I'm very new to both landscape painting/drawing and using and mixing colors, so one of the reasons for making relatively simple paintings and drawings is my inexperience.

I got a small pack of oil pastels as a Christmas present and I started practicing and painting landscapes.

I want to ask for some advice based on one of my paintings - the one I pasted below - which was painted this morning.

I used lighter and cooler shades in the distance, and making the sides of the slope darker.

For the pines I tried to make the right sides darker and add a little bright green and yellow to the left and a "weak" shadow to the right to emphasize the direction of the sun rays.

The darker, slightly blended line on the foot of the mountains is a forest. I tried to make it as light as I could to not to make it seem "nearer".

I just feel like the drawing looks too childish, too amateur - like it could be improved a million times. I watched landscape photos and other oil pastel paintings as well.

It seems to me more contrast would be good, and I thought about adding grass and flowers, which I'm sure I'll learn how to paint. Nevertheless, some objective, "general" advice would be very helpful :)

I use print paper and "normal" paper for writing. I cannot afford professional sketchbooks and papers at the moment.

The drawing:

enter image description here


The problem is not in your drawing - it's in the pastels. There are some media in which the quality of the materials you use make a huge difference, and oil pastels is one of them. (I also didn't like the childish way my pastel drawings looked, but getting a set of Faber Castel oil pastels changed it all.) So if you are into oil pastels, I'd suggest you get a set of good quality ones. They are expensive, but they are worth it.

Also, you could use cartridge paper instead of writing/printing paper. It is the general purpose paper for artwork - it is thicker than writing/printing paper and it is not expensive.

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user18894 is correct in that the quality of your media is reflected in the quality of the art work but there are some other things you could consider. First the paper you use is very important. You should try something with more "tooth," that is roughness, that can grab the pastels and add texture to the drawing. Any plate paper, one that is perfectly smooth, will not do well with oil or any other type of pastel. Invest in a few sheets of charcoal or pastel or even water color paper and you will see a difference right away.

Something else that comes to mind is that you could mix and layer different colors together to get much more developed and interesting effect. The trees are the most successful part of the drawing your posted, and they show the most complexity in the use of color and tone. You are right about cooler colors receding and showing distance, but you could put more work into the mountains as far as variety of color and detail while keeping it light. The foreground grass is the least developed where as it should be the most detailed or developed. It is the closest to our eye so our brain expects there to be more there, more contrast, more solidity.

Also there are some color conventions like the fact that shadows, as under the trees, are cooler in color than lit areas. For example Maxfield Parrish made extensive use of saturated color temperature in his work. Studying the work of professional artists that you may aspire to and analyzing their methods would help you with your own technique.

You have a good start here effectively modeling form and distance with color and tone. You just need to keep developing it.

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