7 Colorful Landscape Paintings to Spark Your Inspiration


This post features 7 colorful landscape paintings to hopefully spark your inspiration, as they have done for me.

In these paintings, the dominant feature is color rather than composition, value, brushwork or any other element. It is actually very challenging to pull off a painting where color is the dominant feature because if you are not careful you may end up with a jarring clash of color which appears unnatural and overdone.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these paintings. If you know of any other colorful landscape paintings which have inspired you, please let me know in the comments.

(Before diving into this post, make sure to pick up a copy of my free Landscape Painting Starter Kit.)

Vincent van Gogh

The first artist that comes to mind when I think of colorful landscapes is of course Vincent van Gogh. He is famous for his bold colors and expressive brushwork. Whilst his paintings may not be the most realistic (rarely do you get so much color in a landscape), you can really feel the energy of the subjects through his paintings.

In the painting below he used extremely saturated yellows for the sky – something few artists would ever consider doing, let alone pull off. He balanced the strong yellows against relatively less saturated blues, greens and oranges. The colors seem to vibrate so strong that it becomes almost nauseating to look at after awhile.

Vincent van Gogh, A Meadow in the Mountains, 1889
Vincent van Gogh, A Meadow in the Mountains, 1889

Additional readings:

11 Interesting Facts About Vincent van Gogh

The Many Faces of Vincent van Gogh

25 Inspirational Sketches By Vincent van Gogh

Inspirational Quotes by Vincent van Gogh

Isaac Levitan

This is one of my favorite landscapes by Isaac Levitan. Some things to note from this painting are:

  • The gradual decrease in saturation from the foreground to the background. This gives a sense of depth in the painting.
  • The use of blues in the shadows, which is typical of many landscape scenes.
  • The interesting combination of vivid greens and soft reds/pinks.
Isaac Levitan, Spring in Italy, 1890
Isaac Levitan, Spring in Italy, 1890

Henri Martin

This is a beautiful painting by Henri Martin which demonstrates the pointillist style. This style can produce a stunning vibration of color when used correctly, at the sacrifice of accurate drawing and edges.

I often incorporate pointillism in my paintings, however to a much lesser extent. It can be very effective for painting water, grass and trees.

Henri Martin, Green Valley With Stream
Henri Martin, Green Valley With Stream

Claude Monet

In this painting by Claude Monet there is a stunning contrast between dark purples, greens and blues and the high-key background. There are essentially no midtones in this painting.

Claude Monet, Juan-Les-Pins, 1888
Claude Monet, Juan-Les-Pins, 1888

Additional readings:

The Many Paintings Of Water Lilies By Claude Monet

How Claude Monet Documented Light Using The Rouen Cathedral

How Claude Monet Used Haystacks To Demonstrate Light and Color

Anna Althea Hills

I only recently became aware of Anna Hills, who was a brilliant American impressionist artist. I selected the painting below due to the powerful reds and clever brushwork.

Anna Althea Hills, Radiant Spring, 1928
Anna Althea Hills, Radiant Spring, 1928

Here is another painting by Anna Hills with a pleasing contrast between the warm colors in the foreground and the relatively cool colors in the background. Also notice the difference in the level of detail between the foreground and background.

Anna Althea Hills, Autumn Fallbrook
Anna Althea Hills, Autumn Fallbrook

Tom Thomson

Tom Thomson is one of the most prominent Canadian painters who was known for his bold colors and brushwork. The painting below is remarkably complex for a landscape. Here are some things to note from this painting:

  • The use of the exposed high-key background to give context to the scene. Without the background, one may struggle to make sense of all the colors and brush strokes.
  • The use of repetition throughout the painting to create some kind of harmony (look at the vertical brush strokes which repeat throughout the painting).
  • The use of the tree branches to connect all the elements.
Tom Thomson, Opulent October, Winter, 1915
Tom Thomson, Opulent October, Winter, 1915

Additional reading:

Bold Impressionist Artworks By Tom Thomson

Want to Learn More?

You might be interested in my Painting Academy course. I’ll walk you through the time-tested fundamentals of painting. It’s perfect for absolute beginner to intermediate painters.

Thanks for Reading!

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and I hope you found it helpful. Feel free to share it with friends.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

About | Supply List | Featured Posts | Products

Enjoyed this post? Join over 123,000 artists who subscribe to the Draw Paint Academy newsletter.

18 comments on “7 Colorful Landscape Paintings to Spark Your Inspiration”

  1. In love with these two: Isaac Levitan and Ann Althea Hills. The lightness and brilliance of color in their pieces is exquisite. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Beautiful! Love Tom Thomson’s work. Thank you for putting all these paint in tings up and for all you do for us and art.

  3. Awesome Vivid detailed and passionate illustratious yet simple and understandable way of Teaching by great hearted Artists. I just enjoy reading and digesting every single word by word lessons taught here.

  4. Hi Dan
    You might also want to mention the later watercolours of Arthur Melville, which are extraordinary in their colour intensity.

  5. Thank you for all you’re informative and interesting postings.
    Check out Brent Laycock in Alberta, Canada. He Is especially known for his beautiful Watercolours and acrylics off Waterton National Park and more.

  6. Thanks so much for such regular & insightful emails Dan . I love your analysis & in-depth
    appraisal of the masters paintings, as well as your honest look into your own works , motivation , & techniques .
    My medium is pastels. but most of what you offer is applicable , so it works for me !

  7. Always looking forward to your e-mails, Dan. So full of adaptable information
    for every level artist. Thank you

  8. The artists you’ve highlighted would have never been known by me except for your highlighting them in your series I’m subscribed in. WOW!! They are absolutely gorgeous and definitely fit the bill of true artistry, each distinctly their own style. Thanks Dan—I truly appreciate see and learning more thru your courses. bonnie


Leave a Comment