Painting Landsape insights I have learned

simple landscapes that I enjoy painting and making them into cards.

Summer for me is a great time to look back and see the growth of my landscapes. It was the pull of painting landscapes that brought me into watercolor, and it will always be landscapes to keep me interested in watercolor.

I have taken all of Angela Fehr's Landscape classes, they are all amazing! In the Mastery class and composing, landscapes have learned some great insights.  Angela has reminded me of some of her insights in her latest Youtube video.

One main thing I need to remember when painting Landscapes is that there is a ton of work that goes on way before paint hits the paper. 

This is how I have started, and then was reiterated with Angela's Fehr's Heart lead Landscapes:

One of the reason's why I love to paint landscapes is because I get to ask questions.
For example:
What about this landscape/ reference photo do I like. 
What moved me to take this picture, or that I want to paint this place?
Are there any icons or symbols that can mean other things? (grove of trees, (families)) or a Bridge (crossing over to a new adventure) symbols can really give more meaning to your landscapes than just a good feeling/picture you painted. 
What mood associates this landscape? Do I want it to be mysterious, or cheerful, or peaceful? 

I remember looking at one of Grant woods paintings of Birch trees overlooking the Des Moines river, it was stunning, it stopped me in my tracks. I thought what a peaceful place! I wanted to be there, The colors and the movement of his trees made it feel peaceful and tranquil. 
Grant Wood
Des Moines River
Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections

What about this place does it make me want to paint it. I ask those questions so I can get to the heart of the painting. 

 Angela Fehr pointed out that painting landscapes are part of the intuitive painting process (painting from your heart) To do this we may have to ask: Who am I? How am I showing myself in my work? When we ask those two questions, we are putting our self into our art!  

Before you put any paint to paper, there is a time where you are able to think about how and why you are painting this landscape, to me that is the best part. So many times I have thought, I want to paint the simple grass and sky because I can, and then paint it because It makes me feel happy, mysterious, or grateful. I can express how I feel far more with color and emotion than I can with words. (Georgia O'Keeffe has often said this too, and it's true!
Spring in Iowa

There are so many pictures I have taken for reference photo's that It would take me a lifetime to paint them all, and yet, my pictures I take all seem to say: You can make it your own just by showing up and doing the work, who knows what will come of it.

I just put a Landscape painting into the Iowa Watercolor Society's Mini show of a simple and yet meaningful landscape. the landscape or the reference picture I took was magical, It is a place by my house where a friendship started, all because I had to start walking, and needed a walking buddy. It's the same place where most often than not I have found my Ah Hah moment. and yet painting it was very therapeutic for me. The colors, the movement of the trees, the composition all had to be taken accounted for. When I was done with it, I felt Joyful that I was able to paint this! I felt as if the painting took over, and my artist side said, this is how It needs to be, and I was just the vehicle for that translation. It was a powerful sustaining feeling of joy, self-worth, and knowing I was on the right path for more than just painting some trees. 

I hope that you take some time to paint a couple landscapes this summer, I think you will be glad you did. 

If you are like me, I always wanted to paint landscapes my way.. But I didn't know what that "way" was. Angela's classes helped me paint it my way. 

The best thing I learned for sure about landscapes is that if you have your values right, the rest will come. That was a huge turning point in my work. and now whenever you see a landscape You will know that I know where my darkest darks are and where My lightest lights are.

So ready to paint with us this summer?  I am, let's learn together! 

Classes to help you with your landscapes:

Click here for more info on this class

Heart-Led Landscapes I can't wait to paint and learn with her newest class!
I love this class! LOVE IT! so many things to go along with this class! I also have made a review of it that you can look here for this link. Composing Landscapes is worth your time to take

Click here for more information
Watercolor Mastery has been by far my favorite course! Angela pushed me into finding my style and not to be timid about it! There is a lot of talk on landscapes, and using your style along with color and composition! Lots of learning and breakthroughs! 

If you are looking for a way to hone your watercolor skills or just need a good jump start, this watercolor workout class helps with pushing your style to the next level. Here is a good post that helps illustrate more about what I have learned from this class.

When you click on these links you are supporting my blog. I am an affiliate with Angela (I pay for classes, but may get a small commission from Angela when you click on the links on this post.)