How to Recognise a Good Landscape Painting

If you like expansive landscapes, and how various talented artists visualize their own perceptions of a beautiful scenery on canvas, then you have a natural weakness for landscape paintings. That being said, what exactly are the qualities that define a good, or even excellent, landscape painting? Unless you are a veteran artist yourself, the following pointers should help you make better investments when looking to buy your next artistic masterpiece.

The Best Piece of Art is the One that Appeals to You

The most important aspect of any artistic piece is its ability to appeal to its viewers. If a landscape painting manages to draw your attention and make you feel something more than others, nothing else matters. It could be a masterpiece, or something that art patrons may not find favourable, but that should have no bearing on your decision. Never buy art based on what is considered to be great by others, because art is not exactly a product, and therefore, it should not be bought based on recommendations. However, recommendations can help you find and explore brilliant new artists and their creations every now and then.

Vibrant Colours

If one were to name the elements of beautiful, natural landscapes that appeal to them, the gorgeous amalgamation of colours so inherently common to natural landscapes would be on top of most people’s lists, alongside the vastness of it all. On visiting his website, we can observe how DK Macleod brings the many colours of Scottish landscapes to life on his canvases. From the way he portrays the cliffs of Uig reflecting on the blue sea below, to his touches on the rainbow clouds above Niabost Beach on the Isle of Harris; each of his creations serves as an excellent example that defines what landscape paintings should look like.

Details and Imaginations

There are two types of landscape paintings, and you will know which type of artistic representation appeals to you more the moment you see such works side by side.

Some artists choose not to highlight the details of their subject, and would rather focus on the meaning, or the feeling, that that landscape inspires in them. They may still contain details and vivid colours, but accuracy or realistic portrayal is not what the artists are aiming for in these paintings.

The other group of artists focuses more on the detail, with clear lines, and sometimes, even photographic accuracy. Being artistic creations, even detailed landscape paintings can and often will take artistic liberties in reimagining certain aspects of the landscape as well. Even then, the details of their imaginations will also be prominent in the piece.

There is no harm in liking either, or both, because each represent different things, although the subject might seemingly be the same. Patrons will often buy paintings of the same landscape from two different artists and place them side-by-side on their walls to depict a beautiful contrast in artistic perception of the same subject.

It Shouldn’t Look Exactly Like a Photograph

Drawing a landscape with accurate detail would take a tremendous amount of talent and time. In fact, very few painters in the world can do this with accuracy and without digital enhancements. However, if your artistic piece has no element of imagination or personal interpretation in it, it might look too empty to be considered a good artistic depiction. Make no mistake about the artist’s talent, but if it resembles a photograph too closely, one might as well consider buying a high-quality print from one of the many talented photographers out there instead.

While portraying nature, art should not try to imitate it in its exactness, because that’s impossible. Even the greatest portrayal will feel like an imitation of the real landscape, unless the artist has managed to use his own vision and add elements of his imagination and interpretations into the art he created with such care. Then again, if you like artistic pieces that stay as true to their inspirations as possible, it is completely your choice and you cannot go wrong with buying such a piece. It is still recommended that you at least see some of the other options and interpretations of the same landscape, before buying the most realistic print you see online.

You can’t go wrong by choosing to support a lesser known artist, but neither can you go wrong if you spend good money on a masterpiece by someone well known. What really matters is how that piece makes you feel. It should be something akin to what you usually feel while viewing landscapes of immense grandeur in person, or perhaps it might remind you of a cherished and nostalgic memory. In rare cases, people feel new emotions from a seeing a landscape painting that they have never felt before, even upon seeing the real place with their own eyes.

This is a guest post.

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