If you’re wondering how to draw and paint complex landscapes like this Belfry of Bruges landscape, and also learn about loose landscape painting, then this is the article for you!
Some of the most amazing paintings have pureness and simplicity to them, and I was pleased with this result, although the details of the figures and the shed on the right could have been worked on further!
It’s rare that a reference photo will fit your vision perfectly. In this scene, although I liked the building on the left and the flowers on the bottom left, I felt I wanted extra details added on the right-hand side. The reference photo was originally presented in portrait orientation.
Preserving the light on the building was so important and also picking a more obvious light source. So I exaggerated the light bouncing off the front of the building and the shadows running to the left side of the building. I applied the same principle for the figures and wooden poles.
Wow, I had fun drawing and painting this one. Though I certainly had more fun drawing this! I focused on getting in a strong sense of light here.
Remember, get in all your lighter tones such as the sky, warm colors on the buildings and ground. Keep this wash very transparent and watery.
Then, add your darks once dried! the shadow on the ground being cast by the building on the right was crucial to creating a sense of light and dark here.
I hope you enjoyed reading about how I painted this Belfry of Bruges Landscape, as well as how to paint a loose landscape. The full workshop is available here. Check it out!