Digital download of printable wall art, minimalist landscape designs, version 9

Minimalist Landscapes

In my last two posts I wrote about how the idea of ​​minimalist landscape paintings came about. When I give shape to an idea, I usually start with a sketch in a small format, to see how I can best arrange the different parts. This is usually followed by light and shadow and colors, without details, just to see what works and what doesn’t. And sometimes nice little paintings come about by accident. I then developed one of them into a small, simple landscape. And that was the beginning.

 

Since it was a small format in the middle of a large page, I had the idea to use the empty space around it as part of the artwork, to emphasize the minimalist character. In retrospect, I think this came from the experience of isolation and physical distance that plays such a big role in our lives now. I tried different ideas and techniques, to complete the picture with elements, and then came to the design, which is now the end result.

 

Since my landscape paintings almost always feature trees, I had the idea to paint a specific type of tree and a few typical features for each of the minimalist landscapes. This eventually led to three small illustrations of a leaf, the typical base shape of the tree, and its fruit, eg a chestnut. These became the three small pictures above the landscape painting. Then I found the empty space underneath too empty and thought that the colors themselves are so nice, and that’s how the idea of ​​the color palette below the landscape came into existence.

 

And what do I do with it now? Very simple: I have decided to offer these paintings exclusively in my Etsy shop as digital downloads which people can print themselves at home. And why? Again, this has to do with the pandemic.

 

A few weeks after the start of the pandemic, I temporarily closed my Etsy Shop (where my acrylic paintings were for sale). Firstly, because I thought that people all over the world probably have something else on their mind than buying art and secondly because the various lockdown regulations made parcel post to other countries really unreliable. I always planned to open the shop again with the canvas paintings, but eventually I got off that idea more and more the longer the pandemic lasted.

 

The main reason for this was that so many people in the world have lost their jobs or at least have a lot less income. A unique, hand-painted acrylic painting on canvas is always a luxury as it takes days or weeks to paint, so it can’t be sold for a few dollars. And then the idea came to mind, to offer the minimalist landscapes as digital downloads, so that people can print the artworks themselves at home or through a professional printer if they wish. Because these small paintings are considerably less work than large, full landscape paintings, I can offer them for little money, affordable for everybody.


Digital download of printable wall art, minimalist landscape designs, version 4

Give Form to an Idea

In my last post I wrote about how ideas come to me. With this specific idea it was actually a number of things over the entire (weird) year of 2020, although I only really realized this afterwards.

When I got very frustrated with my acrylic paintings at the beginning of the year, I thought I might need a break from painting and focus on other things for a while. However, existing without painting or being creative I only managed for a few days, then I grabbed my pen tablet and the stylus and started drawing and painting in the ArtRage program. I had bought this spontaneously a few months earlier, but not really used it yet. I immediately loved it! It is easy to use, offers many options and the result is convincingly similar to a real paintings.

Then the pandemic came to the Netherlands and changed our lives completely. We learned to appreciate the little things, and perhaps because of the limitations, that simplicity can feel really good. In my art, this led to a whole new series of paintings: minimalist landscapes. More on that tomorrow! Here is a small impression:


Digital download of printable wall art, minimalist landscape designs, version 7

How do you come up with ideas?

Have you ever asked yourself how you come up with ideas? If this is similar to how it is with me, ideas seem to just pop up in your head suddenly. Perhaps you can easily make a connection with something you have recently seen, heard or read. But sometimes, this is only part of the story, and it was indeed a whole series of impressions that lead to an idea.

This is the case with the idea I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. A certain frustration with my acrylic paintings at the beginning of this year, my rediscovered pleasure with digital painting a little later, the pandemic that so changed our lives, and the fact that I enjoy to see the works of other artists, especially on Instagram and Pinterest – all this contributed to the idea that led to my latest project.

I will tell you in a few days what exactly that is. Here a few impressions:


Another painting o colorful tulip fields

Here is another painting of colorful Dutch tulip fields, this time with 3 windmills in the back. Once again, it is painted with ArtRage, my favorite digital painting application. 


Red Poppies Sketch

Painting of Red Poppies

Have you ever laid down on the ground on a warm and sunny day, perhaps on a patch of grassland or a field, and watched the flowers or grasses from the worm’s-eye-view? I used to do this a lot as a kid and could become totally obsessed with the details and the colors. Red poppies were my favorites, as they grew in large numbers along the fields on my grandparents’ farm. The painting is a piece of memory of these days.

Below are a few minutes of the painting process:


Painting of Colorful Tulip Fields

Colorful tulip fields and windmills are typical for the Netherlands. The beautiful flower fields from the Bollenstreek and especially the Keukenhof Flower Park are world famous. In the spring, the area is an explosion of colors and a breathtaking sight for everyone, Dutch people and visitors from other countries alike.

Because I love colors anyway, painting these flower fields is a lot of fun for me. And of course there are also the typical windmills!

Below are some of the steps of painting and a video showing the painting process in the digital painting program ArtRage:


Making of a painting of Grape Hyacinths

Making of a painting of Grape Hyacinths

The Grape Hyacinths with their beautiful blue-purple color grow in my garden. They are the first flowers each year, which stick their heads out of the ground in early spring. I got the bulbs from my mother years ago and put them in the ground in the autumn – and forgot about it. It was a very nice surprise when the pretty flowers appeared among the spring green grasses.

The painting was digitally created in ArtRage. Below you will find a number of videos of the painting process.


Painting of a landscape on a cool morning

The light in the early morning is different in the warm season than in the cold season. The colors in autumn and winter are much more blue, which is especially noticeable when taking photos, because everything slightly more blue and therefore looks cooler. That’s why I chose cool variations of blue, pink and brown for this painting. It shows fir trees and grasses in the foreground, still partly damp from the cold night, and in these places the early sunlight twinkles. Below you will find a number of steps of the painting process.


Step 2 of the painting of fields of red flowers

Painting of a Red Landscape

Sometimes, I take a color and start painting, and see what happens. In this case, I was inspired by the colors ranging from dark red to pink. The result is this painting of a landscape, which could easily be on another planet. The colors make it look mysterious and almost surreal, and you expect to see strange animals and birds and maybe an alien :-).

The artwork is made with the digital equivalent of acrylic paint, coarse brushes and painting knives. I usually start with what’s furthest away, which is almost always the sky. The flowers are just dots with the brush, and the grasses more or less wild lines, all painted loosely and quickly. To prevent colors from mixing when they shouldn’t, I worked on different layers. With an acrylic painting this would be: let a layer of paint dry and only then continue. I am quite satisfied with the result. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!


Step 4 in the digital painting of a landscape with a lake

Digital Watercolor Painting of a Lake in the Evening Sun

Below are a few steps of the process of painting a landscape with a lake and mountains in the colors of the evening sun. The painting was made with ArtRage in the style of a watercolor painting.

As with a real watercolor painting I worked from light to dark colors, more and more opaque. With different settings for the digital brush, it is possible to recreate typical techniques, such as painting wet-in-wet, to achieve a soft gradient of colors, or the dripping of very diluted paint on an almost dry surface, creating the effect of clouds.  I have also worked with several layers, which corresponds to letting a watercolor painting dry completely before starting the next phase.


Digitaal acrylschilderij van een hibiscus bloem in roze en groen

Making-Of Hibiscus Flowers

Hibiscus flowers, or actually not yet flowers, but blossoms. The painting is inspired by a hibiscus bush, which grew in the garden of my neighbors. I have always been fascinated by the way the petals fold around each other.

The painting was digitally created in ArtRage. Below you will find a number of videos of the painting process.


Seamless pattern of leaves, handpainted with watercolors in blue

The Fascination of Patterns

Do you like patterns? Probably yes, because recognizing patterns is ingrained in us people, not only visual patterns of course, but as an artist I am mainly involved in visual work.

Do you know the feeling that when you see a pattern of the kind that you can repeat endlessly, that it is not only beautiful to see, but can also be quite soothing? I think this is one of the main reasons why we humans like these patterns so much, the calming effect. It is some sort of control over the chaos. This is particularly clear, I think, if you look at a large surface of water, a lake or the sea, on a day with a little wind. The water is always moving, but the pattern of the small waves remains the same and is repeated endlessly. I find it very calming, you too?

Creating patterns can also be soothing. That’s why I do it occasionally, although it is not part of my usual art. I made the pattern for this post last year. The petal in the rectangle was painted with watercolor paint, scanned and then opened in Photoshop to create the seamless pattern. Afterwards, I modified it to make different colored versions. On RedBubble it can be found on pillow cases, mugs and much more.


Digital Acrylic Painting of a Grassland filled with Red Poppies surrounding a single tree.

Grassland with Red Poppies

Since my childhood I think that red poppies are very beautiful. They grew on the sides of the wheat fields on my grandparents’ farm, and the bright red dots in the lake of muted yellow always made me happy.

The painting was digitally created in ArtRage. Below you will find some pictures of the process and a short video of the painting.


Digital sketch of yellow fields in bold colors

Path along the fields

Two digital sketches of the same path. It is located between fields and the forest. I always like how the path makes a slight turn and disappears behind the trees. On the right-hand side is a bench, which is simply not visible in the second sketch because of the shadows :-). Made in ArtRage 6 with the focus on the composition and the colors.


Digital painting of simple trees in bright greens.

Simple Trees

Simple tree shapes in powerful green colors. Painted with my favorite tool, the palette knife, in ArtRage 6. My goal is to find the most essential shape, which is still complex enough, to be interesting, and to bring out light / shadow through color and texture.

Digital painting of simple trees in bright greens.

Digital pastel drawing of an Anemone flower.

Digital Painting: Screen Recordings

A few short videos that show how a simple digital painting is created.Read more