Red Dot Landscape Painting

Here are the steps for the required landscape in class. 


Get Your Image

Choose from the Landscape Vistas reference or find one that has similar qualities. Be sure and get a good print out or bring your iPad or laptop. Working from an iPhone is not optimal and drives your teacher nuts. Please choose an image from the landscape Vistas (not Details) here:

Landscape Reference Photos


Paint Canvas Red

Paint your canvas a medium red (not crimson) with a good amount of Liquin so that it dries quickly. Paint it several days ahead of class so it's bone dry. For our first day of working on it in class we'll draw it out with paint, and then get into the next step, below.

Don't draw it out at home. Wait until class.



As with our fruit painting, we'll cover the painting with a general coat of paint, paying attention to darks and lights.

Read about a broad palette and landscape reminders at the bottom of this page.


Add more detail

A second coat will focus on more detail and definition.


Final Coat

We'll add more detail, more accurate color, and give the illusion of texture where it's called for. Remember, a broad palette makes all the difference.


Broaden your Palette

Mix a large variety of greens (or blues, or whatever) on your palette. Use the work of Phyllis Shafer to inspire your investigations. Phyllis's Website.


Landscape Reminders 

Mottled brushwork: Keep your brush strokes moving in all directions, similar to your work on the fruit painting. Don't smooth out the paint to be flat.

Atmospheric Perspective: 1. Don't paint your sky too dark; it will look like a night sky. 2. Skies get lighter toward the horizon. 3. The farther way the mountains are, the more blue they appear. They can even appear purple, and are hazier (more white) than the objects in the foreground.

Contrast: Notice the lights and dark on foliage, clouds, and rock/earth. There is contrast just like on the fruit painting.

Green palette:  Mix a lot of different greens. Greens straight out of the tube are almost always too saturated to look real in a landscape. Mix greens with golds and yellows, browns, and blues. Look closely for variety in greens. Avoid white unless it's obviously needed, or you have lots of experience. For great examples of a masterful landscape palette, see talented painter, Phyllis Shafer's Website.

Blending foliage: Don't leave your edges sharp. Blend them with the surrounding color to be softer.