A Beginner’s Guide to Acrylic Landscape Painting

Discover the world of acrylic landscape painting for beginners in this blog post that’s tailor-made for you! Immerse yourself in a comprehensive step-by-step guide accompanied by videos and pictures.

From selecting the perfect colors and composition to mastering paint mixing and adding intricate details, we’ve got you covered. With these easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll be able to create stunning acrylic landscapes that truly capture the essence of artistry. Get ready to unleash your creativity and embark on an artistic journey like no other!

Acrylic landscape video

Recommended materials for your acrylic painting adventure:

  • Opt for heavy-body acrylic paints in a range of vibrant colors, including Cadmium red light, alizarin crimson, Cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow lemon, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, bone black, and titanium white.
  • Equip yourself with a set of Princeton Catalyst brushes, specifically Round #10 and #6, as well as Flats #10 and #12.
  • For your surface, consider using Bristol mixed media paper, sized at 12″ x 12″.

With these suggested materials at your disposal, you’ll have the perfect toolkit to bring your acrylic paintings to life with ease and creativity.

Acrylic Landscape Painting For Beginners
Simple acrylic landscape painting

Let’s Dive in to Making Awesome Acrylic Landscapes

Mastering the art of creating breathtaking landscapes requires meticulous preparation. It is during the pre-painting stage that the foundation for a remarkable artwork is laid.

Patience and attention to detail are key, particularly for beginners venturing into the world of acrylic painting. To assist you in this journey, here are some essential guidelines to help you organize your objectives and ensure optimal preparation for your artistic endeavors. By dedicating time to this crucial phase, you set yourself up for success and allow the landscape to effortlessly unfold on your canvas.

Choosing a suitable subject for your painting is a crucial initial step

It’s essential to select a scene that captivates you visually and holds personal significance. Consider factors such as the interplay of light and shadow, the presence of a focal point, and the materials required. While some may be drawn to rustic landscapes, others may find inspiration in coastal vistas. Drawing from my 20 years of experience, I can attest that having a personal connection to the subject matter can enhance your artistic journey.

However, as a beginner, it’s also important to explore and gain experience before delving into the various aspects of being an artist. Therefore, even if this particular scene may not resonate strongly with you, it will serve as an invaluable opportunity to delve into the intricacies of landscape painting. I trust you’re open to embracing this learning experience.

Prepare your landscape painting by doing value sketches
Design and composition studies

It’s Always Good To Sketch Out the Design and Composition

Exploring the realm of design and composition is the next step once you’ve selected your subject. While it’s a multifaceted topic, here are some valuable guidelines to consider.

  • Composition revolves around the arrangement of elements within the frame.
  • Begin by establishing a sense of balance in your painting.
  • Experiment with placing the horizon line near the top or bottom, avoiding the middle.
  • Utilize leading lines to guide the viewer’s gaze through the artwork.
  • Ensure clarity in distinguishing the foreground, middle ground, and background.
  • Remember to incorporate a focal point to draw attention.

By following these straightforward composition principles, you’ll be well-equipped to craft stunning acrylic landscapes.

Having covered the fundamentals of subject selection and composition, it’s time to embark on your creative journey! In the following section, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of acrylic landscape painting.

Embark on your landscape painting journey with this comprehensive step-by-step guide

It serves as an excellent companion to the instructional video, providing detailed instructions and addressing any potential inquiries you may have. Additionally, if you’re interested in specific paint, brushes, and color recommendations, we’ve curated a helpful article to further enhance your understanding.

acrylic landscape painting step-by-step guide
Toning paper

Step 1: Tone the paper orange

  • Begin by applying an orange tone to the paper.
  • This step is important as it will enhance the contrast of the dark values in the painting.
  • The orange tone helps to balance the overall composition and prevent it from feeling too heavy.
  • While not always necessary, using a tone prior to the blocking-in stage can be particularly effective in this scenario.
acrylic landscape painting step-by-step guide
Adding drawing

Step 2: Add the drawing using a small flat brush

  • Use a small flat brush or even a pencil to add the drawing to your composition.
  • Since this design doesn’t require intricate details, using paint instead of a pencil can work just as effectively.
  • Begin by laying in the horizon line, as it is the longest line in the composition and serves as a reference point for the rest of the elements.
  • Proceed with the second-longest line, such as the path or the distant hills.
  • Follow a “big-to-small” approach, adding the major elements before focusing on the smaller details.
  • Continue refining the drawing until you have enough information to proceed with the next steps.
acrylic landscape painting step-by-step guide
Blocking in larger masses

Step 3: Block-in the larger cloud mass and clouds along the horizon

  • Start by blocking in the larger cloud mass using a cool gray color. This initial layer may appear dark, but it will later serve as a base for adding darker gray clouds.
  • For the clouds along the horizon, use a warm white color. These will be one of the few light values in the painting.
  • Maintain the crispness and cleanliness of the color, avoiding excessive fussing or overworking.
acrylic landscape painting step-by-step guide
Painting ground plane

Step 4: Paint the ground plane

  • Begin by painting the lime-green color in the distance, as it represents one of the lighter values in the landscape. The rest of the ground plane will be darker and more saturated.
  • While painting, intentionally leave specks of the orange underpainting visible. This will create a harmonious effect once the painting is complete.
  • Use short, choppy brushstrokes to achieve this desired effect.
acrylic landscape painting step-by-step guide
Adding gray hues to sky

Step 5: Block in the large cloud mass

  • Use a dark, warm grey to block in the large cloud mass. This will create a pleasing contrast with the cooler clouds.
  • Ensure you have an ample amount of paint mixed, as running out can cause complications during the process.
  • Remember to keep a few orange specks visible, as mentioned earlier, to maintain harmony in the painting.
acrylic landscape painting step-by-step guide
Adding trees and distant hills

Step 6: Paint the hills and small trees

  • Mix bone black with a touch of yellow ochre to create a dark value, and use it to paint the hills and small trees. This creates a distinct separation between the ground and sky planes.
  • To balance the composition, add a few lighter trees on the left-hand side, countering the mass of trees on the right.
acrylic landscape painting step-by-step guide
Adding path and lighter ground hues

Step 7: Redefine the path and smaller foreground details

  • Pay attention to smaller details in the foreground, such as the path. Use short brushstrokes or dots instead of long brushstrokes to create a more refined appearance.
  • Keep the path relatively thin to avoid overpowering the beautiful burst of light in the background.
acrylic landscape painting step-by-step guide
Finishing touches

Step 8: Add mid-tones in the foreground

  • Introduce some mid-tone values in the foreground to create the illusion of dirt patches and rocks. Be careful not to overemphasize them; the goal is to add visual interest and break up any flat or monotonous areas.
  • Congratulations! You have successfully painted an impressive acrylic landscape suitable for beginners. Well done!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, we have provided you with an enjoyable introduction to acrylic landscape painting. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this guide, you now have the tools to create breathtaking landscapes that showcase your artistic talent.

So, don’t hesitate to pick up your brushes and embark on your painting journey. We are excited to witness the incredible artworks you will bring to life through acrylic landscape painting for beginners. Happy painting!