact recently painted the snowy landscape outside my house. I used a limited palette, and you can read how I did this as well as see my reference photos in my blog post, Snow Painting Day.

On a side note, I will write some more articles like this, as well as demonstrating some mixes. This is one of the most important factors in successful artworks. As always, practice makes perfect! Links will be added, turning this page into a menu of sorts.

Using Photos for Landscape Painting Ideas

Observation is crucial if you are trying to capture a particular scene, but of course the weather may not always be sympathetic! Mobile phones have made it easy to capture a cloudy sky, distant hills, or a perfect seascape. Getting into the habit of taking many photos is worthwhile.

You may find that you combine several different photos. Perhaps you’ll remove a tree that spoils the view, but you’ll have plenty of inspiring landscapes to refer to. In addition, you can look at the intensity of the colour on the horizon and the direction of the shadows. You will start to train your artistic eye.

landscape painting ideas. How to paint water on a beach
Getting ideas for my landscapes and seascapes at Challaborough

I recently went to Challaborough in South Devon for a couple of days, and I took hundreds of photos. Keen to study the light on the water, I took photos at different times of the day. I loved the puddles on the sand as the tide receded. I haven’t used many of them yet, but they are in my artist’s toolbox!

Your job is to create your own toolbox; not just the materials, but the inspiration and knowledge too. Hopefully I can help you do that.

En Plein Air – Landscape Painting Outside

I live in the UK, so often I’m challenged by rain! This doesn’t stop me though.

I always keep a sketchbook with me, even if just visiting Bath or waiting to pick up my daughter. You never know when you’ll have the urge to paint. A few months ago I was sitting in a car park and noticed the fascinating shape of a tree… enter sketchbook!

If I’m sketching outside I often use ink. I like the definitive nature of it and can get a few clean sketches done fast.

If you hope to paint outside start by doing the same. Don’t let lack of an easel stop you. I have a small watercolour travel set that I take with me, but I also have watercolour pencils and a bottle of water. Oh, and the mighty kitchen roll of course!

This is my preferred watercolour set, and you can click the image to find it on Amazon. I use this set in many of my lessons so that they are accessible to many. Yes, I own tubes of paint but I it seems silly to tell beginners to invest in expensive paints straight away. You can create lovely art with these if you know how.

Seascape Painting Ideas

Seascape paintings are part of my daily painting ritual. I never tire of painting coastal scenes, yet I strive to improve.

There are a number of techniques you can use to help you loosen up when you’re painting. Using lots of water, some masking fluid, and a determination  not to fiddle, is a great way to do that. As a constantly moving, living thing, the sea always offers inspiration, and that’s why I love it.

Beaches are fabulous to soak up atmosphere. Whether it’s a deserted sandy one at dusk, or a toe-bending pebble one, there’s always something to make you smile,

I urge you to try painting the sea, and to help you I’m creating some free videos which will be on my You Tube channel. Less is more with my style of painting, and I plan to make it easy for you to make great art.

Final Words

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but please also visit my Patreon page. There are free lessons there as well as some paid. All are affordable though.

The reason I have the page is to help me to help others through art. I am an advocate for using the arts to support our wellness, so I my goal is to do exactly that.

I will be running workshops in 2024. They will be an extension of my online classes, and painting holidays in France will follow.Landscape painting ideas for capturing the French countryside. in watercolour. Loose and expressive artwork

But for now, I’ll leave you because my paints are calling. The sun has appeared and I’m off outside to seek some more landscape painting ideas!

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