Simple Landscaping Ideas for Pictures


Landscapes showcase some of the most beautiful features of our natural world. Many artists, such as the famous landscape painter John F. Carlson and fantasy artist John Howe say the best ideas come from painting out in the real world. There are also a few types of terrain that you might want to keep your eye open for, as they will make creating paintings easier and more satisfying.

Rolling Hills

  • A simple but effective way to create a landscape picture is to create rolling hills. The shapes of the hills are extremely simple and can help to give some variance to your painting without bogging you down with details. You can draw the hills out ahead of time with a few curved lines on your canvas. The painting will be relatively simple, because all you need to paint is the ground and sky.

    You can add some variance to the painting by creating shrubs along the rolling hills with tufts of green. You can also change the color of the grass by adding yellow patches, areas that are browner and barren sections. This will also help your painting to look more realistic.

River Landscapes

  • Another way to create relatively simple landscapes is to use water as a large component of the composition. You can show reflections of the surrounding plants and vegetation in the water. You can also add ripples that shine in the sunlight across the water with tiny white lines. This will serve to break up the painting and help add interesting features to the composition. You can also show the reflection of the sky within the water. Faint clouds and blues can be shown on areas directly exposed to the sky.

Painting a Landscape at Sunset.

  • An easy way to transform any landscape into a work of art is to add dramatic lighting. Sunsets are a particularly good way to create this type of lighting. Bright oranges and reds can cast light over the terrain, treetops, blades of grass and hills. These simple colors can add a great deal of variety to a simple landscape painting. Sunsets can also create a play of shadows spilling from a tree, large stone, building or shrub. These can be used to add texture to your landscape.

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  • Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, John F. Carlson, 1973
  • Fantasy Art Workshop, John Howe, 2007
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