How to Establish a Mood for More Impact

Some of the most popular subjects for me that sell really well are are rustic buildings with flowers. Pet portraits are also bestsellers, and landscape paintings are popular, too. These top subjects are just based on my own experiences. There is more to making art that sells beyond subject matter. That includes establishing a certain mood in a landscape painting or other scene to increase the appeal for all viewers, regardless of who they are or what genres they might be drawn to at first glance.

Landscape painting: How to Establish a Mood for More Impact by Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork.com
Carmel Mission, located in the town of Carmel, CA, is a wonderful setting with the flowers surrounding it.

Why a Mood?

What will help you sell your art is establishing a mood that shows the viewer an uncommon scenario. It isn’t easy for viewers to get excited with small paintings that show an average, ordinary-looking daytime scene. You have to find and paint what makes that scene exceptional and extraordinary.

I mostly depict scenes that will show twilight, sunsets, pink skies, foggy scenes and nocturnes. Here are several landscape paintings with examples of established moods to give you insight and inspiration on how to pursue mood in your own art.

Also join me for my live online painting workshop, Essentials of Foggy Scenes, accepting students for the live and recorded video sessions now. We will learn all about mood together and you’ll see how the power of fog specifically can really enhance the color and light of a painting.

Landscape painting: How to Establish a Mood for More Impact by Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork.com

Mists and Mystery

Fog is a very reliable tool to create the illusion of depth. Do you feel you can walk deeper and deeper into the woods?

Landscape painting: How to Establish a Mood for More Impact by Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork.com

The Appeal of Warmth

This early morning scene takes place in Rockport, Massachusetts. It’s in an overall warm scenario. Most of my buyers appreciate paintings with predominantly warm colors. Of these warm colors, orange and red-orange are the most favored. Because this type of sky does not last long, you can say it’s an “out of ordinary” occurrence. The lights make the homes very inviting.

Landscape painting: How to Establish a Mood for More Impact by Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork.com

Winter Mix

This twilight winter rendering, where the sun is just about to set, results in several warm colors glowing. The lavenders help bring relief to the warm colors. Take into account that a painting can be too warm, as well as too cool. The goal is to balance these two opposing color temperatures just right. Only one temperature should be predominant, so you can establish a clear mood that isn’t confused.

Landscape painting: How to Establish a Mood for More Impact by Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork.com

Up Above

The sky dictates the mood as well as the overall colors of a landscape painting. When I added the highlights on the rocks I used the same colors as in the sky, just in a different value. Instant cohesion!

Landscape painting: How to Establish a Mood for More Impact by Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork.com

Night Time, Right Time

Nocturne scenes are definitely considered as paintings with moods.The viewer engages their imagination because many details are left out in this dark environment.

Landscape painting: How to Establish a Mood for More Impact by Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork.com

Glimmers of Light

How about adding some sun rays for a spiritual touch? This type of scene can be inspiring and evoke a lot of emotion because of its contrast of light and dark.

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