Oil Painting Landscape Demo by Artist Jon Houglum

Here is a fantastic oil painting landscape demo by Artist Jon Houglum.  If you are not already familiar with Jon’s work, then you should definitely take a moment to visit his Website here.  I am a huge fan of his work and his lessons.  Here is another fantastic landscape oil painting demo of his that I posted on this site not too long ago.  This is a five part video demonstration that is approximately 1 hour in length, so make certain to free up enough time to watch the whole thing.

Part 1

In part 1 of this tutorial, Jon starts with a toned canvas.  He then takes some Burnt Sienna that has been thinned down with paint thinner and begins to lay out his composition.  He divides his composition into thirds.  The rule of thirds is a popular compositional guideline that artists follow to ensure they have an interesting composition. It ensures that your composition will not be divided in half, which is a big no no in painting.  Jon then begins to block in the sky.  He starts at the horizon with a mixture of Burnt Sienna, Blue and a touch of red.

This color mixture is to be greyed as to represent the sky in the distance. He adds more blue as he approaches the top of the canvas and blocks in the rest of the sky. He is not concerned with any details like clouds at this point.  The main objective here is to block in a convincing sky, a transition from a lighter warmer horizon color to a slightly darker cooler and bluer sky that is closest to the viewer.

Jon then paints in the distant hills with a mixture that is close to the sky color but a bit darker and earthier. He then takes the same mixture and darkens it a bit more to paint in the next set of hills. He does it yet again and paints in the next set of hills. What he is doing here is creating the illusion of depth and distance by varying the colors and values.

Part 2

In part 2 of this oil painting landscape demonstration, Jon begins to block in the distant trees using a mixture of various Greens, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna and a little bit of Yellow Ochre. He is using a technique known as “Pool Painting”. Pool Painting is when you continuously add to the same “pool” or mixture of colors throughout the painting.

Each time Jon adds a stroke of paint he first goes to his palette and changes his color just a bit to create more variety. He is not concerned with light and shadow at this point. He is more concerned with getting the canvas covered.

He softens the edges of the tree line to push them back further into the distance. Things in the distance have less detail than things in the foreground.

He is now going to paint in the bright sunny field using a mixture of white, yellow ochre, emerald green, a touch of red and a touch of turquoise. He continually tests out this color mixture and adjusts it as needed by adding different colors until he is satisfied.

Part 3

In part 3, Jon begins to work on the big tree in the foreground.  He mixes up a dark green for the tree using Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Touch of Emerald Green and some Dark Green. He finds a mix he is happy with and blocks in the tree. He then mixes up some Burnt Sienna, Dark Green and some Blue and creates a darker green that he will use for the shadows on the tree as well as the cast shadow.  He then adds a bit of Turquoise to the color he used to initially block in the tree to lighten it. This will serve as the highlights for his tree.  He then lightly dabs the tree with his brush in order to soften the edges and bring the tree to life.

Part 4

In part 4 of this landscape oil painting demo, Jon revisits the horizon. Using a mixture of White, Burnt Sienna and a touch of Blue to make a warm grey.  He will use this mixture to eventually to paint in his clouds. He takes some of this color and uses it to paint over his tree to create what are known as “sky holes” in landscape painting.  He then begins to work on his clouds.

He then adds some more blue to the sky to make it pop against the white clouds. He adds some Burnt Sienna to this blue color to neutralize it somewhat so that it isn’t too blue. He then mixes up a very bright white to makes his clouds stand out a bit more. He adds this bright white color to the clouds on the shadow side of his big tree to create some contrast. He then works on softening some of the edges in his clouds and distant hills.  He then works on adding some lighter greens to the distant trees.

Part 5

In this last part of this landscape painting tutorial, Jon adds lots of details and embellishments to the painting like adding bushes, dark greens to the foreground and more.

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