How to Improve your Landscapes with 3 Easy Steps | Kate Bentley SWA | Skillshare

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How to Improve your Landscapes with 3 Easy Steps

teacher avatar Kate Bentley SWA, Professional Artist

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

6 Lessons (13m)
    • 1. Hello & Welcome!

    • 2. Tip Number 1

    • 3. Tip Number 2

    • 4. Tip Number 3

    • 5. What Next & Project

    • 6. Final Thoughts & Thank you!

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About This Class

This video is designed to help the beginner, improver and maybe even the advanced who need reminding of common pitfalls in failed paintings!

I will talk through 3 tried and tested ways to improve your landscape painting in what ever medium - though I will demo in watercolor here.

These 3 simple rules will serve as a check list to any painter and indeed as a professional painter I use them myself daily.

So watch and learn how to move your skills forward to create accomplished landscapes, to create depth and to give a sense of realism and naturalism.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kate Bentley SWA

Professional Artist


 Kate Bentley S.W.A. is an multi award-winning professional painter based in the English Lake District.

She is an elected member of the Society of Women Artists and The Lakes Artists Society and her work is held in both private and public collections.

 When time and Covid 19 allows Kate runs private painting workshops in the Lyth Valley in the Southern Lake District.

Kate has broad teaching experience and has been teaching for 25 years and in the past has worked for painting holiday specialists Authentic Adventures, Solo Holidays and P&O Cruises.



Kate Bentley S.W.A.  

In the studio Kate usually works from her imagination often referring to sketches from en-plein air exp... See full profile

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1. Hello & Welcome!: Hi, it's Kate from the lakes. I've been painting professionally for over 25 years. And I've come up with three key tips that I want to pass on. So just ten minutes, we're going to improve your painting enormously. So let's go to the studio. 2. Tip Number 1: Okay, I'm just gonna show you a couple of sketches that I've done outside. The not amazing, but they do demonstrate what I'm talking about really today, which is how you can improve your landscapes by abiding by three basic principles. And I actually call them the three T's, as in t for Tommy. So just have a quick look at the sketch I've done for it was for a canal bank. So they should landscapes has dropped away in front of me. And so the foregrounded, she isn't completely so much just do a little bit of work on that. And basically I want you to look at the colors we've got in here. So we've got one of my first T is going to be color temperature. And so the colors in this landscape are cooler in the background and warm in the foreground. And some people find that concept quite hard to grasp, but there's plenty of literature out there that you can read them in depth if you want clarification. But I'm gonna show you basically a warm setter primaries and a cool such a primaries and also the tips that go alongside this. So my warm sat going to be, we're going to have some cadmium yellow, a cadmium bread. Now the place of tricky and the jury's out on some blue. Some, even some technical charts will tell you that some blues are warm and others will tell you the same Coase coup. I tend to use ultra marine as my warm blue. Okay. And my cool sets I've got here is REO Lin Shi, slightly green. Yeah. We've got some rows matter such as strings sticking to the Alyssa. I've been using them. So these tutorials today and a qu lu, she got that squeezed out because it's a staining color. The coup blues are all really, really intense and very, very happy to have staining qualities. I haven't yet found one that doesn't stay in the paper. So I'm just gonna put a little bit of Prussian blue. You can see how cautious. With that. You can say, stop it there. So that we have our warm set, dou, dou w, and a cool set. So basically should be able to create any colors with those sets of primaries. But knowing where they fit in the landscape is really, really helpful. So if I was painting a series of Greenfield's from foreground to background, if I actually used the cooler combination of colors to create migraines in the background. And the warmer set for a different green in the foreground. And place that in a painting. The theory is that this color will advance over that color because it's warmer and that will help with the recession. So that's point. Number one over the first tee. 3. Tip Number 2: So T two is going to be tone. So by looking carefully at your tones in a landscape, again, you can help with your recession and create more of a 3D effect. This actually isn't a very good example. It hasn't been finished off, but in actual fact, it's more a case of you checking those three t's as an afterthought. So I always say to people, paint what you can see because often we get it dark shadow over a distant hills and that makes that hill look very dark even though it's y over in the distance. But obviously, if you're painting doesn't look right, then you need to redress and go back to these three, these three points. So if this painting didn't look like it had recession in eight, I can create a dark tone in the foreground here. So I'm just going to use a darker green and just take them with you. But this is an old decorating brush. Just by putting in a suggestion of a hedge of something in the foreground there. That's again, will help with your recession and your 3D quality. 4. Tip Number 3 : And then become lastly, the third T, which is texture. So if you look at either of days actually have softer textures in the background because these placed, this part of the landscape is further away. And I have harder edges where I've painted on dry paper in the foreground. And this gives a sense of the landscape coming towards you. And this is receding. It is natural that you can see detail and texture in the foreground and in the background you calm. 5. What Next & Project: So I thought I'd just grab some sketchbooks out of my cupboard here to show you a little bit about my process when it comes to looking at a painting outlet analytically and deciding whether things are worth pursuing. So this is sketchbook of a local landscape. And I think looking at it, I actually have to take some of the boxes that we were talking about earlier. So I have used cooler colors and lighter tone in the background. And I've used more texture and warmer colors in the foreground. My trees are receding in all respects, making a decent depth of field. So that one, I think, you know, we could work that up to a painting and, and use this as a guide. Was then came to these two little pieces that I've done. And this one I think works quite successfully. Here you can see we're actually, I've changed the rules. It was obviously a shaft of light making this darker here. And it's actually darker than the texture of the trees here. So that's not following my guide and sit I mentioned earlier about the tones being darker in the foreground and the background because in nature that doesn't happen. Always check list. And I can remember that day and I remember what the light was like. But I'm looking at this wall and I quite like certain elements of it. But so I'm looking at it now. I'm thinking about my three T's. It's it's lacking a little bit in something. And I think that I couldn't just improve that with just a few simple things. So I'm just going to show you now, I'm going to add a little bit of warmth to this area here in the foreground. And also a little bit of texture. Maybe even a little bit more. And I'm just going to add a little bit of blue. You should Marina, choose toppling it in. And I think now has a little bit more potential than before. So these little checklist that you can do are going to help you enormously and continue with this. I can sort of scratch through a little bit more detail in this now, ticks all the boxes of what we were talking about earlier. So I've come up with a plan. Why don't we old post some before and after paintings upon laicite. What a great way for people to learn and for you to learn and to analyze why some paintings of your successful and why some just don't really meet, meet them off at lived to see them all. As with all the people I guess watching this will all learn from each other. Thanks very much. 6. Final Thoughts & Thank you!: Hi guys. Hopefully see from that video the three T's how important they are to our work. Maybe here at an outgroup. Next time you will get together and you're all painting the same thing. And you work out which ones are more successful and which ones aren't. Maybe do a mental checklist. Which one I've got those treaties. Which one could do with one of those three T's in IT to improve it. So please, please, please practice, practice, practice those treaties by okay.