View Full Version : Hour 8/100 - Six new landscape paintings

03-11-2014, 02:40 AM
Over the weekend I had the chance to do a lot of painting :)

1 - Abandoned early due to frustration. I was working over what I thought was a reasonable sketch. I just couldn't get the colours right.

2 and 3 - Trying to copy some of the paintings out of the book "Landscape painting - Inside and out" by Kevin Macpherson. I absolutely love the style of painting he does and that's what I'm trying to aim towards. Painting 3 was my first attempt at working on a coloured background.

4, 5 and 6 are all much smaller paintings done from pictures. The image of 5 is darker than the painting actually is. I'm actually reasonably happy with these.

I would love any feedback, tips or criticisms :)

One thing that I'm absolutely struggling with is mixing colours! I've mainly been using a cool blue, cool red, cool yellow, black, white and a little bit of burnt sienna. I want to use a limited palate so I learn how to mix the colours I want. But I just can't seem to get it right! Especially for earthy colours like in pictures 1 and 2.

Any tips or good resources? Any recommendations to any resources that will teach me how to mix colours better?

These are my latest attempts, from earliest to newest







Reference images






03-11-2014, 03:15 AM
I am pretty new at this painting thing also and what I have found is to keep practicing.

Color mixing was the hardest for me to understand, but I watched a lot of YouTube videos. I also purchased a color wheel and then ended up making color swatches where I put my primary colors, red, yellow and blue across the top of the paper and then down the side. I then added a bit of red to the yellow to see what I would get and put it on the swatch and continued doing this with each color. This helped me visualize the interaction of the colors. I keep these swatches very close at hand when I am painting.

You will hear about color tone, light to dark . I have added a chart that I got from here.
There is also a thread Color Theory and Mixing. It can get a little deep into discussion, but some makes good sense. Then you just practice with mixing and see what you get...
I hope this helps...again you just have to practice and practice. YouTube is great to see how things are done then practice what you see. Visit some of the other threads on Wet Canvas and ask questions...

Good luck. You really do have the right ideas and you will find your happy spot with the painting.


03-11-2014, 03:47 AM
Do you know about complimentary colors, the color wheel, and how to use them?
Most books on painting cover the basics of mixing, but often it just takes practice too.
For example to tone down a vivid red and a bit of green to it, makes it more of an earthy natural color.
blue too strong, add some orange
yellow too strong add purple

yellow with a touch of black makes nice olive greens

Charlie's Mum
03-11-2014, 07:37 AM
How much are you using the advice we all gave you in an earlier thread?

The chart above is from this thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268085) I did a long time ago - but always relevant!

TONE is actually more important than colour - read that thread and you'll see that if a painting works in monochrome it will work in colour, provided the tones are correct.

This thread by Artchrispy (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=587421) is an informative one on colour.
It also shows the colour wheel and the complementaries (opposite colours).

When I get new materials/colours I still make myself a colour chart to see how that particular material/colour works when added to others - or just with water.
Make your colour chart with your colours and mix each one with one other, in differing amounts and see the steps/change.
Mix with white and get the tints.
Mix with black and see the shades.

NB - many of us do not use black, but it can be useful.
Many of us make our own 'blacks' because they have more life.

To help with your earth colours it will be worth buying the umbers/sienna/ochres ....... they're useful additions.

When you've made the chart, look and study - see which colours and tones leap forward and which recede.

RE your last work above - sea and railings ........ place image and ref side by side - easier on the screen - and look at your differences .... how closely did you check tone?
How closely did you look at the strength(or not) of the railings?

You seem to me to be in too much of a hurry and not, at this point, showing a lot of evidence of the STUDY and LOOKING we advocated!:)

You're painting, but are you learning? :)

03-12-2014, 08:44 AM
Thanks for the links Charlies Mum!

And thanks for the feedback. About the railings, I'm struggling to paint thin enough to represent fine details. Maybe I need a finer paintbrush?

I will work on tone, and really studying and looking. :)

Charlie's Mum
03-12-2014, 12:01 PM
A fine liner brush will work - so also will the edge of a credit card (doesn't add to the bill either!;))
With lines like these it's often good if they're not solid all down(or across) - allow them to fade/thin and then come back.

Here's a little suggestion for tone understanding -
Working to a size of about postcard - or say 4 per A4 sheet of printer paper (letter size in US?)

Print each one a different tone of grey - do 5 perhaps - pale to dark, but separate.
Use the pale as the b/g then cut a line of distant mountains from the 2nd lightest, a middle line of hills from the 3rd, from the 4th, some rocks and from the darkest, tree shape - big enough to stretch most way up the space.
Lay them on top of each other and see the depth you achieve.:)

03-12-2014, 12:37 PM
I would suggest that you try using acrylics in watercolor style (it looks like you are painting on paper?). This means thinning the paint with water and using it on watercolor paper instead of canvas or board. I started with watercolor paints and it was much easier to learn color theory because I wasn't worried about wasting paint (it takes so little) and I could experiment easily. It was easy for me to make the switch to acrylics in terms of mixing colors (techniques was another matter!).

There is a teacher by the name of Charles Harrison who has some good videos on ArtClick.TV about using acrylic as watercolor:

You've gotten good advice here and there are also lots of free YouTube videos on color mixing. Here are a few: