Getting started

Painting Landscapes - Getting Started

This is I sitting at a blank canvas. Being an artist I know I should have messy hair and a beard. The impoverished look rather then the conservative middle-aged middle class mug. One thing I have learned is that you can never stereotype an artist. We come in all sorts of shapes, colour and sizes. Fully united in our creativity.

Keep your painting clothes separate from your other clothes. The more comfortable and less stressed you are about making a mess the better your painting will be. Don't wash them with your other favourites because paint can migrate. If you are painting on the carpet then place plastic sheeting down on the ground. Also to save your sanity always check your feet and boots before you tread oil paint through the house. Believe me I have done this and it takes hours to fix, if you can.

The blank look on my face is because I am wondering if my camera on a timer is going to click soon?

Choosing a subject for this painting is a personal choice. You will enjoy painting so much more if you like the composition you have chosen. Today I am going to begin painting from a photograph I took last year in the Tongariro National Park in the North Island of New Zealand. Mt Ngarahoe is my mountain feature in the mid-ground and the tussock country of Central North Island high country will lead my eye into the composition.

My photo is printed to 8 x 10 and placed in a clear file. It is clipped to a plastic stand. My stand also doubles as a handy rubbish container. Very clever indeed.

Why did I choose this subject to demonstrate oil painting to you? I liked it! It has snowy mountains to which many are fond. The tussock will give plenty of texture with a touch of impressionism in the work. This is not an overly easy composition to work with because it does not have a lot of dimension. I want to achieve in this painting what most landscape artists want to achieve. 'Depth'.

I want to be able to look into this painting, allowing my eye to wander through the foreground tussock and over the plains to the mountain beyond. I want to be able to see into the Landscape. How? Let's do it and find out.

My canvas is a good size 100cm x 76cm and 3 cm deep over the stretch bars. It's a good quality canvas on a sturdy frame and I purchased it from a reliable supply shop. I have got everything I need in good supply. The radio on my favourite country music station and a strong cup of coffee.

I never drink alcohol while I paint but I often will lace the veins after my efforts of the day. A pleasant mornings painting to be had and what can be better?