Lesson 2: Planning and Technique

Welcome to lesson 2 of the Portray the Panorama workshop.

In lesson 1, I selected a reference picture to color. Now it’s time for the planning and technique part.

This part will mean you can begin the portray with path, momentum, and a plan of assault. It’s going to additionally make the portray course of smoother, you’ll make fewer errors, and the end result can be higher.

What this part appears to be like like in apply will fluctuate from portray to portray. It is likely to be a quick visualization and brainstorm earlier than you decide up a brush. Or it is likely to be one thing extra concrete and detailed. It will depend on the complexity of the portray relative to your ability stage.

A phrase of warning: Don’t get caught on this part. Planning and technique are necessary, however they shouldn’t get in the way in which of motion. If you end up caught, simply begin portray and see the way it goes.

Right here’s the reference picture I selected to color in lesson 1:


Alter the Dimensions if Crucial

The very first thing I do is alter the size of the picture to make the composition extra interesting. By cropping sure elements, I can reposition the point of interest, alter the sense of stability and house, or exclude elements that don’t add something to the composition.

On this case, no changes are wanted. The picture is okay as it’s.

Tip: Whenever you take reference images, you need to achieve this with the composition and portray in thoughts. The much less enhancing it’s good to do earlier than portray, the higher.


Let’s check out the picture in grayscale utilizing my grid and grayscale software. This offers us a transparent have a look at the worth construction (how gentle or darkish the colours are).

I’m considering relationships fairly than particular person values. That’s, how gentle or darkish is one shade in relation to the encircling colours. Or how gentle is the sky in comparison with the bushes? Or how darkish are the shadows in comparison with the mid-tones?

The grayscale tells me a number of issues concerning the topic:

  • The grass types a compressed worth vary (the colours are related in lightness). When portray the grass, I’ll have to fluctuate the hue and saturation of my colours while maintaining the worth pretty constant;
  • The characteristic plant has each the lightest lights and darkest darks in shut proximity. It is a high-contrast space, which is appropriate given its function as the point of interest.
  • The sky is way lighter than the bushes.
  • There’s a slight worth gradation within the grass. Discover the way it will get darker within the bottom-left nook and because the land slopes up earlier than hitting the distant bushes; and
  • There’s a variety of “noise” within the foreground, with gentle and darkish colours tightly woven collectively.


For advanced topics, I would apply a three-by-three grid to the reference picture and my portray floor to help with my drawing. I’m going into extra element on that on this publish.

As this topic is comparatively easy, a grid gained’t be essential. However I’ll present you what it appears to be like like for the aim of this lesson.

General Technique, Challenges, and Alternatives

Earlier than I decide up a brush, I have a look at the picture and attempt to visualize the portray course of. What path will I take? What challenges will I encounter? What alternatives will there be to display my abilities? Will the deliberate technique work? What methods will I exploit? Can I visualize throughout to the completed portray?

I don’t observe templates or predetermined methods. I’ve preferences, however I begin each portray contemporary and provide you with a method tailor-made to the topic.

For this portray, I’ll focus most of my consideration on shade and brushwork. Drawing and perspective gained’t be as necessary. Landscapes are typically extra forgiving and fewer of a characteristic in these areas.

The primary challenges can be (1) Capturing the brilliance of the colours as they have been in individual, significantly the tiny blue flowers scattered across the floor; and (2) Getting the colours proper for the white flowers (white objects are all the time difficult).

The primary alternatives would be the fascinating use of shade and brushwork, significantly across the grass, flowers, and vegetation on the backside.

I’ll use damaged shade and impasto brushwork to seize the huge element in an fascinating and environment friendly method.

I believe a bigger portray would go well with this topic, so I’ll paint on 18 by 24 inch Ampersand gessoboard.

I’ll do as a lot of the portray as I can moist on moist, then I’ll end moist on dry. Ideally, I’d paint solely moist on moist in a single session, however bigger work like this want extra time.

Do I Want Any Particular Provides or Tools?

I exploit roughly the identical provides and tools for each portray. Beneath are my staples:

  • Titanium white;
  • Uncooked umber;
  • Ultramarine blue;
  • Cobalt blue;
  • Viridian inexperienced;
  • Everlasting magenta;
  • Cadmium crimson (although I’m considering of changing this with one other crimson; I don’t discover myself utilizing cadmium crimson that usually);
  • Cadmium yellow;
  • Cadmium yellow gentle;
  • Odorless solvent;
  • Pill (for viewing the reference picture);
  • Canvas or Ampersand gessoboard;
  • H-frame easel;
  • Glass palette;
  • Rosemary and Co spherical, flat, and filbert brushes of assorted sizes;
  • Palette knives; and
  • Paper towel.

You could find extra particular particulars on my provides web page.

Typically the topic requires the usage of particular provides or tools. This can be out of comfort or necessity.

For instance, I typically add naples yellow to my palette for portray ambient sunrises or sunsets (impressed by Joseph Turner who was significantly keen on that shade). I add this for comfort. I may combine naples yellow utilizing my regular palette, however having it there on my palette saves me appreciable time and vitality.

Or maybe I want a vivid orange. I may combine cadmium yellow with cadmium crimson for this, nevertheless it gained’t be the identical brilliance as cadmium orange from the tube.

For this portray, there are two colours that I would wrestle mixing with my regular palette: the colourful, cool greens and the purple flowers. Including manganese blue to my palette will assist with each these colours. Mixing it with cadmium yellow gentle will produce a superb inexperienced and mixing it with magenta will produce a superb purple that I can tone down as essential.

No different particular provides or tools can be wanted for this portray.

Tip: It’s necessary to have some type of consistency along with your paints and brushes. It will mean you can construct familiarity and proficiency with them. Select versatile colours and brushes and be selective. You don’t want each shade or each sort of brush to get the job accomplished. Much less is extra right here.

Train (Optionally available):

Have a look at the reference picture and provide you with a method for portray it.

Think about the potential challenges, alternatives, your strengths, preferences, and your chosen medium. Take into account, your technique will probably be completely different from mine, as what works for me may not give you the results you want.

You should use the remark part beneath to share your reply. (Don’t fear, this can be a judgment-free zone.)

This train is simply non-compulsory. Be happy to take a seat again and benefit from the classes when you favor.

That’s it for right this moment! The subsequent lesson can be about portray and approach.

Till then,

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

PS. If you wish to invite any associates to the workshop, simply copy and paste the next hyperlink:

Painting the Landscape