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Sierra Nevada

Full Video

Painting Sierra Nevada (Long)

Key Takeaways: 

  • I wanted the colors to appear clean, distinct, and bright. The palette knife was perfect for this.
  • I drew inspiration from Isaac Levitan.
  • There’s a lot going on in this scene. Simplification was important. I had to narrow down on the few details that really matter.
  • As with most landscapes, depth is an important aspect with the plants in the foreground, the land and water in the middle ground, and the mountains in the background. I needed to ensure these areas appear distinct, whilst also appearing part of the whole.
  • If you look closely at the reference photo, you’ll see a cow hidden in the bushes on the right. I excluded the cow in the painting as it’s so subtle and would be tricky to paint. Little reward for effort.
  • Notice the texture in the foreground. This creates the illusion of detail and nature. It also suggests closeness and clarity.


Oil Painting Time-Lapse - Sierra Nevada - 15 Min

Finished Painting

Dan Scott, Sierra Nevada, 2020
Dan Scott, Sierra Nevada, 2020

Reference Photo

Dan Scott, Reference Photo, Sierra Nevada, 2020, 1200Web

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it! Feel free to share with friends. If you want more painting tips, check out my Painting Academy course.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott
Draw Paint Academy


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.

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