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Garden Painting Tips


I recently painted the garden outside my parents' home. Surprisingly, this was my first time painting a garden scene like this. A good challenge and I think it turned out ok. Below is the finished painting plus some progress shots.

Dan Scott, Garden, 2022
Dan Scott, Garden, 2022

I also put together a few garden painting tips for you:

  • Can you use texture to reiterate key details and play into the idea of nature?
  • Broken color is particularly effective for conveying the illusion of detail and activity.
  • Different areas might have different goals and require different techniques. In my garden painting, I took a different approach for the stairs than for the lush plants and flowers. This contrast strengthens the painting—the stairs look more rigid and the plants and flowers look more organic and natural.
  • Garden scenes tend to lack a clear focal point. You could play into this and make the painting as a whole the focus. Or you could narrow down on a few key flowers, plants, or other details.
  • Gardens are full of activity and detail. Think of all the colors, textures, highlights, shadows, patterns, lines, and shapes. You must simplify in order to make sense of it all. Listen to your first impression of the scene. Where are your eyes drawn? What details command your attention? What details fall back?

This is an extract from this month's DPA Inner Circle training report. You can get the full report plus all the other member perks by becoming a member here.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott