A few months ago, I decided to paint something as a wedding gift for a couple who are close to me. They sent me a couple of reference images from their travels to work out of and I decided to paint a set of 2 landscapes.
I used Winsor and Newton Gouache paints on Fabriano Studio watercolour Hot Pressed paper. It’s 25% cotton and 300gsm. With hot-pressed papers, I find that quite a bit of the first layer of paint gets absorbed. While this results in a relatively less vibrant layer, it’s perfect to block out colours and create an underpainting.
When painting landscapes, especially from a photo, I start by studying the image, the lighting, the colours, and the elements. This helps me get an idea of how I'm going to go about painting the image, the colours and strokes I'll likely use, and what kind of output I’ll likely get.
With Landscapes I tend to gravitate more towards impressionist style, with visible and expressive brushstrokes (and not a very hyper-realistic style).
Once I’ve studied and mentally sketched out the image and the process, I then go ahead and roughly sketch out the image. After sketching, I start the underpainting. This helps me block out the different areas using the colours for those sections. I start with the background and work towards the foreground adding layers, textures, and details as I go. I tend to paint in sections. This gives me structure and also helps when I have to take breaks or paint over a period of time.
If you want to learn how to paint expressive landscapes like this using Gouache, then you must check out my comprehensive online course where I cover everything from the basics of painting with gouache including techniques like layering, blending, dry brushing, and colour mixing and how you can use these techniques to create beautiful landscapes.
I hope this helped inspire you to dip your toes in art and painting landscapes!