John Constable: Painting Relationship With Landscape

Theme: Landscape with a message, Panting the Object of Human Endeavours

Landscapes Painting: If it is spring; if there is strong wind of pleasure in air; and if an artist like John Constable takes brush in his hand; the message is clear: there would descend a masterpiece landscape on a canvas. The Artists like Constable carry a specific set of tools, when they stand before a canvas and load their brushes with colours. Among these tools, intuition is the strongest one. It pushes an artist to paint something the viewers eyes would love to see.

Malvern Hall Oil on Canvas by John Constable

An artist feels that it is his or her noble duty to depict the beauty of objects lying before the scope of eyes. While painting landscape, artists explore the hidden potentials of art of painting. He would thing about how the artwork could be the cause of entertaining the eyes of art-lovers.

Landscape is one of the most alluring subjects for the painters, too. May it be the unpredictable scenario on surface of the earth, sky or sea; may it be the changing moods of trees and flowing rivers: these subjects have always appealed to the minds of artists.

The Art: Painting titled as Malvern Hall, given above, is done by John constable. In addition to the lush green landscape shown in this painting, Constable has depicted buildings, too. When the artists include objects created by human labour, they infuse a different quality into their artworks. The works done by humans on surface of the earth show how the human endeavours effect the environment. Paintings of farms and farmhouse and beautifully panted rows of green trees witness the human efforts to decorate the Mother Earth.

The Artist: Constable was an artist with a difference. He had quietly rebelled against established artistic culture. He insisted that an artist should apply his or her imagination while composing paintings. Putting weight on mere natural scene was not professed with much stress. Constable used his art in adoring the landscapes as it were. We can call his paintings done in realistic style. His paintings would look like romantic, too.

When an artist cultivates a working relationship with landscape, he or she would move on to paint green cover of the farms waving crops. He or she would paint water canals, and disciplined rows of roadside trees. When dry land is shown adjacent to green fields, it depicts how we love to decorate the earth. And the painter like Constable would love to paint the mother earth in all of her moods. (Image Courtesy By Constable, John John Constable (1776–1837) Description English painter Date of birth/death 11 June 1776(1776-06-11) 31 March 1837(1837-03-31) Location of birth/death East Bergholt (Suffolk) London Work location London [public domain], from Wikimedia Commons )

How to Depict the natural order of the seasons and the landscape

Wivenhoe Park, Essex, home of Major-General Rebow -by John Constable

The artists while painting a landscape know that the nature has its own order. The paint brushes, the colours with all of their tonal values and hues, and the blank canvases: these all try to enliven the embedded order of the nature. It has seasons coming and going by turn; it has rain and snowfall as per the climatic timetable. Thus every natural event occurring on the surface of land is more or less is an integral part of an ordered system of the nature. While painting this beauty in its every shade and mood, the artist also try to depict the hidden order embedded in the landscape.

When the landscape artists include the objects created by human endeavours, they add different characteristics to their artworks. The paintings of nicely tilled farm, the straight rows of planted tees, and other agricultural activities establish the stamp of the man’s capacity to effect the changes in the order of nature. The green cover of the crops waving in agricultural farms; the flowing water canals; the rows of roadside trees; and the forestation of dry lands confirm the desire of human race to create working relationship with the nature. These activities of mankind have greatly helped the natural forces to sustain greater order of the nature. The landscape painter puts this relationship on canvas. Here the endeavour of the artists is to show the relationship between the natural and the humans.

The other activities of humans affecting the natural view of the landscape are the erection of buildings on farm land and towns for habitation. The constructions at ports and market areas are the offspring of modern needs. Building huge residential places was among the most favourite activities of those who can afford it. Landscape artists have also tried showing these edifices, too, by painting these constructed objects and the subjects lying within them.

By his or her artistic endeavours, an artist always desires to entertain viewers and art lovers. The art that passes tests of time and tastes succeeds in carving out a permanent place within the hearts and consciousness of those who share the artistic joy presented through artworks. (Image courtesy By John Constable (1776–1837) Description English painter Date of birth/death 11 June 1776(1776-06-11) 31 March 1837(1837-03-31) Location of birth/death East Bergholt (Suffolk) London Work location London [public domain], from Wikimedia Commons )


Landscape painting has remained the most popular theme for the artists. How to paint landscape, cityscape, or sea-scape, and the sky are independent fields of the art of painting.

Mount Etna,
from Taomina 1843.
Painting byThomas Cole
(Image courtesy Thomas Cole [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons wikimedia Commons)

Painting the Landscapes : When an artist is face to face with a beautiful view, there would be one and only thought in his or her mind. And the thought would be, “what a spectacular painting this beautiful scene would make!” The art of landscape painting is as old as the art of paintings itself. But there have been certain techniques, which have evolved with the passing of the time. Let us see how the landscape painting is painted, or how it can be painted in a better manner. Here are some of the techniques used by the master artists.

Painting in Stages : Unlike other paintings, which can be done in one go, the landscape paintings should be done in three phases. In the first phase, start painting the objects which are at the far end, at a distance from the painter’s eyes. So the sky and the mountain peaks would come first. After painting the things lying at a distance, paint the objects which are closer than those things painted. Finally start painting the things near to you.

How to Choose a Colour Scheme : An artist's intuition would be the good guide. But there are certain rules painting landscapes. The colour scheme would also follow this pattern, more or less. Rule one: paint the lighter objects first and then proceed onto the darker zones. The things lying in near vicinity would be darker and attracting more details than the objects at distance. Final stage would be to paint the additional details. For trees, consider painting trunks of the trees and shadows falling on ground. If there are buildings, then try making them appearing solid, looking three dimensional. This could be done by painting the surrounding area of those building darker than the other objects. The nearest objects are to be done with smaller brushes and with minute details.

How to Paint Trees : While painting landscapes, the trees are the important objects. Every artist who loves nature would love to depict the trees in their every shade and every season. Ina landscape painting the trees are put in every location: at distance, in the middle distance and in the foreground, too. Keeping the distance of the tree in a scene, an artist would vary the tonal values and shades of colours to be applied. The difference in the tone and texture and the intensity of colours, the viewers would judge about the distance of the trees. Such a tonal and coloring arrangement would create a feeling of distance in the eyes of the viewers.

How to Paint Trees at Distance : As the object goes away from our eyes we can see less detail about the same. Thus while painting the trees, or any other object, we should make them loaded with lesser details. If these trees are painted in grey and blue tones, it would be ideal. In case of painting the distant tree, mere placing the silhouette would be sufficient in most of the cases. It would not be necessary to make these trees more outspoken, as they should not look competing with other objects in the near vicinity.

How to Paint the Trees in Middle : In most of the cases while an artist paints landscape, s/he would prefer to place the tree and other vegetation in the middle distance. It would be very important to decide the exact location. Once it is decided that the tree would be in the middle of the scene, the colour scheme and the other aspects like tonal values and the hues of the colours to be applied become clearer.

The trees painted in middle distance would require precise treatment regarding their shape, the colours to be used, the tonal values to be ascribed and the shades of colours, including the shades of the shadows that these trees creates on the ground. However minute details like the precision in painting the leaves and branches would not be necessary. Here in the distance, the portion of the land would be painted with subdued green. A tint of transparent golden yellow would make the green subdued and looking warmer. That would give a firm ground for the trees painted in the middle and in the distance

The summer Oil on Canvas -by Alfred Sisley (Image Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

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