The country is a great source of creative inspiration, we’re talking rolling hills, green pastures, and wide open spaces. So, we’ve rounded up 13 rural landscapes for some good old country painting ideas to reignite your creative spark and make hay while the sun shines. Let’s head outside!
1. Bring a sketch to life
You don’t need a massive canvas to get creative, a quick sketch can be easily turned into a watercolour painting. Try sketching, then accentuate your designs with a fine liner before grabbing the watercolour paints and bringing your artwork to life.
2. Try layering in landscapes
Try swapping the paint brushes for a palette knife and see what you come up with. For an interesting take on a rural landscape, we love how artist Jayde Chandler has used impasto and palette knives to layer, scratch back and then add in more texture to her landscape. The country is of course incredibly spacious so playing around with texture is also a great way to add something different to those areas of vastness. Adding a feeling of freedom, is something Jayde knows firsthand – she was born and raised on a cattle property in outback Queensland!
3. Change up the focus
Rural landscapes can also capture life in the country too, so don’t be afraid to try different subject matter. Although we’re not all lucky enough to live in the country, experimenting with tractors, farm sheds and hay bales are fun ways to add interest to your rural landscapes.
4. Showing life in landscapes
Adding a country farmhouse and a washing line are another fun way to show life and add some excitement in your landscapes. Give it a go next time you’re stuck for inspiration, work with different scales and proportion, and see what you come up with.
5. Try plein air
If you’re lucky enough to have the country as your backyard, grab an easel, some paints, a blank canvas and head outdoors! Work quickly and paint what you can see, even if it’s a field full of cows. If you’d rather work in the studio, head outside and lay your highlights and shadows down or try a colour study, then head back inside to finish off the detailing. This stunning oil painting was painted in a paddock on a sunny day and shows oil paintings don’t need to be tricky, just head outside and see what you can create! If you’re looking to try plein air painting, take a look at our tips.
6. Brighten your landscapes with blooms
If you think landscapes need to be full of greens, think again! Venture out of your comfort zone and dial up the colours of the plants, trees and celebrate the native flora of the country. It not only adds interest but it’s a great way to break up the greenery of the rolling hills.
7. Add farm friends
When planning your next landscape, don’t forget to add some friendly farm friends! Whether it’s sheep, cows, goats, alpacas, ducks, geese, pigs, whatever you choose, play with proportion and add them to the foreground or even the background.
8. Get into gouache
A landscape is a fun way to try a new medium too! Landscapes don’t have to be painted in acrylic or oil, give gouache a go. Gouache has a beautiful, matte texture making it a real pleasure to use in landscapes. We love this one point perspective take on a landscape too--it’s something fun and adds to the feeling of openness.
9. Take an abstract angle
Get your creative juices flowing and try an abstract landscape. Experiment with patterns like dots and dashes or go a step further and restrict your colour palette to a few shades of green or a handful of colours, then get creative!
10. Try fields of green
Try something new with different brush strokes and experiment with direction, to add harmony to the wide open fields. Adding in lighter shades and hues can also be a great way to show highlights, plus it makes for a more realistic rural landscape too!
11. Weave in wildflowers
Next time you’re sketching or planning out a country landscape, why not leave plenty of room for gardens or wildflowers. These are a great way to not only bring colour to your works but also weave harmony into your work with a nice, soft focus. See for yourself and give it a go next time you’re playing with the paints.
12. Create on the go
If the country is a little further away, take a road trip and try creating on the go! Grab a travel watercolour or gouache palette, a sketch book and hit the road. Whether you try a colour study or have the time to paint a realistic scene, it’s totally one for the creative bucket list.
13. Add in the details
Details like fences, gates, creeks and dams can really make a difference to your rural landscapes. Adding in these little details not only adds interest to your artwork but it can also make your work look more realistic.
Now it’s your turn to grab your paint brushes! Still looking to get your creative juices flowing. Follow along with us in this abstract landscape project. We’ll show you everything you need and step you through the project. Or check out our chat with rural artist Jayde Chandler and uncover her creative journey.
We hope that you feel inspired to pick up the paints and create a rural landscape yourself. Show us how you go #montmarteart or tag us @montmarteart on Instagram or Facebook, we’d love to see what you create.