What is Landscape Painting & How Do You Learn It?

A landscape painting is recreating the natural environment on a canvas. It can be very difficult to start to learn the technique, but with a few tips and tricks, you should find painting landscapes will become natural. There’s so much diversity in nature that you will never run out of different scenery to paint. The same view will look entirely different at different times of the year, and even different times of the day. Check out some beginners tips for painting landscapes below.

Start from a Photo

Although you might imagine most landscapes are painted out in the wild, this isn’t always true. There is something very magical about painting outdoors, and by all means, try it. However, if you are struggling then a photo might be easier. The light will change throughout the day which could cause frustration. If you take a photo you get an instant recreation of the view as a digital image, you can then use this to paint the landscape.

When you get more experienced then you can start painting outdoors. Many people do find that this adds an extra special touch to your painting. Sometimes a photograph will lose that special something.

That said, once you learn how to paint using these basic techniques you will find painting outside will become easier. Painting outdoors will allow you to appreciate the colors much better and to create much more realistic landscape paintings.

Sketching Scenes

If you want to take things a step further then you can create a sketch of a landscape first. Take a pencil with you into the field and make quick pencil sketches of views that you would like to recreate as landscape paintings. You can even make notes about colors and important details that you would like to include in the painting.

Creating Perspective

Perspective doesn’t really exist in a 2d painting, but you can create the effect of perspective with a few simple tricks and techniques. First, keep the things in the background of the picture a lighter color. Also, keep the edges softer so that they look slightly out of focus. Keep the edges of objects in the foreground sharper and more detailed.


Even the simplest looking landscape view, at first sight, will be much more complicated on further inspection. You have an artistic license to simplify and leave out certain details if they are too complicated or distracting. You don’t need to include every single branch, bird, plane, and other detail in the landscape. You should leave out any people in the painting unless they are an important part of your landscape. Stick to the beauty of the natural landscape if at all possible.

Landscapes are Unique

Everything in nature is unique and different. If you have lots of trees that look identical to one another then this isn’t right. Try to make everything look different. Carbon copies simply don’t exist in nature. Things can be similar, but shouldn’t be identical. Practice creating different trees, this will add beauty to your painting.


Perhaps the most important tip about learning landscape painting is to practice your different techniques. All painters are different and will develop their own styles and techniques. The more you practice painting different types of landscapes, the better you will get at painting landscapes.

With some practice, you will find that composing and creating beautiful landscape paintings will become second nature. You will be able to enjoy spending hours outside creating beautiful unique pieces of artwork.