Landscape Painting Tips For Beginners

One of the landscape painting tips for beginners I recommend most is learn to draw.

Because one of the crucial core art skills for any artist, beginner and veteran alike, is imagining how to make an interesting scene into an interesting piece of art.

And often you only discover how to do that by creating sketchbook drawing ideas. Creating different versions of what you see.

By making changes to the scene in front of you, you have a chance to eliminate problems.

And heighten its strengths.  

Here is just one of many possible painting ideas that could be created by a budding landscape artist.

Using this photograph as inspiration.

One of your sketchbook drawing ideas might be to imagine these red weathered cliffs as being separate from and in front of the lighter cliff wall.

And what if the red cliffs were in shadow?

Darkly shadowed red cliffs could make the picture much more striking.

Especially if you also imagined the lighter rock wall bathed in the warm glow of late afternoon sun.

But you never discover that landscape painting idea unless you free your imagination.

By developing sketched ideas first.

That's why one of my frequently voiced landscape painting tips for beginners is learn to draw.

And especially, learn to use tonal values in your drawing.

Your sketches don't need to be high quality art. My sketch above certainly isn't.

It only needs to be good enough.

Good enough that you understand what you intend to do with your paints.

So you know where to put the darkest color values. Where the lightest values should go.

Like in this second sketch.

My next landscape painting tip for beginners is a strong suggestion to come closer to your subject.

Or, at least consider it. 

That's what I've done here. I've focused on the red cliffs and made them the star of my intended art.

The lighter rock wall on the right is not important in this idea.

So I darkened it so it's less distracting.

To make them less distracting I also darkened the light rock layers in the lower right.

Now, I suppose, the remaining question is this.

How to turn a black and white sketch into a color painting?

Next week.

Best Wishes,
Gary Gumble
Founder of
Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. (George Bernard Sha

P.S. The last of my landscape painting tips for beginners is this.

Don't be in such a hurry.

Too often, I think, you can be too anxious to get going. To put paint on paper or canvas, I mean.

Well, anyone can slap paint on paper or canvas.

The most important question is: Will the paint look interesting when you are done?

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