After purchasing a lesson, you’ll immediately have access to a new area of the Painting the Poetic Landscape website where you’ll find the written lesson.
The lesson includes written instructions, process photos, and an exercise for you to try. You can use your own reference photo or work from the one included in the lesson.
After finishing your painting, you’ll send it to Barbara using the website. She’ll review your work and send you a personalized, written critique with tips on how to improve your work.
In this lesson, I’ll demonstrate in pastel and explain what usually needs correcting from the photo reference, and how to set up these corrections. I’ll also show how color temperature and value structure are key to creating the necessary light and shadow in this type of water, plus some further explanation regarding mark making, and how it all comes together to create dramatic moving water.
- PDF with written lesson & process shots
- Painting exercise and instructions
- Personalized critique from Barbara Jaenicke
Are videos included with the lesson?
No, the monthly lessons are written and provided in a PDF format. Each lesson is 5-8 pages long and includes process shots, an exercise for you to try and the source images for you to paint from.
Do I have to get my painting exercise to you within the same month? Is there a time limit?
Even though the lessons are posted monthly, there is no time limit on when you have to send in your completed painting image to receive feedback. It can be that same month or many months later. If you purchase a lesson, you will have the ability to send in a painting for critique at any time. This also means that if you missed earlier lessons, you can go back and purchase older lessons at any time.
How long will it take to receive my critique?
You’ll receive your critique within 10 days of uploading your painting. It’ll often be much sooner than 10 days, but depending on Barbara’s out-of-town teaching schedule, it could take the full 10 days.
Can I use my phone or iPad to access the lessons or do I need a computer?
The critique form works best on a computer or laptop, but you do have the ability to send Barbara your work if you are just using an iPad or smart phone.
Can I use my own photos for the exercise or do I have to use the provided photos?
You can use either. Barbara provides a reference photo with the lesson, but you’re welcome to use your own, and Barbara’s critique will then be based on the work painted from your photo.
Is this a subscription service or am I signing up for a recurring charge?
No. Each monthly lesson is purchased individually. That way, if you want to skip a month or aren’t interested in a particular lesson, you don’t have to pay for it. No need to pay for multiple lessons up front…you pay only for the lessons you want!
Are the lessons shown in pastel or oil?
Barbara varies the medium used in the lessons. Before you purchase a lesson, you’ll be able to read a brief description of the lesson, which will tell you the medium used (either pastel or oil) for the process shots. Each lesson will also explain how to use the alternate medium for the topic being covered, so unless it’s stated otherwise in the description, all lessons can apply to either medium.
What type of critique will I receive?
Barbara will review your painting and provide a written critique that you’ll receive directly into your email inbox. The critique will be between approximately 400 and 700 words, and will be custom written based on Barbara’s review of your painting.
How do I know when new lessons are posted?
You can check this website at the beginning of each month to see when a new lesson is posted. But the best way to know as soon as a new lesson is available is to sign up for the Monthly Lesson email list. (See below.)
Learning to painting moving water is sort of a catch-22. Painting it from life is the best way to understand the light, shadow and values. But it’s challenging to grasp how to capture a constantly moving subject in a painting. Alternatively, a photograph—which does indeed stop the image so you can study it more carefully—often distorts light, shadow and values to such a degree that it’s difficult to paint it accurately when basing it on only what you see in the photo. Learning what typically needs to be corrected from the photographic image for this subject matter can help with understanding how to approach painting it.
I began planning the demo for this lesson with the intention that my topic would be water reflections. However, as I developed the thumbnail and block-in, I realized that this would be an ideal landscape subject to focus on setting up a strong value structure, which tends to be a common problem area for many artists. So if you’re also interested in painting water, you get a “two-for-one” deal on this lesson!
If you’ve ever tried to capture the intensity of a vibrant color in your painting and either couldn’t seem to make it vibrant enough, or ended up with a very garish painting, the problem usually lies with the colors surrounding that vibrant area. This lesson will focus on CHROMA (meaning color saturation, or how vibrant or dull a color appears) and understanding color relationships. Evening light, when the sun is setting and casting strong, intense light on a subject, serves as a great subject to understand chroma, and is the subject used for this lesson.
Handling tree edges can make the difference between having a harsh, overly stiff tree or a more delicate, poetic tree. Learning to see trees in terms of masses with generalized value structures rather than the individual spotty details within the masses is the important skill to learn here.
The composition approach shown in this lesson is best suited for subject matter that has lots of vague edges, such as leafless or wispy tree branches containing lots of detail that needs to be implied rather than rendered, or in situations in which thin elements such as individual tree trunks need to be placed separately rather than clustered into a mass. This approach will enable a strong composition as well as properly set up natural looking edges.
The composition approach that I teach in this lesson goes way beyond merely finding a focal point. It will not only help you develop a strong design to your paintings, but it will also enable you to simplify and edit right from the start.
Painting light in the landscape is a skill that escapes many artists. One of the reasons it can be difficult is because we often focus more on rendering the subject matter rather than capturing the EFFECT of light and shadow within the landscape.
Winter foliage can often be one of trickiest subjects to simplify for the impressionist painter. But if you desire to achieve a more impressionist, painterly look—a look that merely implies this subject matter rather than records every detail—there are particular skills you’ll want to master.
A common tendency for artists is to include too much in a painting composition. In this lesson, I’ll take you through what to look for when zeroing in on a much more simplified composition and how to get it blocked in.