Landscape painting - Lori Putnam - OutdoorPainter.com
“Downtown Charlotte" by Lori Putnam

See a landscape painting come to life step-by-step in this behind-the-scenes look into Lori Putnam’s recent painting, “Downtown Charlotte.”

Lori Putnam (featured in the painting workshop video “Bold Brushstrokes & Confident Color”) is a master when it comes to color. A big part of this is because she knows what’s important to keep from her reference and what she can push artistically. In this “Fresh Off the Easel” spotlight from Liliedahl, Lori talks about the choices she made in her latest piece, “Downtown Charlotte.”

Fresh Off the Easel, by Lori Putnam

Photo reference for landscape painting - Lori Putnam
Photo reference for a landscape painting

The reference photo above was taken near where I live.

Any time I want to push luminosity in a piece, I work to keep the shadows and the lights very close in value. If I made the shadows darker and pushed those further apart, I would create a sense of drama. But in this painting, I chose to see just how light I could keep the shadows and still retain a clear light/shadow pattern.

How to paint a landscape - OutdoorPainter.com

This is the way this day felt in downtown Charlotte, Tennessee, last fall … cool, crisp, and bright. Getting the block-in correct on the first pass is crucial to keeping a piece fresh and confident.

How to paint a landscape - OutdoorPainter.com
Balancing value and color in a landscape painting

By neutralizing the colors in the fall trees of this landscape painting, the small red barn in light seems more colorful. Manipulating values and saturation are two ways to express bold color and capture the emotions of time and place. (Final landscape painting shown at top)

Learn more about how Lori thinks through her paintings by checking out her video, “Bold Brushstrokes & Confident Color.” Bonus: Preview it below!


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