Learn to Paint This Beautiful New Zealand Mountain Landscape in Oils & Acrylics

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.

New Zealand Landscape Painting Tutorial

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.

Materials Used

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

The Initial Sketch - Painting Tutorial

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

Here I block in the sky and water with a dull blue (a mixture of french ultra marine blue, titanium white and some cadmium orange to tone it down).

I want the water to be slightly darker than the sky, so I add a bit more french ultra marine blue.

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

Blocking In The Mountain Ranges

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

Painting Tutorial - Blocking In

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 crimsonyellow 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

Landscape Painting

Here I pull out the palette knife and start adding some texture to the mountain ranges, the water and the grass.

You can create very interesting effects by dragging the palette knife over brushwork.

Step 7 – Finishing Touches, Sign and Photograph

Dan Scott, New Zealand Reflections, 2019
Dan Scott, New Zealand Reflections, 2019

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.

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


Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.

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


2 comments on “Learn to Paint This Beautiful New Zealand Mountain Landscape in Oils & Acrylics”

    • No problem Kathy. The mountain I used french ultra marine blue mixed with cadmium orange (to de-saturate the blue so it is not too powerful).




Leave a Comment