Different Styles of Landscape Painting

There are many different types of landscape painting styles that can be considered art forms in their own right. Many of these have become popular in modern times as abstract expressionism has swept through painting and printmaking. In Western society landscape painting is now generally associated with gardens and fields. However, there have been landscape paintings in existence since antiquity, in some instances thousands of years old. The ancient Romans and Chinese greatly appreciated the visual effect landscape painting had on the mind.

An Overview

A woman standing in front of a building

The so-called Orthodox School of this nineteenth century was devoted to imitating and venerating the natural landscape painting styles of both the Song Dynasty and the Yuan dynasty. During the Song Dynasty, landscape painting was elevated to a highly prized status, and most of its painters were highly esteemed literati. Their works were called “literature of water”. Their followers were elite scholars, hence the term “liturgical painting”.

Under the Yuan dynasty artists like Sun Yuan created still life works which impressed the western world with their realistic colours and awe-inspiring scenes. These landscape painting styles are largely forgotten today, except for China’s own unique flavour of abstract expressionism. They are widely seen in modern China and are regularly used to decorate homes and offices.

This form of landscape painting is not overly concerned with form, but rather the mood that an artist wants to evoke within the work. All paintings are made with an eye to accuracy, but only skilled artists are able to bring this accurate form into life on canvas. The basic tools required by an artist to create these works include brushes, sticks, paints, watercolours, pastels and a palette. As long as these tools are all present and accessible, the artist can begin work on their project.

Old Paintings

A close up of a colorful blanket

During the early 1980s this style was beginning to lose ground to the likes of conceptual paintings and pop art. This was a surprising development considering the popularity of chromatic imagery in this time. The reason behind this was the rise in the production of TV commercials, which often had stylized forms and imagery, that many consumers just couldn’t relate to. In response, new works such as the’alienated’ offered a more stripped down style to the public that was more in line with what the general public appreciated.

However, this style has seen a resurgence in recent years with the growth of landscape art museums. With the introduction of this more abstract approach to painting, the mainstream public has once again taken a liking to it. Some of these works are quite beautiful, but they are certainly not representative of the abstract style that is characteristic of Yuan paintings. As a result, contemporary landscape artists are once again gaining fans. Landscape paintings are generally considered a more personal form of art, which allows the artist to express themselves more fully than they could in a conceptual painting.

Features Of These Painting

Another important style to mention is the ‘landscape painting.’ This particular style is typically characterized by exaggerated forms and colors. There are a variety of reasons why artists choose to focus on this form. Many times, artists will opt for larger forms and bolder colors to get a point across about the stark beauty of a landscape. Other times, they will produce paintings that are purely flat and represent a flat view of a landscape.


There are many other different styles that can be used to paint landscapes. These include brush strokes, various textures and even highlights and shadows. Each of these has its own individual characteristics that are representative of each of these different styles. For example, the brush strokes and various textures are indicative of acrylic paintings, while the starkness of color represents oil paintings. Learn about the different painting styles so that you can create an overall style that fits your own unique artistic personality.

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