Bringing Energy Into Landscape Painting: Abstract Flower Field | Alina Harvi | Skillshare

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Bringing Energy Into Landscape Painting: Abstract Flower Field

teacher avatar Alina Harvi, Artist & Traveler

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Project

    • 3. Inspiration

    • 4. Tools & Materials

    • 5. Imprimatura

    • 6. Sketching The Composition

    • 7. Blocking In Color: Sky

    • 8. Blocking In Color: Horizon

    • 9. Blocking In Color: Flower Field

    • 10. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


                                              Bring energy into your abstract landscape painting

In this class, discover how to bring energy and expression into your landscapes. Draw inspiration from nature, explore your impressions, and create amazing artwork with bold vibrant colors.

You'll learn:

  • Gather inspiration for a reference landscape
  • Explore the experience and feel of the landscape.
  • Modify and sketch composition of the landscape
  • Loosen up the landscape painting
  • How to make bold decisions on colors and shapes.

This class is great both for beginners as well as experienced artists. If you have painting experience, creating such an abstract landscape will be easy for you, but you will learn to bring energy and emotion to your artworks through the colors and shapes. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Alina Harvi

Artist & Traveler



Hi all, thank you for checking out my Skillshare page! I'm Alina, I'm a translator, manager, and self-taught artist.  My two biggest passions in life are art and traveling. One day I dream to combine those two passions of mine and never take them apart. In meanwhile, I create oil paintings, oil pastel drawings, travel sketches, and art classes. 

I love sharing my knowledge, the process of creating classes is something really inspiring for me. I want more people to discover and to love my art and my classes. For this reason, I want to share them here with you and I hope you'll love them! 


You can support me on Patreon, where I'm sharing the patron-only posts with an inside look at upcoming paint... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Abstract landscapes are one of my favorite paintings to create, Mostly because nature is always so inspiring Every time I'm traveling, I tend to take photos, sketch, or memorize landscapes I see in order to catch them into my paintings someday. Hello and welcome to this abstract landscape class. In fact, it's not my first landscape glass on Skillshare. There are two more classes on how to create abstract landscapes and they all differ from each other. That's why I like abstract landscapes so much. No matter how many paintings you create, you can always discover new ways to do that. In this class, you will learn how to bring energy to the landscape painting and make it more expressive and abstract. You’ll see that creating abstract landscape paintings is in fact not difficult. With a little bit of knowledge and practice you can create amazing artworks. This class is great both for beginners as well as for experienced artists. If you have painting experience, list class will be easy for you, but you will learn how to create abstract landscapes in a new way. 2. Project: The project for this class is abstract landscape painting. I hope you will enjoy it. By translating your emotion and impression of the landscape, you will bring energy into your abstract landscape for vibrant, colorful painting. To do that, firstly, we'll draw inspiration from the different sources. This would be your travel photos, pictures from Pinterest, view from your window, and even your imagination. After the search for inspiration and gathering ideas for your landscape, there is a process of exploration that we will go through, which means We will analyze this experience and impression in order to translate them into our abstract landscape painting, we'll gather all the needed materials for this class and then we'll be ready to start our creative process. We’ll establish the color, mood and composition of the scene. so that we will be ready to make our first marks on the canvas. Then we will add more colors and loosen up the painting style as we go by adding bold colors, shapes, and texture to the landscape. That will help us make the painting more abstract and bring energy to it. So this is what we are going to do in this class. I want to encourage you to share your works. So once you've done, don't forget to share your abstract landscapes in their project and the resources section. 3. Inspiration: Looking for inspiration is an essential part of the creative process, especially when we are talking about landscape. Inspiration can come from many places. It could be travel photos, pictures from interest, the view from your window and even your imagination, But no matter where you find it, the concept stays the same. You convert a real life area into a piece of art. You can create a composition that is different and very unique, but there will be always the familiarity with the natural world. I suggest you to search for inspiration on Pinterest. There are tons of great landscape photos you can find and use as a reference. I usually create boards with the most interesting landscapes. So that later I can go there and find more ideas for my paintings. In the project and the resources section, you'll find a link to my personal landscape port on Pinterest. So it will be easier for you to find inspiration for your landscape painting. There are two things that draw my attention to the landscape. Colors and shapes. I especially like bolt vibrant colors and interesting shapes for the painting. So when you are choosing an image, rely on your own impression. the main function of the landscape reference is to inspire you. And therefore, if a picture does not spark anything inside your mind, keep searching. Just don't forget that reference photo is your inspiration, your starting point. Try not to get too attached to you. ou do not have to create the original landscape In order to create your artwork. You can modify the landscape completely as you wish. You have the freedom to use an unrealistic bold color palette, exaggerate shapes, and use any details and texture you want. My simple trick here is not to have the reference photo in front of me all the time. It gives me more freedom to be creative and I don't feel the pressure to get too realistic. And finally, once you get to a good end is firing landscape, you can begin working on it. 4. Tools & Materials: In this lesson, I'm going to go over some tools and materials you will need for this class. Before I start, I want to emphasize that for In this class you can use any medium and tools you feel comfortable working with. I also encourage you to experiment and try out new mediums, unexpected styles for you. I will be using oils for this class, even though it takes much longer for oils to dry in comparison with acrylics, for example, I still prefer using oils simply because I really like working with oils. Their texture, color and smell. They're also very colorful and vibrant. So I'm really happy with my choice. Then you will need just a few brushes. I will be mostly using my favorite palette knives as they help me to make my painting more expressive and abstract. So if you have one, give it a try and use your palette knives. I will be working on the Canvas or you can also work on paper if you want to. So those are the supplies I will be using for this class. If you have any questions regarding art supplies or anything at all, feel free to ask me in the discussion section. 5. Imprimatura: So now that they've decided on the landscape to paint, from that moment of inspiration. There is a process of explorations to go through. So before you start, think about the feel and the mood of the landscape you are about to create. Think about what colors and shapes will help you to this experience into your abstract landscape painting. I started this painting by layering the canvas with orange paint. To do so, using my palette knife, I generously dilute the pain with White Spirit. The resulting mixture will be soft, almost reminding you of the watercolor consistency. Then spread the color thinly over the entire canvas. Try not to overload the brush with the paint. Take a bit and spread it around by rubbing it into the canvas. After that, I use a chip cloth to wipe the excess paint all over the canvas. This process is also called imprimatura. And in contemporary painting, it may come in many forms. It can be done in different ways. Use any color you want. It affects both the process and outcome of the entire artwork. There are no limits and it's up to you to decide what works best for your painting. Some of the most common colors used for this are raw umber and burnt sienna or yellow ochre. But you can use whatever you like. I personally usually use yellow ochre. But for this painting, I have decided to experiment with it and to use a strong and vibrant orange color. Because my landscape to be really abstract and bolt. And I want orange to be exposed at the end of the painting. Once you have stained the canvas with the color you chose, Let that dry for about 30 minutes. It doesn't need to be dry to the touch. 6. Sketching The Composition: So I’m using burnt sienna paint to briefly sketch the composition of the painting. In the case of this painting, I don't want to rely on any of the reference photos too much. Also, I want it to be really simple composition-wise. This abstract landscape will be more about colors. It will be the colors that bring energy and emotion into this artwork. So just get to the horizontal line, as well as some trees. And that's it. It will create an instantly recognizable idea of landscape. leaving more space to be creative when it’ll come to color choices. You are free to use a reference photo if there is some particular landscape you want to paint. Sketching the composition, even the simplest one is important as it will help you in the next stage of the painting. when you’ll start blocking in general colors and shapes. Also remember, that you will be painting over this so you do not need to include every single detail when you sketch the composition for your painting. 7. Blocking In Color: Sky: After I have the canvas prepared and a general sketch mapped out I then start blocking in the general shapes and colors. I'm going to start with the sky. At this stage of the process, it’s time to decide on the mood you want to put into your painting and the sky You can create cheerful sky with light blue, you can make it dramatic if you add a bit of black to the blue paint. Your sky can be pink or yellow or unrealistic in any way you want. I personally want to be a bit dramatic and neutral. so I’m mixing some blue and white with a bit of black. Using my palette knife, I’m blocking in the area for the sky. Palette knife helps me to keep it loose and abstract. I'm trying not to control the medium too much. leaving some spaces untouched, letting it mix with the underpainting and the orange to stay exposed here and there. I could add more layers to cover the sky, But when you create an abstract painting, it’s important to stop at the right moment before you overdo it. I like my sky as is, with a touch of orange looking like mysterious dawn. And it’s exactly the mood I was aiming for. 8. Blocking In Color: Horizon : Now let's proceed to our horizon line and everything we have there. In my case, it’s just some kind of trees. I don't want them to be too realistic. What I want here is to see just a simple silhouette of a dark forest. I want it to be dynamic and a bit chaotic. So once again, I'm using my palette knife to block in the color. That will be using mostly dark green and some brown here too. I like my abstract landscapes to be a bit messy and bring more energy to the painting. So give yourself the freedom of movement when you apply the paint. Don't be afraid to make a mistake, usually, it’s the mistakes that make a painting really special and interesting. 9. Blocking In Color: Flower Field: Once you finish working with the sky and horizon areas, it’s time to proceed to the most interesting stage of the painting. We can start working with the field area of the painting. I find it the most interesting as it will have the most energy and dynamic we are aiming for this painting. And I want to bring this energy through the colors and shapes. So I will concentrate on adding in the complementary color inspired by the original landscape. which are red and green in my case. I want my poppy field to be vibrant and really red. But before I apply red paint, I just want to add a layer of green to the field. So I'm starting with it. Using my palette knife. I’m applying a vast geometric blocks of color to the painting. In order to bring and they're sheets with the painting. You have to feel it yourself and put it into your brush or palette knife. With bold and easy palette knife movements I apply blocks of green color whenever I want. I don't really rely on any reference photo. And I use my imagination and the feel of the landscape. I want to create. I’m applying different shades of green in order to make the landscape more complex and interesting. Now I’m ready to add vast blocks of red to the landscape. Red and green are complementary colors and I love how they work together. That was one of the reasons why I chose to create a poppy field in the first place. I’m loading my palette knife with lots of red paint and applying it where I want the flowers to appear. There will be no small more realistic flowers, we are creating the abstract landscape after all. So I don't really care about the shapes here. I want to create these big, almost geometric blocks of color. So I applied a layer of red color on top of the green. I let green and orange expose here and there. So that I have really colorful and vibrant artwork. Adding red is my final touch and once it resembles the poppies field and I like the energy of the painting, It means the painting is finished. Now you can sign it, and let it dry for a few days. 10. Final Thoughts: Bold colors, exaggerated shapes, marks, and texture these are some great components to use if you want to bring energy and emotion into your landscape painting. So let’s go through some top tips of this class. Gotten your inspiration anywhere you want, and then explore your experience and feel of the landscape. Ask yourself what gets your attention in that particular landscape? What makes you want to paint it. It can be vibrant colors, interesting shapes or other bolt details. Experiment with it. Then it comes to creating an abstract landscape painting. There are no limits to your imagination. This opens up numerous opportunities for you to try different things. So you can modify your landscape completely as you wish. You can either remove or add details. Try different colors and combinations. Start with simple marks on your canvas. Breakdown landscape into a few simple colors and shapes. This will help you not to get lost in details and overcome blank canvas intimidation. And to establish the shapes of your painting. let your creativity come into play Use complementary colors, even if they seem to be unrealistic for the landscape. Add more bold colors and exaggerate shapes, and texture until they bring energy and emotion to the landscape. And finally, I want to encourage you to push your own creative limits experiment with medium and colors and shapes until you find your own unique style. Thank you so much for joining me in this class and I will see you next time.