Free Guide to Landscape Painting for Beginners

Pastoral, lush, dry, jagged, flat, or rolling, the landscape is nothing if not diverse. It calls to artists all over the world to photograph, study, and paint it. Follow in the footsteps of historic and countless artists before you by learning how to paint the landscape. But where do you start? Once you have chosen your preferred medium, all you need next is a scene, and a little guidance.

Landscape Painting for Beginners (a free download) will help you take the first steps to learning how to paint the landscape. Start with Elizabeth Tolley’s expert advice on composition and design for landscape painting, including creating a focal point and center of interest, and understanding shapes. Then learn how to paint trees with Claudia Nice’s clear step-by-step demonstration on painting a shade tree in watercolor. Next you’ll learn 10 techniques for painting trees with Cathy Johnson. Last but not least, get inspiration on how to paint cityscapes with John Salminen.

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Featured Articles and Tutorials from Landscape Painting for Beginners: Tips on Composition, Painting Trees, and More

Landscape Painting Techniques

In this excerpt from Oil Painter’s Solution Book: Landscapes, Elizabeth Tolley answers common questions that beginners have about creating their first landscape paintings.

• How do I determine what to include?

• What is an interesting shape?

• What are action lines?

• How do I divide space in my painting?

• How do I create a center of interest or focal point?

• Where should I place the center of interest?

Learn how to paint trees perfectly every time with this guide!

Learn How to Paint Trees Perfectly Every Time

Claudia Nice breaks down the process of painting a pastoral scene in watercolor in this four-step demonstration on how to paint a shade tree, excerpted from her timeless book Draw and Paint Trees in Watercolor, Pen and Ink. “Mature shade trees have lofty, spreading branches and heavy foliage that casts rich, dark shadows,” Nice says. “When the summer sun climbs high overhead and the air shimmers with heat, both man and beast seek the coolness found beneath the boughs of the shade tree. In this pasture landscape, it’s a flock of sheep that have found comfort beneath a grand old tree.”

“Nearly every landscape contains at least some trees—even the desert has Joshua trees. And there are almost as many ways to paint trees as there are artists to paint them.” This comes from Cathy Johnson’s Watercolor Magic (April 2007, now Watercolor Artist) article on painting trees. Learn 10 techniques with this handy page that you can print and use as a reference.

Cityscape Painting Inspiration

In this feature article from The Artist’s Magazine (January/February 2009), Maureen Bloomfield takes you into the world of cityscape artist John Salminen. “Constable’s clouds, Turner’s mists—the English tradition of watercolor is marked by transparent skies and turbulent seas, evocations of nature rendered with sweeping washes that make the most of the white of the paper,” she writes. “How different is John Salminen’s work! In place of a simple landscape executed with the speed of a sketch are crowded streets, where the viewer is confronted with a ravishing surface that dissolves to a palimpsest of beautiful fragments. This stirring visual effect simulates the cacophony of a city—swirls of sirens, signs, smells—in a setting where the buildings, bridges, streets, as well as the city-dwellers, are shades of black and gray.”

Claim Your FREE Download of Landscape Painting Tips Today!

Start landscape painting today! Take advantage of these free articles and excerpts from The Artist’s Magazine, Watercolor Artist, Draw and Paint Trees in Watercolor, Pen and Ink, and Oil Painter’s Solution Book: Landscapes to help you learn how to paint landscapes! Along with this free download, you’ll receive the free newsletter with landscape painting techniques, inspiration and more!