Bierstadt Albert Scene in the Sierra Nevada
The scene in the Sierra Nevad

Landscape painting is an effort to catch the behaviour of light falling on the land. It is the intuition of the artist that defines the co-relationship of the objects lying on the land. In ordinary terms, the world landscape means the painting depicting an expanse of natural scenery: mountains, rivers, and forest included.

An artist is endowed with the duty of representing what he or she feels while looking at the objects to be painted. This representational capability is at the test when artists start painting it, as it is a challenge. Landscape art demands the ability to design, skill to use colours, and capability for creating a suitable structure of the objects and environment to be painted. 

The work of an artist here is to recreate the feel of the scene he or she is painting. An artist looks at the unfiltered beauty of nature, and there emerges an urge to recreate the scene on canvas; thus a landscape painting is born. The methods of communication through the colours are as varied as the moods of Mother Earth itself. The work of an artist who paints landscapes reflects our attitudes towards the natural world and our own place in it. The painters who love reality try hard to make the replica of a scene, as near to the real. Impressionist artists would insist on depicting the emotional response of an artist after seeing a scene. Artists of romanticism would paint their emotions to depict the sublime part of nature. The articles which are given here try to help to understand what landscape artists do and how they do it on their canvases.

         Weizenfelder, The Field -by Ruisdael

Most of the landscape paintings present an ordered view of nature, Mother Earth. These paintings depict idealized places bathed in golden light or of the countryside, which bears the pleasant marks of habitations. For a painter of any style, and especially for a landscape painter, the nature of light is the principal character. The light may be fiery and intense or pale and diffuse. Among others, the skill to capture the way in which the sun and the moon illuminate the subject is important. For a landscape painter, it is paramount to consider the light-factor properly, as the light gives value and refinement to the objects the artists is going to enliven on the canvass..

Capturing the acts of weather has remained a favourite subject for many artists. Extreme effects of the weather can also be used to communicate inspiring messages. Sometimes the message might not be clearly spelt in the object of painting itself; but by the masterly treatment of the subject, the painters have succeeded in creating such effects in the observers’ responses on seeing the painting. Remaining truly faithful to their subject and the art, these landscape painters have responded in a variety of ways to the challenge of depicting weather and its elusive atmospheric effect. 

Impressionist Landscapes -By Alfred Sysley

LANDSCAPE PAINTING: Catching Bright Light, Impressionist Style

Painting light and colour blend and the balance between fantasy and truth we find in landscape painters work giving us the measure of their art and knowledge of technique.

While painting landscapes, the prime object of some of the artists remains to be the depiction of the beauty and harmony embedded in nature. In doing so, they very often cross the boundary between reality and fantasy. While the painters of reality try hard depicting what they perceive.

Immediate visual impression, small strokes, partially modified shapes, and the element of reflected light: was, perhaps, the main characteristics of the paintings done by impressionist artists. They generally applied unmixed primary colours and used the element of light and shade dexterously. While attempting to depict space and the transitory effects of lights and atmosphere, the artists keep certain conventions of the art in mind. These conventions vary with the age and the group to which the artists belong. 

Painting the strong foreground to create a sense of recession and the trees and buildings populating the frame has remained the major preoccupation of the artists for since long.

The landscapes available to paint are as limitless as the landscapes of the land and hills. The artists use their tools of the trade, their desire to animate nature; and they add shades and flavour of their imagination into the paintings. They use the chromatic palette, rich in colours, for determining the object and giving the picture a balance and atmosphere. 

L'OndéLandscape Artist: Antoine Chintreuil

How to Capture Morning Light: When we look at the landscape or seascape before our eyes, we tend to respond differently. But the general response towards the landscape is the feeling of deep love and gratitude towards Mother Earth. When the artists, a painter takes a brush in his or her hand and stands before a blank canvass he or she does not feel differently as a human being. But as an artist when a person, with an idea to depict these natural object; stands before a blank canvass his or her desire is to reflect the attitudes towards the natural world, the beauty of Mother Earth.

The above painting is by Antoine Chintreuil (1814 – 1873), a French painter who had painted many beautiful scenes capturing bright light and lively atmosphere around Seine Valley in France. Here the use of bright yellow, Indian yellow perhaps, makes the morning sky and the cultivated landscape lively. 

More charmingly the human figures standing in the foreground are not much highlighted against the landscape. We can see that the focal point of the painting is at a distance, in the middle of the frame where the bright sunny sky and the sun-bathed mountain range meet each other. The bright colours used have made the whole painting so lively, and the art of exploiting the potentialities of oil paint is at best here. 

The art of landscape paintings throws us on the vastness of land and sea and the sky above our heads. The eye-catching colour scheme of nature charms every artist’s mind and arrests the heart. It's every segment has its own effect on our thinking and emotions. The flowing rivers make us believe that nature would provide for our food forever; the upright mountains challenge us to be brave and innovative.

The artist tries depicting every mood of the land, sky and the sea on canvass. The colours the artists spread on canvass or a piece of paper animate the picture that has been formed in the psychic of the artists. We should take it granted that the final outcome is not the exact replica or photocopy of what the eyes of the artists have visualised. The painting is a pictorial presentation of the artist’s memory, the memory that he or she has blended with artistic imagination.

Painting Order and Harmony in Nature: The painters' ideas about the forms, as they perceive them, are quite complex. It varies with the experience of each and every artist. Artist Painter Nicholas Roerich's method of communication is unique in nature, so far as his paintings of the Himalayan Mountains are concerned.

The Morning -by Caspar David Friedrich

Landscape painting has a timeless appeal for the head and hearts of the artists. The energetic presence of the sun, the mind-cooling beauty of moonlight, the overflowing joy of rivers, and alluring greenery have always inspired the painters. 

This inspiration has made them take brushes in hand and colours on palates and stand before a blank canvas. And there starts recreation of what they see and feel.

Why we Love Natural Scenes: Our likes and dislikes are the offspring of some of our basic desires. These intrinsic desires shape our attitude and behaviour. The love for art is one of such basic likings. We love the artwork in general, but there is a certain genre of art that gives us more pleasure and satisfaction. The landscape painting is one of them. Landscape painting is an art that enlivens what is there in nature. We, humans, love to see those painting for many reasons. The first and foremost reason is that the landscape painting is a representation of the purity Mother Earth wears. We love that element of purity to be a permanent part of our life. So we all love to have a landscape painting or a poster on our wall.

Grotto: painting by Henry
De Groux (1866-1930)

Role of an Artist: If we look at the paintings done by renowned artists like Constable and Claude Manet, we would feel spellbound for what they have painted. They did really recreate the feel of the unspoiled beauty that they had seen with their eyes. It is because if nature is allowed to function on its own, it will look aesthetically correct. Thus the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich would be like a statement in aesthetics.

The genre of landscape painting provides a good ground to use symbolism in art. The mood of the earth and the light on the surface of it change very often symbolizing different moods. A great artist would make out many things with the help of different colours. Nature spreads through the help of sunrays and in the absence of the same.

Thus the artists get help from nature, and the genre of landscape painting becomes more revealing through the imaginations the clan of artists see and the artistic skills they apply. If we look at the paintings done by Russian artist Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky, we can feel that the creative use of colours plays a great role in enhancing the value of an artwork. While painting seascape, he had used the transparent colours so skillfully that we would feel the transparency of the water.

Malcesine on Lake Garda with
Monte Baldo 
By E. T. Compton

MODERN LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS: The artist who paints landscapes reflect an honest attitude towards the natural world and their own place in it in particular; in general, it is the artistic human response to the beauty of Mother Earth.

The facets and forms of landscape paintings have been changing through the ages. And the master artists and their disciples have put enormous efforts and the skills at their disposal. But they have been hardly able to paint accurate copies of the places they see and the scenes they love to paint. Such is the liveliness and the changing moods of the surfaces of Mother Earth.

The painters, by their artistic endeavours and use of intuitions, have turned the medium of landscape painting to touch the potentials hidden in the art of painting. Unpredictable is the liveliness and the changing moods of the surfaces of Mother Earth. These painters manipulated the moods through colours and tones; they masterly stroked the brushes and lines and arrived at beautiful composition. They presented nature from various viewpoints. The artists of landscapes often provide more information and a sense of the place than it would be possible to capture from a single viewpoint. The noble duty of landscape painters is to depict the underlying structures and not merely the details of the world in three dimensions. 

Landscape in Winter -by Otto Barth: The painters by their art strive to elevate the painting-lovers to a higher and noble plane.  Real-life is full of imperfections, but the painters choose the most beautiful parts to represent. On seeing the final work our eyes catch the painting’s colour, its proposition and the balance of light and shade. In all the desire of the painter to represent the ideal beauty is achieved through their works.

Sunrise 60x50 cm
German Painter Margret
Hofheing-Doring (1910 – 1994)

The theme of this landscape with vibrant and cool colours is attractive. Modern landscape painter has developed their own style of painting the things lying around nature.

German Painter Margret Hofheing-Doring (1910 – 1994) was a painter who depicted various moods of the mother earth in her paintings. She has created nearly 9,000 images and has arranged more than one hundred exhibits around the word. She had painted several frames in the experimental structure painting wherein the artists' over-paint collages of fabric and the image frame they carry.

The art of landscape painter revolves around the pivot of honouring and celebrating the physical environment of the earth. This task may be executed in a variety of ways. The main attraction for considering the landscape as a big canvass is lying in the virginity of the beauty of the countryside. It is a delightful and relaxing place of retreat from the chaos of the city. Richly packed with long pastoral areas, the mountains, rivers, lush green vegetations and the down-to-the earth people: these are the subjects that hold great importance for landscape painting. It is a matter of discussion whether an artist succeeds in quantifying his or her experiences. But the artist’s finished work surely develops a strong and moving emotional reaction in the hearts of viewers. The finished landscape paintings hardly dissatisfy the artist or the viewers.

Artists and the Art of Landscape Painting: After putting the masterly efforts and all the skills available, the landscape painter hardly can paint an entirely accurate copy of a place. Such is the liveliness and the changing moods of the surfaces of Mother Earth. But turning the medium of landscape painting to their advantage, these painters often provide more information and sense of the place than it would be possible to capture from a single viewpoint. The art of landscape paintings honours and celebrate the physical environment of Mother Nature in a variety of ways. The idea of considering the countryside as a delightful and relaxing place of retreat from the chaos of the city is an old one. Rich with long pastoral areas, the mountains, rivers, lush green vegetations and the down-to-the earth people: these are the subjects that hold great importance for landscape painting. Artists have painted such places turning them into the object of delight. 

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