Painting a Landscape

Many people with the creative urge to paint have no formal art training or experience and have no idea where to start.  Don’t be intimidated!  The acrylic landscape painting is a great way to be successful quickly!

painting a landscape

Getting Started for a Simple Acrylic Landscape

  • Choose your paint colours.
  • Block in your primed canvas with a complementary paint colour to cover the canvas, using a large square brush.
  • Use a light (3B) pencil to make a pencil drawing
  • Assess the canvas – where will your dark and light tones be? Squinting helps to figure this out.
  • Start with the dark tones and choose your shade – achieve texture by applying different quantities of paint
  • For the brightest areas, block in with white
  • Add in the other colours. Use a smaller filbert or round brush.  Add layers.
  • Blend and create gradients – add water to thin paint and to brighten.

See this great article for beginners which takes you through the steps!

Quick Tips to Painting Landscapes

forest landscape painting

  • Paint the forest, not the trees! Paint the shapes and colours you see.  Often, less is more.
  • A palette knife can help you achieve interesting textures.
  • Start with a small palette, say 5 colours. Achieve variation with different tones rather than too many colours. 
  • You can use your imagination – you can paint things into your landscape that aren’t there. After all it’s your painting!
  • Conversely, if you want to leave something out you can.
  • To achieve realism, the foreground of your painting should be more detailed than the background.

Don’t Forget

  • Acrylic dries quickly so clean your brushes with water as you go.
  • Use a high quality acrylic paint like Tri-Art High Viscosity or Amsterdam Buttery textured paint and high opacity will enhance your painting.

And finally, love your creation, even if it’s not perfect.  The beauty of art is often in its imperfections.


“Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.”
― Salvador Dali