How to Paint Landscapes With Acrylic Paint

By Carl Hose ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Pencils
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Canvas
  • Acrylic varnish

Landscape painting provides a variety of subject matter and affords beginning and seasoned artists alike with enough inspiration to create masterpieces. Acrylic paints are excellent for creating landscapes due to their versatility and the vibrancy of acrylic colors. Acrylic landscape paintings are popular fare in museums across the country and you can find them for sale at many online artists' websites. Learn how you can paint your own landscapes with acrylic paint and even put them on display for others to enjoy.

Decide on the landscape you want to paint. You could use a reference photo, or better yet, sit outside and work from an actual landscape. Use a pencil and lightly sketch in the landscape you want to paint. Don't worry about getting details in the sketch. The primary goal is to set the composition and get the perspective outlined. Sketching is not necessary, but it can be helpful if you're just starting.

Paint the sky first. Use wide strokes to apply the acrylic paint, letting the colors trail from dark to light. Continue to do this until the colors blend and give the sky a natural appearance. Keep the brush strokes going in the same direction, allowing the colors to disperse naturally. Apply additional strokes of paint to darken where needed. You can use water if you need to lighten the paint application. Add dabs of white and use curved, drawn-out strokes to form the clouds. Thin out selected spots to give your clouds realistic color and dab at the paint to add texture.

Paint the elements of your landscaping. Use various shades of green for trees and foliage. Paint tree trunks dark brown, then wet your brush and drag thin lines through the paint to lighten it, which will lend a more realistic look to your bark. Paint the grass with different shades of green and then apply light strokes of brown to enhance the definition. Even if you're working from a reference, don't be afraid to experiment and add your own elements, whether it's a tree stump or even an animal. Try changing colors to suit your tastes.

Apply acrylic varnish to your painting. You can purchase the varnish at any hobby shop of art supply store. Apply the varnish when the painting is dry. Not only will varnish protect your painting, it brings out the vibrancy of the colors and the type of varnish you choose will give different types of finishes to your painting, such as glossy or matte. Read the instructions on the can before you purchase the varnish.

About the Author

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.