Problems with Dramatic Landscape Art
|Dramatic Landscape Art|
Painting onto a white canvas which may also mislead the artist to the true tonal value of each colour mixture, as even pale ones will appear dark. The result is a landscape painting that looks washed out.
Over-mixing the paint and applying it onto the artwork rather like one would to emulsion a wall. Similarly, anguishing over every brushstroke and smoothing over imperfections. The result is a painting that looks overworked and lifeless.
How to Paint a Dramatic Landscape
Adding a sense of depth and drama to a landscape painting is mostly dependent upon the visual resources at hand, whether this is photos or sketches. Painting from memory must be avoided, or it will spoil the effect. The following tips will help create a landscape that has depth and drama.
Fine Art Photography
If panorama is desired, select an image that contains distant objects and near objects. The contrast in proximity will enhance the sense of distance, whether the scene depicts a Scottish Highland or Yellowstone Park. Using wide angled photography provides further opportunities for exploring big skies and vistas adding a real sense of space. Be aware of the horizon line. A high horizon will enhance the land; a low horizon will enhance the sky.
Furthermore, don’t clutter the landscape with lots of elements. Less can often be more when it comes to creating a grand scale.
Look for and create contrasts within the landscape scene: Big and small; sunlight and shadow or near and far. A small cottage will make a thundering waterfall appear more impressive. A lone poplar set against distant mountains will create a chasm effect. A streak of sunlight hitting a snow cap against a sombre scene will create a tonal focal point.
Painting Dramatic Skies
An ordinary landscape can be transformed by different weather conditions. Castlerigg Stone Circle in Cumbria, for instance has twice the drama when snow-caps festoon the surrounding mountains. Consider returning to the same setting another day or time of year.
|Tips for Landscape Art|
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Painting Techniques for Dramatic Art
Stand back from the painting to prevent working too close up. Working on a toned ground as opposed to a white surface will help the artist judge tones more accurately. I endeavour to use all tonal values from pale to very dark within my landscapes. Don’t be afraid to use paint neat from the tube and to contrast art techniques, from impasto skies to blending mists. Palette knives, old combs or sponges are great for creating a diversity of marks for a dramatic landscape. Lastly, don’t fret over every imperfection. Allow streaks of colour and brush marks to remain. Doing so will retain freshness, vibrancy and energy to the painting.
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