I am a huge nature lover.  I spend every morning in the forest, walking my Moni Bear, soaking up all the beauty (and sometimes snow, mud, rain, wind) around me.  One of my favorite things to do is just sit outside, observing the natural world.  With all the craziness life throws at us it's often easy to forget how amazing the world truly is, but when we take the time to stop and not only look at it, but paint it, we can easily be reminded just how beautiful our world is.  

For this exercise you will need a photo of a landscape that you would like to paint.  Feel free to use the images I used (below). 

OR get outside and paint the world around you.  What's around you?  Countryside, forest, lake, city, park, farmer's market, ocean view? Why not pack up a few paints and a journal and go on a little painting adventure!  

I used the primary colors again.  I am kind of hooked on the simplicity of them and the fact that they are really all I need, in addition to white!   If you feel they are not enough for you please use any/all the colors you would like.  You could even do this exercise with vividly bright - unnatural colors.  That would be cool!  

Start off by looking for the different shapes of color, blocking them in as you see them. I kept my paintings very abstract, adding very little detail.  If you want more detail in your landscape painting use smaller brushes and spend more time looking for the changes in shape/value/relationships.  

I have not tried to reproduce nature: I have represented it.  - Paul Cezanne

External Link For Download

Password:  100works 

Sleeping in the Forest


Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,

She took me back so tenderly

Arranging her skirts

Her pockets full of lichens and seeds.

I slept as never before

A stone on the riverbed,

Nothing between me and the white fire of the stars,

But my thoughts.

And they floated light as moths

Among the branches of the perfect trees.

All night I heard the small kingdoms

Breathing around me.

The insects and the birds

Who do their work in darkness.

All night I rose and fell,

As if water, grappling with luminous doom.

By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times