How To Create This Impressionist-Style Monochromatic Landscape Painting
In 6 Steps…
• Pencil and eraser
• Paint brushes, toothbrush and water
• Black permanent marker or pen
• Acrylic paint (Primary Cyan, Black and White)
• 12” x 16” canvas
Start by sketching the trees and branches with a permanent black marker or pen. I chose to use a permanent black pen for this step because I like the thinness of the lines and speed with which I can work, but if you prefer you can also use a thin paintbrush and black acrylic paint for this step.
Don’t worry too much about making the lines perfect or completely strait, trees and their branches are rarely ever strait in nature. Just relax and enjoy this step.
For this next step, wet the entire canvas with clear water using a fat mop brush or a wet sponge. On your palette mix water with PRIMARY CYAN and then use this to coat the entire canvas with a thin wash of color. Allow the color to puddle and pool on the canvas; this will help to achieve texture and movement in the work. When the painting is mostly dry (but not completely) you are ready for STEP 3 .
Load your brush with more of the PRIMARY CYAN, this time using less water so that you have a darker blue on your brush. Apply the color to the lower portion of the painting and also in the trees, this will be your leaves and grass. Don’t worry too much about detail yet, just enjoy this process, adding the color where you like. You can also add splashes of the paint to the canvas by holding the brush a few inches from the canvas and tapping the brush lightly to spray bits of color onto the painting. This technique will add texture to the painting as well. Allow the painting to dry COMPLETELY before moving on to STEP 4.
Once the painting is completely dry, it is time to add more trees to the image, this time using pure WHITE paint. Use a wider flat brush for the tree trunks and a thin flat brush for the branches. Once again remember not to worry too much about making the lines perfect or completely strait, trees and their branches are rarely ever strait in nature.
Painting is SUPPOSED to be fun, so allow yourself the freedom to have fun and play with the paint, don’t worry about the lines being perfect, just enjoy the process. Add as many or as few white trees and branches as you like. Wait for the paint to dry before moving to STEP 5.
Once the WHITE paint is dry you are ready to add the details. On your palette, mix a small amount of BLACK paint with PRIMARY CYAN. Use this shade to add details to the white tree trunks using a thin brush to create the look and texture of tree bark. Using a wider brush loaded with the same color, shade in the areas under the trees and add color to the trees to suggest leaves. For this process use less water on the brush and dab the paint in the trees using fast small strokes. You can also use a brush with less paint and no water on it to rub the leaf-areas in a soft circular motion to create a softer look. Move on to STEP 6 before the paint is dry.
For the final step, use an old toothbrush that has been wet and loaded with WHITE paint. By rubbing your finger over the top of the brush (several inches above the canvas) you will create tiny sprays of WHITE paint which will not only add texture and movement to the painting but will also give the feeling of leaves or flowers or snow. Start off with just a little bit of paint on the toothbrush, to see how you like this technique. You can then continue this process, until you are satisfied with the look and feel of your painting.
And VOILA! The painting is complete!
I hope you have fun creating your own version of this painting using the same process and techniques.
Here are two other examples of the kinds of paintings you can create using this technique…
Amanda G Wright
Images and writing © AmandaGWright 2011.