- How to choose your colour palette for your landscape painting.
In nature there are so many colours to see, earth browns, greens and blues and beyond that are the colours that are more vibrant, the pinks, oranges, reds and yellows and a mixture of these. Black is a colour that I don’t use very often as it can make your landscape lack depth. If you want to use black it is better to mix your own as it will then have more warmth and depth of colour to it. There are a few mixes to do this, one of them is with burnt umber and Thalo blue, you will find all the colour mixes in another blog tutorial coming soon .
When you look at your landscape to paint it is a good idea if possible to start by going to the location. That way you can will be able to observe all the colours a lot better. Working from a photo can be ok too, but it won’t show you all the details of the colours. Even working in your own back yard on something can be a good way of starting. Below is a list of colours to use for your landscape.
Titanium white Thalo Blue Cerilium Blue
Cadmium yellow pale Thalo Green Alizarin Crimson
Cadmium yellow Terre vert Green Sap green
Cadmium Orange Burnt sienna Yellow ochre
Cadmium scarlett Raw sienna Dioxine Purple
Cadmium red Burnt umber Turquoise
These are just a few from a huge range of colours to choose from, if you’re just starting out it can be quite expensive to have all these, so I recommend 9 main colours to get you started and then you can gradually build up other colours into your collection.
- Titanium white *yellow ochre * burnt sienna* burnt umber * thalo blue *thalo green *Cadmium yellow * cadmium red * Alizarin crimson.
- I recommend Winsor & Newton oil paints as their quality is higher than their price
Having a good quality paint really makes a difference to your painting.
2. Beginner Colour Mixes
These are to get you started, it can seem daunting to a beginner all the colour mixes, but here are a few main ones that you will need in your landscape. You will need to experiment with mixing these colours.
- Background and shadow- distant hills, mountains, shadows on trees, fields, bushes, rocks, buildings etc, you can use Dioxzine purple, or if you don’t have that colour I usually mix my own from Thalo blue and Alizarine crimson with some white. You can create a very dark purple for shadows or add white to make different variations of purple.
- Important- when you add white it dilutes the hue of the colours so just add more hue (Colour) to strengthen the colour again when needed.
- Sky Colours- Thalo Blue with white, Cerilium blue with white, Turquoise with white,
- Clouds – White with a touch of Alizarin, white a touch of yellow ochre, white with a touch of purple, white with a touch of any blue. A touch of paint means a dot, in particular Alizarin crimson is a very strong colour, so go easy on it, again experiment with your colours.
- Grasses, Trees, Bush- Terra vert green with yellow ochre, Thalo green with yellow ochre, Thalo green , yellow ochre & cadmium yellow, Thalo blue, cadmium yellow. Raw sienna, Burnt umber and yellow ochre all make good grass colours. Add white to any of these to get different variations.
3. What type of mediums, thinners and varnishes and their uses.
I find the best thinners to use are the odourless ones, otherwise the smell can be very over powering and may even cause you to get a headache. Here are a few ones I like to use, there are many types to choose from though, but this can give you an idea of a few and their uses.
A clear liquid varnish, which is non-yellowing and dries leaving a glossy film. Comes in matt or gloss. Gives temporary protection to recently completed oil paintings. This is good to use on a painting that is dry but is only a few months dry when you want to varnish a piece before the 6 months drying period. Its also good for putting on a painting that you haven’t finished yet and has been left for a long time, put the retouch on and leave it until sticky , aprox 20min, then start painting on it if you want it wet on wet, or you can wait until its completely dry before starting the painting.
A low odour alternative to artist turpentine for people sensitive to turpentine fumes.
Same as the pure turps but with only one ninth of the toxicity. This is one I prefer to use as it is odourless. Good for cleaning your brushes with or thinning down paint for under washes or sketching in the first stages of your painting. I also like to use Artists cleaning soap afterwards as over time it can be damaging to your brushes if you don’t rinse out the turps.
ART SPECTRUM REFINED LINSEED OIL
Pure refined linseed oil, reduces the consistency of oil paints and imparts extra gloss. I like this one as it seems to speed the drying time better than some other ones Ive used but there are faster drying mediums than this one. Use this to add into your oil paint when it is to thick. I usually dip into my oil pot when needed and add into the oil paint until it is like a soft butter consistency.
Important, do not use fast drying mediums on top of slower ones as it will cause cracking in the paint.
Liquid Mediums and their uses
Liquin Original — This reliable favorite (formerly known simply as “Liquin”) is a general-purpose low gloss medium that improves flow and transparency. It mixes easily with the brush or knife, smoothes brushwork, and is also suitable for textured oil techniques. Liquin Original approximately halves the drying time of oil colors, resulting in a drying time of anywhere from one to five days, depending on climate, colors used, and film weight. It is not recommended as a varnish or final coat.
Liquin is a durable, non-yellowing medium for thinning oil and alkyd colors, and speeding drying time.
Liquin Original — This reliable favorite (formerly known simply as “Liquin”) is a general-purpose low gloss medium that improves flow and transparency. It mixes easily with the brush or knife, smoothes brushwork, and is also suitable for textured oil techniques. Liquin Original approximately halves the drying time of oil colors, resulting in a drying time of anywhere from one to five days, depending on climate, colors used, and film weight. It is not recommended as a varnish or final coat. It is great for speeding up drying , your painting can be dry almost the next day or 2.
Other types of Liquins
Liquin Fine Detail — The most fluid of the Liquin family of products, this gloss medium is ideal for fine detailed work, for producing a smooth surface picture, or in smoothly blended areas where brushmarks are not desired.
Liquin Impasto — This is a semi-gloss, quick-drying, non-yellowing impasto medium that retains crisp textures and brush strokes without any visible leveling. It also extends tube color, provides bulk, and allows more blending time. When dry, it forms a flexible, tough film that can be varnished in the normal way. Use it for heavier brush work or palette knives. It is not recommended for use as a varnish or final coat.
Liquin Light Gel — This Liquin formulation is a slight gel that breaks down on brushing (thixotropic) and flows out to give a non-drip effect when mixed with color. It is ideal for glazing, and dries to a gloss film that has an increased resistance to yellowing.
Liquin Oleopasto — A semi-matte, quick-drying medium, Liquin Oleopasto has a soft gel consistency with some brush drag, ideal for leveling crisp brushmarks and providing bulk in impasto and texture work. When added to paint, Liquin Oleopasto extends tube color. When dry, it retains knife and brushstrokes and won’t level out. It dries to a crack-resistant, virtually non-yellowing film.
Brushes and Palette knifes… coming soon