LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS : Beautification of the Mother Earth

Theme : Landscape paintings depicting beauty and harmony in the nature.

Landscape by John Constable
Oil On Canvass Size 55.3 × 78.1 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

While painting landscapes, prime object of some of the artists remains depiction of beauty and harmony embedded in the nature. Vastness of land, seas, rivers and mountains are the ingredients of landscape paintings. But painting the sky in its various moods is the most essential part of landscape painting. It remains prime attention of an artist to depict sky in its every mood and proportion highlighting other aspects in a frame.

By the things painted, and for convenience too, the artists divide or call different parts of the landscape paintings as seascapes, skycaps, moonscapes, river view, cityscapes, aerial view etc. Landscape art, nurtured by the masters and amateur artists, has developed to its present height and is still scaling further.

During the journey through the years, the art of painting landscape has undergone through many improvements and experiments, latest being the modern style of landscape painting. The invent of various ingredients of colours, the improving quality of oils, the various schools and institutions providing education and guidance have helped popularising the art of painting in general and the landscape painting in particular.

The work of an artist who paints landscapes reflects our attitudes towards the natural world and our own place in it. It is because the recording of the material world, may it be by brush of a painter or a pen of a writer, has hardly been wholly objective or neutral. The art of landscape paintings honours and celebrate the physical environment of Nature in variety of ways. (Images Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Harwich lighthouse, by John Constable, c.1820

LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS : Beautification of Wilderness, in Watercolour

Theme: Lanscapes paintings of the trees, animals, falling snow and the wilderness of the nature.

Every artist does or wants to do something new in his or her life. The rebellion remains the spirit of an artist. A desire to wage war against the traditions gives strength to an artist. Anton Mauve (1838 - 1888) revealed it in the form of protesting his parents. He left the traditional study to become an artist.

Riders in the Snow of the Woods at The Hague by Anton Mauve [ Watercolour on Paper 44.1 cm x 26.7 cm ]

The Artist: Anton was fond of painting in his unique style. In his initial period, he had preferred a highly finished manner of completing a painting, using a palate full of brilliant colours. Later in his life, he had changed this technique and adopted subdued colours. Many of his paintings done in this period would be in lighter blue and revealing the delicacy of grey. He would take his art materials, ride on house, and go to rural areas of his country Netherland for painting the peaceful rural life. [Image Courtesy By Anton Mauve (1838-1888) (www.rijksmuseum.nl) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons]

The Art: Known as a realist artist from Hague School of art, Anton had leaning towards painting landscapes. Catching the colours of greenery clad or snow-covered land became his favourite subjects. He would paint the horses and other animals as subject of his choice. One of the efforts catching the moods of earth live is the technique of painting in open air. The sketches and paintings, including oil paintings, done in the open air in front of the view being recorded often possess an immediacy not found in landscape paintings done under the artificial lights of a studio. Anton Mauve did much work of painting out-of-doors, capturing in paint the vitality of natural phenomena. In the above painting, Riders in the Snow of the Woods at The Hague, we can see his passion for painting.

After putting masterly efforts and all the skills available, a landscape painter hardly can paint an accurate copy of a place. Such are the liveliness and changing moods of the surfaces of Mother Earth. Look at this painting of a Shepherdess done by Anton. It is so lively that the viewers would experience the feel of green field.

Shepherdess with a flock of sheep

Painting the Landscapes: Turning the medium of landscape painting to their advantage, Anton often provided more information and sense of the place than it would be possible to capture in ordinary circumstances. The art of landscape paintings honours and celebrates the physical environment of the Mother Earth 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. Open grounds 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 a landscape artist like Anton. He had painted such places turning them into the object of delights.


Imagination: Once you have your sketch ready, your work starts really. You are selecting some of the objects and not all, but you are applying your imagination, too. That will enhance the artistic value of your painting.

Be Selective: When you paint the vast arena lying before your eyes, will all the objects on the earth on the same, you would find it nearly impossible to replicate all of the same on your canvass. It is not even required or advisable to paint everything we see. So we have to select the objects to paint. We are going to paint, and we are not going to take a coloured photo of the scene.

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