Open Studio Online Class Landscape

These Open Studio Online Classes are supported by Sligo Leader Partnership Company as part of the delivery of the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP)

Class start date: Tuesday 28th July at 11.30am

Remaining classes

Tuesday 18th August

Friday 21st August.

Benbulben from Moneygold Co.Sligo

Hi everyone. Welcome to our on-line classes. I hope you enjoy our step by step creation of the above landscape, Ben Bulben from Moneygold, Co.Sligo

The first thing I will ask you to do is to divide your picture by four on the top and bottom and 3on left and right hand sides. You do the same with your rectangular canvas.

The ideal size for this painting is 20 x 16″ (50x40cm) but you can also use 18 x 14″ (45x35cm) or 16 x12″ (40x30cm) .

Divide by 4 on top and 3on sides

Repeat on your working photograph. If you find that certain areas look more complicated than others then subdivide these areas (see below)

Using this grid paint the bare outline and start with the sky.

Paint a base coat of white over the sky area with a very light coat of white. You will find that this helps with the upcoming toning that we will have to do with the blues.

Sometimes you may find that your paints may be a little dry and inflexible. If this is the case, a few drops of Linseed Oil (available at the art shop) will loosen up the paint.

The next step will be to place the dark blue (French Ultramarine with a little white) on top with a light Coeurilium Blue and white in the middle, leaving the bottom areas near the ground mainly white with some Coeurilium Blue added later.

Add some purples and violets here and there too for added interest.

Blocking in the land area

After you finish the first layer of the sky you block in the land with a mixture of French Ultramarine/Paynes Grey and some Raw Umber.

Use some white spirits through this mixture to speed up the drying process.


Fully blocked in with the greyish brown colours

After these colours are allowed to dry we can re-apply the grid divisions (see below) with white chalk

Grid divisions to use for this painting
Grid re-applied with chalk

Just before we start to paint I think you should have a look at this colour chart above and familiarize yourselves with some of the upcoming colours and their secondary mixes.


Colour Chart

Now we are ready to go.

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For the cliffs and gullies please paint a base coat of Raw Umber and white. The greener areas consist of many shades but you could start of with a base coat consisting of Sap Green with Yellow Ochre.

NOTE: Don’t just settle for this green shade as your final colour. Make sure you have variations. To get these please examine your working photograph to see what extra colours you can see.

On the illustration below you can see how to start with the ridges and gullies.

The ones nearer the top are of a blueish colour. I have used French Ultramarine with a touch of Payne’s Grey and applied it to the wet Raw Umber base coat

As you approach the greener colours you can change these to a Sap Green/ Raw Umber trench with a white highlight on the left hand side added to the wet green.

Paint this highlight twice so as to allow the white to become light green. It will still be light enough to show the ‘dept’ of the trench..

You will notice that I scratched the original guide line on the base coat and this can be removed by tapping it out when you have no further use for it.

You can do this throughout the painting whenever you think you might need to.

The same applies for the chalk.

Creating the Gullies

You will notice that I am concentrating on the right hand side of the painting for now. If you try to take on the whole painting it could become a little daunting.

Stick to half for the moment as every colour that you’ll need to finish this painting can be found here.

Note the dark tree line. Very straight and almost geometrical you’ll agree. Paint it in with a mixture of Sap Green and French Ultramarine Blue, changing as you move along, slightly darker and slightly paler here and there.

Follow underneath this with a new base coat of Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and some whites.

Painting a new base coat

Before you start the next stage of your painting, please note (below) the dividing line between the lower background and upper middle ground. Most of the trees will be painted above this line.

Line Between Lower Background and Upper Middle Ground

We will now start with the dark greens, the lighter greens, background fields and buildings.

Before doing this though, claim the field areas and buildings first (see below) before adding the dark green ditches and trees.

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Claiming one of the Field Areas

These dark and light Greens that are the ditches and trees, mainly consist of sap Green, French Ultramarine Blue and raw Umber.

Roughly place them. Try not to be too accurate with them. They are all mainly irregular.

Use a small sable haired round head brush for this task.

Allow these to run up to the fields.

Painting the dark and Bright Greens after firstly claiming fields and buildings

Keep touching up areas above trees with slight variations of shade.

Base coat for middle grounds changes now to brighter greens as the closer we are getting the more vibrant the colour.

I have used sap Green with Cadmium Yellow, some Yellow Ochre and touches of white.

Use a bigger brush for this. I have used a flat topped hog haired brush. As you are going along, look out for little variations in shades such as for example – the shadows on the mountain. go back and forth if necessary.

Placing the Brighter Base coats

Note some other smaller fields in the background.


Continuing with the Mountain

Just a little tip before going any further.

If you use two pieces of paper and cordon off small areas at a time (see below) this will help to concentrate your mind on smaller areas at a time and not be overwhelmed by the larger picture.

You will also notice my palette at this stage. It looks messy but that’s the way it should look.

You should mix and spread your colours like this to maximize your range of colours to know at a glance what you need.

The main colours when lightening tones used are Sap Green/Yellow Ochre with various shades of white and Cadmium Yellows, Yellow Ochre and darkening would be to use some Raw Umbers, French Ultramarines according to what’s needed.

Cordoning off some areas and Palette


Spreading the colours that you can see as a base coat.

As you can see I am preparing for the top middle ground and foreground. For this I am using four main colours, Sap Green, Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre and White.

On the illustration above, please note how I have spread all of the colours together but not too much as I need to be able to distinguish the individual the various shades they are creating.

Spread roughly using a reasonable amount of paint.

Roughly spreading your base colours

Make sure you have a nice variation of colours. Don’t end up with one flat colour.

Ready for final colours

This is now ready for the final foreground colours.

Benbulen on Hardboard………Finished