Painting Landscapes - Beginner Acrylic Painting | Linda Celestian | Skillshare

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Painting Landscapes - Beginner Acrylic Painting

teacher avatar Linda Celestian, Learning to paint is fun

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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

7 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Painting Landscapes Introduction

    • 2. Painting Landscapes Supplies

    • 3. Painting Landscapes Choosing your subject

    • 4. Painting Landscapes Layout

    • 5. Painting Landscapes Mixing Colors

    • 6. Painting Landscapes Painting

    • 7. Painting Landscapes Wrap up

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About This Class

Painting Landscapes is an informative beginner painting class. It covers supplies, choosing a subject, and mixing the correct values to paint beautiful landscapes. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Linda Celestian

Learning to paint is fun


I'm a fine artist and a teacher. I've been painting for 30 years and teaching for 15 years. Life is short but you can keep it fun by trying new things.

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1. Painting Landscapes Introduction: Hi, I'm Linda Celestine. Welcome to my class. How to paint landscapes. The most important thing to understand in painting landscapes is value. Just like in my first class. How to paint a green apple. I'll go over how to mix the lights and darks of one color. First, I'll talk about how to choose the landscape to paint. We're looking for something with very distinct values and simple shapes. Then I'll show you how to mix these values. This is called tints and tones. Tents have white mixed in tones have the complementary color mixed in, and that's really all there is to it. So I hope you'll join me, and I know you'll enjoy learning how to paint beautiful and dramatic landscapes. 2. Painting Landscapes Supplies: first talk over the supplies you'll need to buy and things that are needed to get started. I use palette paper. This is sold in pads. It's disposable. You could also use a sheet of plexiglass or a sheet of glass. If you don't mind cleaning it after every use, I use a little bit of acrylic matt medium mixed into my paint. Sometimes I used a retard ER, which you just use a little bit, and it extends the workability of the paint, keeping it from drying up too quickly. They use a palette knife. You'll need a pencil, an eraser and a few brushes and some pain. For brushes I use, I recommend Attack Lan. If you're painting on a smooth surface, these have really soft bristles and work really well. If you're painting on canvas or a rough paper, then I recommend a bristle brush where you can pick up more pain and use the paint a little bit thicker, which you'll need to do on a rough surface. Now we'll go over the colors that you need to paint landscapes. We'll start with the cadmium yellow medium, which is a yellow on the warm side. A cadmium. Yellow lemon is a yellow a little bit to the cool side for mixing your greens. Next, you'll need a cerulean blue, which is a cool blue for mixing greens in an ultra marine blue, which is towards the purple side. Next, the havoc when acrid own red, which I'm using as a primary red. Here is your bright and one more rid, which is the cadmium red meat. So that is your warm red. For mixing oranges. You'll also need white and possibly a little bit of black. It doesn't matter what brand of paint use. I just want to steer you away from using student grade because it has the least amount of pigment, and if you want something that's an artist, great. 3. Painting Landscapes Choosing your subject: Here's an example of a photograph that would make a great painting. This has very distinct value changes from light to dark, light, medium, medium dark, too dark. What I like to do to simplify this is cut a window out of paper, copy, paper, drawing paper, whatever you have and start to play with them ways that it could be cropped. This just simplifies the composition, so this doesn't mean that you're painting has to be five by seven. We would enlarge these forms to whatever size you're working on, and I'll show you how to do that so it could be cropped going this way or this way. Very simple forms and distinct values. Let's look at another one. So here's another mountain scene. Um, but I would definitely crop it, and here you can see your lights on the mountain in the clouds. Mediums. This are very different from each other, and then your darks. Here's a sunset that is a very simple value study. It's almost monochromatic, but it might be fun to work on. Um, here's another one that I think is a great example of distinct values. So it's going from the very light to the dark, and once I crop, it is. This might be a lot to work on, so I think I would crop it up and simplify the composition, and that could be a really fun one to work on. Could go either way like this. So these are the kinds of things you're looking for. Here's another sunset with silhouetted forms in the foreground, but once I crop, it becomes a very manageable composition. Here's one that was cropped with an eight by 10 window, but I think even cropping it a little bit more would simplify the composition. Here's your lights going too dark, the celebrated forms in the foreground and not even paying attention to what all these different colors are in the sunset. It has very distinct value changes that I'll explain when we mix the colors. So now I'll show you some that I think are too complicated or busy and might not be a good choice. So here there's just a lot going on in this area. Um, it's very busy, and I would not choose this for a beginner. This one here, I feel, is very busy. There's not distinct value changes. Some of the values are very similar. This, I think, would make a boring painting. There is value changes, but it's all over. Very similar. There's not any distinct forms, interesting forms. Okay, here's one that I just think has a little too much detail. So all this would have to be done with little tiny brush. And there's just so much detail there, so I wouldn't choose this for a beginner student, Here's another one that's just really busy, even when I crop it. There's just so much going on in each in each area that it would be a lot of work and not a good choice for a beginner. I really like this one. It could be cropped vertically or horizontally. I'm just gonna use a little bit of painter's tape to stick down. The cut out window was five by seven cut out window, and I'll place it where I like it. Crop 4. Painting Landscapes Layout : I'm gonna be painting on paper. So the first thing I do is draw a five by seven window on my paper. I used the same paper cutouts that I'm using to craft a photograph with because I'm gonna draw this to scale. I can use the exact measurements. So I'm using a little strip of paper here and transferring some measurements from the photograph onto my paper. If I was planning to enlarge this, I would still look at these basic proportions to help me draw this composition. I used this technique a lot when I'm teaching people how to draw it just helps you check your drawing because you can grab this piece of paper and check a measurement. 5. Painting Landscapes Mixing Colors: e start by laying out my colors across the top of my palette. Cerulean blue, ultra marine blue Can we, um, Yellow, lemon, cadmium yellow. I would like for don't read cadmium red and wait, I'm gonna put some matt medium on my palette and then I'm gonna mix a little bit of retard er in there and that'll get mixed into all my colors. I'm gonna start by mixing the color of the sky. If you're mixing a light color, you want to start with white and add the color into so here I use really in and I'm gonna add a little bit of the ultra Marine Teoh change the color to slightly more purple color and they served minor little adjustments. So I use just a little bit of that car. A little bit of pain goes a long way. All the videos in this section are sped up. So it's like I'm super fast mixing these colors. And really I'm not. But here I'm just trying to get enough of this color because I'm going to use some of it to mix a lighter version of it to have a gradation in the sky. So I'm just adding more blue into the white till I get, um, perfect match so that I mixed in the mat medium and retard er and then I'll test this color A little strip of paper. It looks pretty good. So now I'm gonna take some white and take some of that blue color and mix it in to get a lighter version. We're gonna mix the color for the mountain in the background. I'm starting with civilian. Adding some ultra Marie. It looks a little bit bright. So to dull a color you use, it's complimentary color, which in this case, is this red which Lancelot orange in it and orangey red will dull the color down. It darkens it dulls it. It's called mixing a tone. I might have gone a little too dark here, so I headed back some cerulean and then I add some weight to it and adding white to it. It's gonna help me see if I'm on the right track here. Now, this is all kind of just guessing, and you get too much weight than go back, Teoh adding more of your blue if I get too far off track, I just abandoned and start over versus trying to adjust the color that's gonna use up a lot of your pain. So I paid a little bit on the side of my paper. You see, I'm painting on the edge of the paper so I can hold it close to photograph to see if it matches. It looks pretty good. I think I'm going to take some of that and makes a highlight. Normally, I would just make some white in, but I'm gonna adjust it slightly because I'm noticing that it looks the highlights look like they're a little bit purple. E So I used a little bit of the Conacher dome. Rick, don't forget to mix some of your mixture of Matt medium and retard er into all your colors . Mixing okay, I'll test the color I mixed for the highlight in the background mountain and hold it up against the photograph to see how I like it. I think it looks good moving on. We're gonna mix the color for the next mountain. I take the cerulean blue mixed with cadmium red medium, and I'm gonna get that nice dark color mixing Samat mediums charter with that and I'm gonna move some of that and mix a slightly darker one. So I have to values for that. Okay, here I'm just making a little bit more of that dark color, same process. And then I decide that I want to tone it just a little bit greener. So I take some of the warm yellow, and at the end, it's a little bit just a little bit of just change its lately. Let's put a little bit of these colors on our strip of paper. Here. I added too much Matt medium to that one color. So it's painting transparently. I'm gonna hold this up against our photograph, and you can start to see how these values match up to the colors on the photograph. Okay. Here. I decided to mix a lighter value for that mountain. Just have that color. So I'm starting with the original color of the mountain to mix in a little bit of white to get a lighter value. Now we're ready to mix the darkest values in the foreground. Start with civilian cadmium, red medium, and this gets me to something that looks a little bit purple. E So I want to make something darker than this. So it's the paint. I'm working with this a little bit purple. I'm gonna use the opposite the complementary color to make it darker and dollar. In this case, it's the warm yellow cat yellow media. So I'm going to try to mix one color that's even darker than this one. I'm adding more red. I took both threads and yellow. Any two complementary colors should make a dark grey or black. So in this case, I'm using blue and orange. Or it could be considered red and green. So whatever complementary colors you use, they should turn out to be a dark grey. If not, you could use a little bit of black here. Sorry, this is slightly off camera and you could see it took me a while to get the color I was looking for. But if you use complementary colors versus black, the color won't feel flat or dead. I'm gonna mix a couple accent colors now. You could go ahead and start your painting and mixed these afterwards. If you're afraid, your paints air gonna dry up. So here I'm showing you how to mix that green. It's a little bit of a dusty green. So I start with the cerulean and the cadmium yellow lemon, which gives me a green that's a little too bright. So I'm adding, um, here I added a little ultra Marine, but I'm also adding that Warren, she read the cadmium red medium to dial it down now, trying to mix the gold color. The first try. It's way too green, so I just sort of abandoned that. Bring a little bit of it, gets more of the cadmium yellow medium in there, the warm yellow, and then add some Academy of Red Medium to get a nice gold color. Don't forget to mix in your fat medium, and then I save some of that and mix a later version of it. So I have to two golds. I decided that I need to values of the screen. So first I just add weight toe one. That would be the tent. The other one. I could have left that alone to be the medium value, but I decided to make that the dark value. So I add a little of the complementary color to mix a tone so red and green are complementary colors. So now we have all our colors mix that we're gonna need to make this painting here. I'm just showing you how they match up to our photograph. 6. Painting Landscapes Painting: I'm gonna start here with the sky. It looks a little bit darker and corners and gradually gets lighter because I'm working flat on paper. I'm not using an easel if you're working on a big canvas, and easel would probably be better having a little trouble because my pants a little thick , So I'm gonna grab a little bit of water or Matt medium to mix into the pain. Acrylic paint tends to dry quickly. That's why I'm mix in the retard er, so you just have to work quickly, or maybe not. Mixed all your colors at once, mix of color paint and then mix the colors next color that needs here. I started to add the light color that I mixed, and I just feel like it's a bit of a jump, so I'm taking these two colors and mixing a color in between. Then I'm gonna get a nice creation from length to dark in the sky. I don't have to be super meat painting this line in because the mountain will be the next thing I paint and that will cover this line. I'm ready to use some of the light color that I mixed and working wet into wet. I'm smoothing this color on top of the medium color to get a gentle gradation from dark to light. I experienced technical difficulties and changed cameras, so I've already painted in the first mountain in the two colors that I mixed medium color in the light color. So now I'm painting the second mountain in the first color that we next here are manning the darker color that we next moving on to the first dark in the foreground and now the second dark in the foreground. These air the to graze that I mixed with blue and orange to make these like dark steel graze, now adding some details here that dusty green that we makes and you have to make sure that you're not making the details to large scale. I'm adding another layer to this mountain because it came out kind of transparent, which happens with acrylic paint when you add a little bit too much medium gold colors that I mixed, and once again make sure your details are the right scale for the painted. Since we're playing painting to scale, you really are really looking for a little time. Specks of color here. If you get too much going on, just go back in and paint some of it out, which you'll see me dio a little bit so you can play with this painting in the detail. If there's too much going on, taking your darks and painting it back out. What is your paints? You still have workable paints you could play with you want here. I made a cut out a nice, clean cut out window to cover up on the edges. 7. Painting Landscapes Wrap up: Hi, this is Linda. Thanks for taking my class. I hope you enjoyed it. You can see now that painting landscapes is really about just about understanding value. I hope I helped you to see things in lights and darks and learn how to take, uh, maybe a complex subject matter and break it down into manageable chunks. I hope you enjoyed it. I would love to see your painting. So upload your projects, please. And if you have any questions, you can leave them for me in the comments section and keep painting. It's just practice. I had to paint this one a few times because I had technical difficulties, which just gave me more practice and understanding what I was doing. So I always encourage people do not stop there first painting. If they don't like it, just keep going. And, um, remember the things that I showed you and you can watch the video over and over and until you get it right. Happy painting.