The 11 Best Landscape Painting Books

6 min read

Landscape painting is an art form that captures the beauty of nature with stunning results. For those looking to learn more about this timeless craft, there are a variety of books out there offering guidance on topics ranging from composition and color theory to oil painting techniques. Here we present some of the best landscape painting books available which provide invaluable advice for both novice and experienced painters alike.

  1. Landscape Painting

    Landscape Painting
    Mitchell Albala
    Published in 2009

    Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice, written by Mitchell Albala, is an in-depth guide to the practice of landscape painting. This book provides readers with concise yet practical advice on how to capture nature’s grandeur through their artwork. It covers topics such as simplification and massing, color theory, light dynamics, selection and composition – all based upon observation rather than imitation. With examples from over 40 contemporary artists plus masters like John Constable or Claude Monet, this insightful publication will be a great companion for any artist looking to hone their skills or explore new perspectives. The illustrations are supported by diagrams which further enhance understanding of each concept discussed throughout the text.

  2. The Landscape Painter’s Workbook

    The Landscape Painter's Workbook
    Mitchell Albala
    Published in 2022

    Mitchell Albala’s latest book, The Landscape Painter’s Workbook: Essential Studies in Shape, Composition and Color is an invaluable guide for landscape painters of all levels. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to use time-honored techniques and elements associated with the genre. Through diagrams, thumbnails and photographs it explores topics such as notan (a type of compositional study), color grouping, picture formats, composition and more. Additionally there are 10 skill building workshop exercises that can be used by artists working in oil, acrylic pastel or watercolor mediums. With examples from 45 contemporary landscape painters this comprehensive workbook will help readers successfully portray the beauty of nature through their artworks.

  3. The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting

    The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting
    Suzanne Brooker
    Published in 2015

    The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting, written by artist and instructor Suzanne Brooker is an essential guide for any oil painter looking to break into landscape painting or enhance their work. It provides a step-by-step breakdown on how to paint landscapes in oils, from the fundamentals such as tools, techniques, observation and color mixing – all supported with demonstration paintings and samples from renowned artists. Pairing this book alongside Mitchell Albala’s similarly detailed text will equip readers with everything they need to know about creating breathtaking works of art depicting nature’s scenes. This book boasts a wide selection of beautiful illustrations that are sure to inspire painters at every level – novice through advanced – while also providing real practical tips which can be immediately applied when putting brushstroke onto canvas. The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting comes highly recommended!

  4. Landscape Painting Essentials with Johannes Vloothuis

    Landscape Painting Essentials with Johannes Vloothuis
    Johannes Vloothuis
    Published in 2015

    In Landscape Painting Essentials, Johannes Vloothuis provides keen insight into the techniques needed to create successful and stunning landscape paintings. Through straightforward strategies such as simplifying the foreground and harmonizing colors, readers are given practical advice on how to make their artwork more interesting and dramatic. Detailed descriptions of painting elements including mountains, water, foliage, snow etc., along with nine step-by-step demonstrations walk you through all necessary skills for success in this craft. This book offers an essential shift from merely seeing what is there to artistically understanding what should be included or left out; ultimately providing viewers a wealth of knowledge about transforming nature’s bounty of inspiration into original artworks. A must have resource for any budding landscape painter!

  5. Composition of Outdoor Painting

    Composition of Outdoor Painting
    Edgar Payne
    Published in 2005

    The 7th edition of Edgar Payne’s Composition of Outdoor Painting is a must-read for any serious artist looking to improve their compositions. This book covers the fundamentals and principles of art, while offering insight on how to foster artistic originality. It also provides breakdowns on types of composition with thumbnail sketches, along with ideas on studying the work of other artists. Additionally, it contains valuable information regarding values as well as examples depicting different color palettes from various regions across the world. The packaging and pages are beautiful, making this an aesthetically pleasing purchase too! Overall, this small but mighty text offers immense value for its affordable price tag – it truly should be considered ‘the Bible’ when it comes to landscape painting knowledge.

  6. Country Scenes in Acrylic

    Country Scenes in Acrylic
    Jerry Yarnell
    Published in 2019

    Country Scenes in Acrylics, penned by best-selling author and PBS TV show host Jerry Yarnell, is an instructive tome providing artists with the necessary guidance to craft stunning landscapes. It contains a plethora of new lessons along with 8 full step-by-step painting projects that feature detailed materials lists and advice on setting up palettes. The book also offers tips on choosing supplies for one’s studio as well as numerous techniques such as color mixing, composition, negative space perspective and more. This comprehensive guide gives readers easy to follow instructions while encouraging them to paint out of the box; making it a perfect choice for novice painters looking to learn acrylic landscape painting.

  7. Painting California: Seascapes and Beach Towns

    Painting California: Seascapes and Beach Towns
    Jean Stern, Molly Siple, Elaine Adams
    Published in 2017

    Painting California: Seascapes and Beach Towns is a beautiful coffee-table book featuring over 200 breathtakingly rendered landscape paintings from the last century. Through the works of artists associated with the esteemed California Art Club, viewers are able to experience luminous and evocative coastal settings that capture natural light in a sublime manner. Worthy of any art library, this volume showcases impressive contemporary painting styles as well as pieces from earlier periods. With large full color plates spanning across pages or presented on double page spreads, readers can appreciate how stunning these landscapes truly are without compromising quality. The accompanying narrative provides insightful information about each artist’s history while also introducing some lesser known names within plein air painting circles. Painting California is an incredibly captivating collection of artwork by talented individuals who have been inspired by nature’s beauty throughout time; it will certainly leave you feeling contented and invigorated after appreciating such gorgeous imagery!

  8. Paint Landscapes in Acrylic with Lee Hammond

    Paint Landscapes in Acrylic with Lee Hammond
    Lee Hammond
    Published in 2009

    This book, written by Lee Hammond with twenty years of experience as an artist and instructor, is perfect for the beginner looking to master acrylic landscape painting. It contains useful information on basic brushwork techniques, easy-to-learn methods, and plenty of step-by-step instruction so that readers can achieve beautiful pieces quickly. Paint Landscapes in Acrylic provides sixteen paint along projects using no more than eight colors each, plus instructions focusing on skies, trees, grasses mountains and water. Additionally it offers advice on creating a sense of distance while evoking moods through realistic textures. With this guide budding artists will be able to turn any moment in nature into their own personal work of art!

  9. Secrets of Acrylic – Landscapes Start to Finish

    Secrets of Acrylic - Landscapes Start to Finish
    Jerry Yarnell
    Published in 2012

    Secrets of Acrylic – Landscapes Start to Finish, by Jerry Yarnell is an excellent book for those looking to explore landscape painting. It offers guidance on the right materials and techniques required as well as how to use different colors in a piece of art. Through individual studies and step-by-step instructions, readers will be able to practice their craft with ease without worrying about ruining a complete work. From clumps of grass and pebbles, dead trees and leafy ones, dirt paths or reflections on water – this book has it all! With clear illustrations throughout its pages you can master the essential elements needed for your next masterpiece! For any beginner or experienced artist alike – this one’s definitely worth adding to your collection!

  10. Painting Abstract Landscapes

    Painting Abstract Landscapes
    Gareth Edwards MBE, Kate Reeve-Edwards
    Published in 2022

    Gareth Edwards’ Painting Abstract Landscapes is a must-have for the aspiring landscape painter. This comprehensive book explores this suggestive style of painting and provides an effective approach to creating intensely personal works that express emotion while still capturing the essence of a landscape. Readers will learn how to begin an abstract landscape painting, understand composition, utilize linear and atmospheric perspective, use light, space color and tone, employ textural techniques and glazing all in pursuit of evocative paintings. The author’s daughter Kate Reeve-Edwards has penned dense writing with useful insights into creating abstract landscapes which really allows readers to delve into Edwards’ philosophy and technique. A unique addition to art literature featuring visual support from historic pieces as well classic examples by Gareth himself; it’s informative on process yet delves deeply into soulful expressionism – making it ideal for both casual hobbyists or serious professionals alike.

  11. Edward Hopper: A Fresh Look on Landscape

    Edward Hopper: A Fresh Look on Landscape
    Ulf Küster, Edward Hopper, David Lubin, Erika Doss, Katharina Rüppell
    Published in 2020

    Edward Hopper: A Fresh Look on Landscape is a catalogue accompanying an exhibition of the same name at Fondation Beyeler. Comprising of paintings, watercolors and drawings made by Hopper between 1910s and 1960s, this book provides readers with an in-depth exploration into the master’s artistry. Showcasing his keen eye for detail, virtuoso play of colors as well as skillful capturing of light and shadow; it reveals how these elements are powerfully articulated through iconic images like lighthouses, movie theaters or highways. Supplemented with essays from experts such as Erika Doss, David Lubin and Katharina Rüppell that focus on landscape depiction – this volume offers readers a fresh look at one America’s most beloved modernist painters. With its stunning reproductions and insightful analysis – Edward Hopper: A Fresh Look On Landscape promises to be an essential read for any art enthusiast looking to gain deeper insight into the works of one our nation’s best Realists!

Additional resources

For those looking to learn more about landscape painting, the following blogs and websites can provide useful information:

  • Artists Network offers a range of resources for landscape painting, including tutorials, articles, and videos.
  • Painting Valley collects a wide variety of wonderful landscape paintings.
  • Art Instruction Blog provides resources for landscape painting, including tutorials, articles, and videos.
  • Mitchell Albala is a contemporary landscape painter and instructor, and his blog contains many interesting articles.

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