Painting The Perfect Garden

Painting the perfect garden is a worthy challenge, and one that is often attempted by the enthusiastic artist. For those who enjoy gardening, art work depicting the results is beautiful and satisfying. For those who don’t garden, prominent display of lovely piece of garden art is the next-best getaway to having a garden. Here are some pointers for paining the perfect garden.


Subject Matter

Your first decision, of course, is the subject matter of your painting. Choose a focal point for the painting, and plan the rest of the painting around it. Usually, this focal point will be a bit of architecture. This may be a bridge, as in the Monet paintings, or it could be a gazebo. In the absence of a bridge or gazebo, look for a garden gate. This is a great way to bring in an architectural feature, adding texture, color, and man-made form to the natural lines of garden plants. To add a sense of “destination” to the layout, prop the garden gate open about 2 feet. This will draw the eye with the promise of potential energy. The human mind can’t resist a ½ opened door – or gate.



Painting techniques are as varied as artists’ visions. Since most gardens contain a water feature, you may want to use a wet-on-wet method to give the appearance of water ponding on the ground or in a birdbath. The techniques will change according to the type of paint you will use.

To add the appearance of water to your painting using acrylic paints, wet the surface of the paper in the area reserved for the water feature, and add drops of color to the spot. If you are painting reflections with several colors involved, you can add the different colors to the wet area and let them bleed together.

To achieve the look of splashes from fountains or in quickly moving water, you can use the splatter technique. This is accomplished by flicking the brush with your fingers to send tiny droplets of paint onto the canvas. This is also useful for adding a pebbled appearance to ground or sand.

When you paint a garden scene, you will undoubtedly need leaves in the picture. To get the desired texture on the leaves, you can sprinkle salt onto a wash of green paint. Once it dries, you’ll have a mottled effect that adds visual interest to the leaves.

For veining details on your leaves, use a mask applicator. You can draw in the veining design you want, then paint the leaf over the top. Let it dry, and rub away the masking agent, and you have veined leaves.

Use a palette knife to apply undiluted paints to your scene. This is an invaluable tool for creating depth of field in your work. It also helps you to add weight to stucco walls and stonework in your painting.

Painting the perfect garden is very rewarding, and can create a retreat in your own home. With the right techniques, and a good focal point, you will have a great painting.

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