Acrylic paints are versatile and this is useful for painting landscapes. Acrylics are diluted with water or an acrylic medium to create transparency and mimic the coloration of water. The dye is used from the container for a medium consistency. Apply layers of paint to create the illusions of thickness seen in oil painting.
1. Sketch or draw the scenery from the original scenery, a photo, or your imagination.
Use light pencil strokes, colored pencils, or chalk to draw an outline. It is difficult to cover thick pencil marks if creating a transparency element such as water or thin clouds. Contour drawing with acrylics to avoid pencil marks.
2. Use oil painting technique by preparing the canvas surface with a primer only if the surface is rough. Use acrylic plaster to smooth rough surfaces. Commercial paper and canvases are prepared for acrylics.
I like to prime my surface with white paint as it seems to add more body or richness to the second coat of paint. Or paint the background with various colors to mark selected areas. For example: blue for the sky, green for wooded areas, and yellow for a field of wildflowers.
3. Are you painting a landscape outdoors? A spray bottle of distilled water helps keep acrylics moist, or use retarders or slow-drying mediums to keep paints moist.
4. Practice traditional paint strokes, experiment with different techniques, and let your imagination create other methods.
Several brushing techniques used by artists are worth practicing. You may want to experiment with different strokes using thin, medium, and thick paint. If you’re like me, you’ll experiment with other objects for creative effect.
5. Palette knives, toothbrushes, sponges, cotton balls, craft sticks, paper, and other sundries create effects.
I find texture to be a challenge in landscape painting. Nature creates soft, rough, stringy, and a variety of other tactile sensations with plants, trees, grasses, flowers, and other flora. A tree trunk has rough bark, blades of grass are narrow, plant life varies from soft to spiny leaves, bodies of water have movement, and rocks have varied surfaces. Using different objects helps with irregularities, spots, roughness, and blurriness. You will enjoy discovering and creating varied textures with or without brushes. Many coats of paint will create texture.
6. Gather knowledge of Tint.
Acquire knowledge of primary, secondary, warm and cold colors and mix them. Red and green produce brown, blue and yellow produce green. The reason for understanding color mixtures is that nature is not just one color. Landscape scenery uses many colors along with light, dark, and shadows that produce reality in your landscape.
7. Make a color chart
Mix paints in small quantities to avoid waste. This is the importance of a color chart that provides mixing portions. The chart is a permanent guide to accuracy and time savings. Acrylic paints dry quickly, spray them with water to keep them moist while you work. An acrylic medium is mixed with paints for longer working times.
7. Reserve a space for your artwork. The artwork should sit on a counter or easel for a day or more. You will want to restrict this area from others. Storage space for art supplies is essential.
8. Clean brushes after each painting session. Synthetic brushes are made of nylon or polyester and are easy to wash with soapy water. Then wring it out, shape it, and store it in a safe, dry place to ensure a longer life for your brushes. Dried paint on a brush is very difficult or impossible to remove. These paints will stain clothing; wear an apron or protective cape.
9. Protect the finished job with a sealer. Store in a secure, cool, dry container. I keep my paintings in folders and cardboard boxes.
10. Sign your artwork. Are you planning to sell your creations? Copyright of your work.
People who paint real or imagined landscapes benefit from fun and achievement. Artists will learn a lot about combinations of textures and colors.