Sunrise landscape miniature painting tutorial

After all this winter and christmas paintings I have the need to paint something neutral. I like to paint landscapes with spectacular lights and I like to paint evergreen trees. They are very simple to paint. This painting I did with oil paints, but you can use acrylic paints too. This time it would be a bit easier to use oils, because of all the smooth blendings. But if you work quick and use the drybrush method or use just an acrylic retarder then it is really possible to paint it with acrlylics. As an acrylic retarder I would recommend the Glazing Medium from Golden.

As always we start with the materials. I got a piece of MDF board. The size is 7cm x 5cm and its 5mm thick. You can of course use bigger sizes. I primed the board with two layers of white gesso.

  • MDF board
  • white gesso or acrylic titanium white
  • oil paints
  • brushes
  • liquin

You really don’t need the exact colors. Important is the red. To get a pink and a violet you need a cold red like this madder red. Better would be a magenta. I haven’t magenta as oil paints so I used this madder red. Use what you have, paints are very expensive.

oil painting sunrise

Here you can see the board with the base layer. I sketched in some rough lines. I always do this for orientation. At this step it is easy to fix composition mistakes.

oil painting sunrise

With white and madder I painted in the sky. It is important that the sky goes lighter to the horizon.

With a tiny hint of ultramarine blue I turned the clouds on the top of the painting to violet.

oil painting sunrise

I always work from far away to closer layers. This step is the midground. At first I just layed down a light violet mix of white, madder and ultramarine. And then I mixed in a bit more blue, painted some hills and blended them in. This is the point where oils are great. With acrylics you can use a retarder use some other blending methods.

oil painting sunrise

The ground of the foreground I painted at first with a mix of madder and ultramarine. On the photo it looks like I would have used only ultramarine. But thats not true. Just mix up a dark violet.

oil painting sunrise

Here I have decided to lighten up the foreground a bit with white. With the liner brush a scratched in some gras texture. Do not paint the gras all in same direction. Then it would look unnatural. Oils are also awesome at this step. Because I used the dry brush to push some dark violet into the midground. With acrylics you have to load your brush with some paint. Paint it in the direction bottom to top.

All evergreens a always start with a tree trunk.

oil painting sunrise

To give me a rough orientation I painted in some blank branches. I try to add them a bit uneven and not symetrical.

Then I paint some small strokes on each branch. The strokes are getting bigger the closer they are on the tree trunk.

oil painting sunrise

After I have painted all sketched branches from the former step I added here and there some shorter branches in the areas between.

The last step ist to sign it. 😀

I hope this tutorial will help you to understand the construction of a landscape painting. Maybe you give oil paints a try. I would be happy if you show me your paintings you did with my tutorials. And as always please subscribe to this blog and share it with your friends. Thank you

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