My brother went to New Zealand recently and I have had the privilege of painting some of his photos.
New Zealand has some of the best landscape scenery in the world. It is really a landscape painter's dream.
For this painting tutorial, I walk you through my painting of the following photo.
I will be using oils, but the general principles will be the same for all mediums.
So why did I want to paint this photo?
Well, other than it just being an almost surreal scene, I enjoyed the calmness of the scene and the beautiful reflection in the water.
The following are links to Blick Art Supplies (one of the largest art suppliers in the world). I am an affiliate so if you decide to purchase through my links then I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. These funds are used to support this website.
Step 1 - Stain and Sketch
First I stain the canvas with a wash of raw umber then lay down a simple sketch of the scene.
With the sketch all I am trying to capture is the dominant shapes of the mountains and land. I also block in some of the darker values in the scene.
Step 2 - Sky and Water
Step 3 - Start Detailing The Mountain Ranges
Here I am trying to get a feel for the rest of the painting. I am not really committing yet to the mountain ranges and land. I am just trying to determine what color to use really.
Step 4 - Commit To The Mountain Ranges And Reflection
In this step I commit to blocking in the mountain ranges and any other similar values (dark areas) in the painting.
Notice how I have not actually added much detail. I have merely blocked in the major shapes.
More detail will come later.
Step 5 - Introduce The Greens, Yellows And Oranges
Once I have the blues blocked in, it is time to move onto the warmer colors, being yellows, oranges and some warm greens. I use different combinations of alizarin crimson, yellow ochre and viridian green.
I am not using much titanium white here. I am saving the white for later stages in the painting. If you introduce white too early, then you risk clouding up all your colors.
Step 6 - Create Some Texture With Palette Knives And Blunt Paint Brush Tips
Step 7 - Finishing Touches, Sign And Photograph
Above is the finished painting.
You can see I have added some highlights here and there and refined certain areas. No dramatic changes as all the foundations were placed in the earlier stages.
You may also notice the colors appear more vibrant in this photo. That is because I paint in my room which does not have the best lighting. The above is a more faithful representation of the painting.
This is why it is important if possible to paint with good lighting in place.