Before going out into the field to start your acrylic or oil painting, we need to familiarize ourselves with the materials used in the process. In this lesson, Ben details his suggestions for paint pigments, brushes, canvases, and easels.
The concept of masses, the two-dimensional interlocking shapes that make up a painting, is one of the more difficult concepts to understand. Learn how to take all of the raw information found in nature and reduce it into simple, organized masses.
1h 22m 6s
The understanding of value and value relationships is essential to capturing the desired light effect of a scene. In this painting lesson, Ben explains the importance of the overall relationship and how to plan your values.
1h 16m 39s
Light and shadow planes are important concepts that allow an artist to communicate the form and structure of an element in a scene, as well as the direction of the sun. In this lesson, Ben shines a light on the techniques used to render these planes accurately.
Atmospheric Perspective is the effect of things becoming lighter, less saturated, and less detailed as they go back into space. In this painting lesson, you will learn how to render this effect correctly, and add another layer of depth to your paintings.
2h 3m 0s
Trees, with all of their leaves and branches, are one of the most difficult subjects to paint in landscapes. In this painting lesson, Ben shows you how to simplify trees, and illustrates the idea of a transparent mass.
Skies seem simple and free-flowing, but like all subjects in landscape painting, there are concepts that can help improve the rendering and understanding of what you see in nature. Learn how color and value gradients, as well as linear perspective, can take your skies to a higher level.
1h 39m 0s
A light effect is determined by the position of the sun in relation to the landscape painting scene. A scene with the sun behind you will look vastly different than a scene with the sun directly in front of you. In this lesson, you will learn about the different types of light effects created by the position of the sun, and how they affect the value relationships in your scene.
3h 49m 9s
Bring your paintings to life through the use of color. Learn color vibration, color mixing, and the role that color plays in a landscape painting.
1h 1m 26s
Composition is a concept with ideas and rules that can be played with or ultimately broken. Regardless, it is good to understand the different ways to compose your painting and the effects those decisions have on your painting. In this lesson, Ben lays out the rules and lists a few common types of compositions.
This scene of plains and distant mountains was chosen for its strong front-lit effect it’s clear example of how greens change as they go back into space. It’s springtime here and boy is it exciting to see greens emerging from the grey, violet colors of winter.
1h 2m 58s
This scene of a pond surrounded by trees of different sizes and colors was filmed during a butterfly migration, and it was chosen for all of its variety. One of the challenges was capturing the most interesting aspects of the scene without making the composition too symmetrical.
2h 47m 42s
This coastal scene had a clear example of atmospheric perspective. Most of the shapes and masses were pretty clear and simplified, but one of the challenges was interpreting the background which was full of houses and streets. In this one hour sketch, the goal was to suggest a town in the distance but while not making it the focus of the painting.
1h 22m 34s
Some people associate landscape painting with big natural views, but there’s no difference in approach in painting an urban or rural landscape. It’s often valuable to have a human element in a landscape painting. A building, a fence, a road, or a path: these are things that allow a viewer to feel more connected to the scene. This next demo was set up in an alleyway. This scene was chosen because of the way the telephone poles broke up the mass of the sky to create interesting shapes, and because it allowed for the use of two-point perspective.
1h 9m 42s
The scene is blanketed by a canopy of trees, making for dappled light effects. It’s almost like an interior with windows looking out to the rest of the landscape. As the light filters through red trees, it created fast-moving patterns of light and shadow on the forest floor. This creates a significant challenge. Every few minutes, nature offers a different design, so you have to make decisions based on these options. You won’t see a specific pattern of light and shadow repeated unless you come back the next day. Nature offers an infinite amount of possibilities, and it’s our job as a painter to select and design them.
4h 32m 55s
In this grassland scene, the main draw was to the contrast of the dark oaks tree against the sycamore tree just in front of it with yellowish-green spring leaves.
1h 32m 5s
In the coastal scene, the nearby town was the focus of the painting. The town was close and you could clearly see individual structures. Interpreting and simplifying the town was the main challenge of the painting. The strategy used here was to group the vertical planes together in shadow, and all of the top planes together in sunlight.
1h 39m 17s
This scene consists of trees in the foreground, a body of water, and a distant hill. When painting landscapes, you don’t always have to rush. Sometimes, like in this lake scene, it is possible to come back to your location under the same lighting conditions to do a multi-session painting.
3h 33m 5s
The main tree in this meadowy scene was mostly in sunlight in the morning, but by this time in the late afternoon, it was almost completely in shadow. Approaching the same scene at different times of day can help you expand your understanding of the different effects of light.
1h 6m 30s
This scene overlooks a classic Italian countryside, complete with rolling fields and hills. The Painting starts off in a lower key and is brightened up on the 2nd day.
The star of this scene is an old Italian country house covered in a variety vines and plants of varying color. A break was taken to do studies of chickens, which were painted into the scene as an interesting foreground element.
3h 50m 18s
The subject of this scene, an old Italian church, is unique because it is situated at a much higher elevation, being looked at from down below.
1h 13m 10s
This scene of rocks and trees, overlooking a creek, was done it the late afternoon. This had its own special challenges, considering the location was in a canyon. The light was changing fast, so it was painted without as much time spent on locking in composition. As painters, we are always weighing our options. If more time was spent, the entire canyon would have been in shadow.
3h 6m 32s
There is only a short window of time in which you can capture a sunset, which was the main element of this scene that included an ancient building just beyond a field grass. Here we tackle the challenges that come with working against the clock.
1h 2m 3s
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