How to paint like Monet: Acrylic Landscape Painting Lesson – Part 3 (Video)

by Will Kemp

in acrylic painting

monet acrylic tutorial

A step-by-step Impressionist Acrylic Painting – Part 3

In this Impressionistic landscape series I am posting a weekly video on my YouTube channel that you can follow along at home.

It’s free to subscribe to the blog to receive updates so you can keep up with the acrylic painting progress…

How to paint like Monet – Free video Course |Part 3

This video below shows adding detail to the focal point, bringing more interest to the sky and working the landscape painting to more of a finish.

The next 7 steps

adding detail to an acrylic landscape

Step 1. Adding a fine line

To start with, I introduce a fine line detail into the house in the centre of the piece. I’m not looking for much detail as we’re trying to keep the feel of the painting nice and loose. I paint a thin line just under the roof so it refines the shape.

The darker line is made with a mix of the Cobalt Violet hue, Ultramarine blue and white.

mixing green acrylics

Step 2. Creating contrast at the focal point

I then swap to the number 10 round synthetic brush to add some darker green trees around the building. To make the Permanent green light darker I mix in some Ultramarine blue and a touch of the Alizarin crimson.

The video below shows how green can be dulled by mixing in red.

foreground landscape

Step 3. Separating the foreground & middle-ground

Using the Cadmium yellow medium I paint in a crisper horizon line. This helps to separate the foreground and the mid-ground.

The yellow line does two things.

  1. The straight line is a contrast to the painterly brush marks in the rest of the painting.
  2. The yellow, because it is directly next to the purple, uses the optical effects of simultaneous contrast to add a new vibrancy to the colour.

Simultaneous contrast in art

Simultaneous contrast is the optical effect that occurs when two colours are placed directly next to each other.

The biggest effect on your colour scheme is when you have two highly saturated complementary colours side by side.

Watch the video below to see the optical effects of simultaneous contrast on yellow.

Look out for the purple at the 1.00 minute mark to see how vibrant it suddenly appears.

Throughout the video the central yellow square doesn’t change.

When you are mixing colours you have to remember that colour is relative. It changes depending on the colours surrounding it, the light shining on it, the thickness of paint.

These all make a difference to the final result, there isn’t a ‘perfect green for grass’ because every landscape will appear differently, depending on the surrounding colours.

light and shadow

Step 4. Creating more contrast in the building

I now check the tonal contrast of the piece and feel that the side of the house in the sunlight could be lightened a bit more. Using a warm cream I repaint over the top. This change in contrast helps to give more realism to the building.

complementary colour scheme

Step 5. Using complementary colours

Using red to add interest

Using the Cadmium red light, straight from the tube, I add little dots to indicate a tractor and then further dots just to move your eye along the picture.

Again, using the complementary scheme of red and green (notice how each time the red is on top of the green) I can add interest to the focal point in the painting.

Pro tip: Depending on the opacity of the pigment you are using (student grade paints are often less opaque than artist grade) you may need to paint over the yellow. As acrylics dry quickly you can easily build up the vibrancy of a colour. I then begin to bring this yellow colour around the whole of the painting as I did with the turquoise in Lesson 1 of this Impressionist series.

mixing purple acrylics

Step 6. Varying the purple

I add a darker purple (made from a mix of Ultramarine blue & Alizarin crimson) to balance the darker green we put in earlier.

I also vary the tint of the mixture by adding white and use vertical brushstrokes to bring a different energy to the piece.

monet brush technique

painting skies acrylic

Step 7. Adding gestural brush strokes to the sky

I now tidy up the shape of the mountain with the Titanium white to add more contrast to the painting.

Assessing the painting at this stage, the blue of the sky feels like it could handle more movement to balance all the brush marks in the foreground.

Vary the brushstroke as you work and look at your painting from a distance to judge how the colours are sitting together.

end of monet lesson 3

The impressionist painting at the end of Part 3.

Make sure to subscribe (it’s free) to keep updated, you’ll get email updates when the next video is posted.

Next week, for the final Part 4, we’ll adjust the foreground shapes to give the piece a bit more balance.

If you want to learn more about painting with an Impressionistic style, you should have a look at my Beginners Impressionistic Seascape Course

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

ardeshir bagheri September 18, 2012

Dear William,

It’s fantastic, harmony of colors and contemporary beauties lay together to make such a masterpiece, so happy colors that bring some energy and happiness.

You know how to use opposite colors and make nice mixtures.

I wish one day we could have all those mixtures as an table, to be kept and used as an guideline for every body from basic to the top.

Reply

Will Kemp September 18, 2012

Thanks Ardeshir,
Will

Reply

Bill Hildebrand January 30, 2013

I am a new acrylic painter, love doing landscapes. I am excited about your teaching method and will be looking forward to working with your on line classes.
Bill

Reply

Will Kemp January 31, 2013

Hi Bill, great to hear it!

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Rosalba Acosta February 19, 2014

Hace años tome clases de pintura al oleo. No he pintado mucho, pero desde que vi tus videos me emocioné y estoy intentando acrylic aunque no tengo la experiencia tus clases son extraordinarias y se que lo voy a lograr.
Gracias!!

Years ago to take oil painting classes. I have not painted much, but since I saw your videos I got excited and I’m trying acrylic although I have experience your classes are extraordinary and I will achieve that.
Thank you!

Reply

Will Kemp February 22, 2014

Thanks Rosalba, so pleased you’ve been enjoying the painting lessons and you’re feeling inspired with the tutorials! Cheers,

Will

Gracias Rosalba, tan contento de haber podido disfrutar de las clases de pintura y te sientes inspirado con los tutoriales! Saludos,

Reply

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