33 Easiest Landscape Painting Ideas for Beginners for 2024

Last Updated on Jan 10th 2024
landscape painting ideas

Sitting down in front of a blank canvas can feel slightly intimidating if you’re not a frequent painter, but with this list of landscape painting ideas to inspire you, that white canvas can become a world of beautiful sceneries.

If you’ve ever taken a painting class, learning to create perspective is one of the first steps in elevating your creations. Flipping the canvas on its side and creating a trailing path outwards toward the horizon will give your landscape painting great depth.

Position yourself on a patio or sit picnic-style on a blanket with your easel and paint a live view. Any number of painting techniques will yield a beautiful result, so it’s really up to your personal preference and what materials you have on hand.  

Creating your own art whether it’s one of many soothing landscape painting ideas or a colorful and abstract work of imagination, can be therapeutic. Smithsonian Magazine details how art has been used to treat a variety of mental health conditions dating back to World War II.

From a free-flowing doodle to a more structured masterpiece like a beautiful landscape painting idea, there’s no wrong way to relax and make sense of your emotions with art.

The next time you’re ready to settle down in front of a canvas and create a whimsical landscape, check out these ideas for inspiration.

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Learn to Paint Landscapes in Art Classes

1. Paint and Sip

Join a laid-back guided painting experience when you sign up for paint and sip near you. All the supplies are included plus a few example pieces for you to emulate as you create your own beautiful landscape artwork to take home.

Check out paint and sip in Denver, paint and sip in San Diego or paint and sip in Chicago the next time you’re looking for a fun date night or a girls’ night out. It's a perfect option to start learning easy landscape painting for beginners.

paint and sip landscape painting ideas
via Shutterstock

2. Take an Art Class

While it’s fine to just wing it with a brush and some paints, learning from an esteemed artist can help build your confidence.

Wherever you live, there are art classes near you that will provide you with hands-on teaching so you can practice color theory and a variety of brush strokes as you set out to create some beautiful landscape painting ideas.

Perfect if you want to learn to paint or just brush up on your existing skills. Sign up for art classes in NYC, art classes in Portland or art classes in Atlanta to get started. 

3. Watch Bob Ross

Bob Ross is probably one of the most famous names in art, at least in terms of teachers. Known for his upbeat, positive attitude and funny little sayings, he specialized in teaching anyone to create stunning landscape painting ideas.

Over his lifetime, he painted hundreds and thousands of intricate designs, and his videos are available on YouTube and some streaming services. Though dated, his teachings still apply!

If you’re wondering, "What colors to use in a landscape painting?" or "What are the basic rules for landscape painting?", chances are good that Bob Ross talked about it. 

Easy Acrylic Landscape Painting Ideas

4. A Campfire Under the Stars

Turn this idyllic camping scene from your imagination in a landscape painting idea that you will proudly display. A blue, star-studded sky creates a wonderful contrast to the dark emerald hues of the trees and a bright orange campfire in the foreground.

5. Starry Night in the Forest

Imagine walking through a narrow path in the forest and looking up to see a clear night sky. Turn that relaxing daydream in an acrylic masterpiece with this landscape painting idea.

Due to the simplicity of the trees and the trail, this is a great acrylic painting idea for beginners. You can use mainly dark colors for the tree outlines and focus on creating a magical Milky Way sky as the backdrop.  

painting of dark trees in front of pink and blue starry night sky
via Classpop!

6. Your Favorite City Street

While there are thousands of picturesque streets abroad, you can choose to paint a local street or your favorite destination for this landscape painting idea.

The colorful buildings that line the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico or the ancient but beautiful buildings along the canals of Amsterdam make a wonderful image to re-create.  

7. The Sound of Music Views

Can you picture that iconic scene in The Sound of Music where Julie Andrews is frolicking in a lush green field surrounded by snow-capped mountains?

Re-create it for this easy mountain landscape painting idea by using the juxtaposition of green fields and white mountains. Sprinkle in a few wildflowers or maybe even a babbling brook for a super aesthetic painting idea

8. City Skyline

There are a number of city skylines that are pretty iconic and they make for perfect landscape painting ideas. Just because you’re painting a landscape doesn’t mean it has to be a nature scene per se.

Blend together a colorful sunset sky and pepper in some dark outlines of buildings to re-create your favorite skyline. 

9. A Rainy City Street

Get a bit abstract with your city-inspired landscape painting idea and craft your image as if it’s a rainy day. By blurring lines and mixing colors, you can give the effect of looking through a rain-drizzled window.

Due to the quick-drying nature of the paint, this is the perfect acrylic landscape painting idea. 

painting of couple walking on a rainy city street at night
via Classpop!

10. Wintery Walk

While it may sound complicated to paint a wintery picture because everything is white, there are a few ways you can add color and dimension. For a wintery landscape painting idea for kids during the holidays, try these tips.

Make the sky dark or at least darker than the white flakes of snow. Shades of dark grey or almost black offer a stark contrast. You can also sprinkle in some details in the foreground, like a bridge leading away. Remember that blending in some light greys will give dimension to your snow drifts. 

11. A Birch Tree Forest

This landscape painting idea can really feature any type of tree you want, but something about birch trees with their soft white bark and dark black lines makes them so visually appealing.

Create a soft green forest scene with a few lone birch trees and you’ve got a wonderful summer painting idea come to life. 

12. Blossoms on a Branch

Picture your point of view focused on the outstretched limb of a flowering tree. Hone in on the colorful blossoms as you paint tree limbs extending out, in front of a soft green background or a sunset sky. 

13. Waves Crashing

Another fun way to add dimension and action to your landscape painting ideas is by creating a scene of waves crashing on rocks.

Large rock islands sprinkled in a bay of thrashing water create the perfect opportunity to showcase the white, foamy caps of the waves as they crash onto the rocks and the shore.

This isn’t your typical peaceful ocean sunset, but it’s still a beautiful way to represent Mother Nature. 

crashing waves landscape painting idea
via Classpop!

14. A Norwegian Fjord

If you’ve been lucky enough to live near or visit one of the many naturally occurring fjords in Norway, then you know how stunning they are. Paint from memory, imagination or simply google and paint a famous one.

The fjords demonstrate an amazing combination of mountains, forests and lakes all in one place. 

15. A Nighttime Scene

Painting a nighttime scene doesn’t have to mean just a sky full of stars. Any landscape painting idea you can paint in full color you can paint through an evening lens as well. Picture a charming street with a couple of dim street lamps and paint using muted tones.

16. A Rainbow Scene

This trippy painting idea is a great landscape painting idea for kids, too. You can paint a rainbow over the horizon, or make the whole sky a swirling rainbow sunset to serve as the backdrop for a tree, a house or the tiny outline of a dog. There’s no wrong way to mix colors and designs with this one. 

Easy Watercolor Landscape Painting Ideas

17. Muted Mountains

While the typical way to paint the mountains is grey with snow caps on top, if you’ve ever driven by the mountains on a summer or fall day, the reality is the tones are fairly neutral. Use watercolors to create a soft mountainscape or beautiful canyon using muted tones and soft lines.

This easy mountain landscape painting idea softens any sharp edges or color differences that might be present in an acrylic or oil painting. Plus, it turns a realistic summer painting idea into a lovely creation. 

mountain landscape painting idea
via Classpop!

18. A Beach Sunset

One of the reasons watercolors are so beginner-friendly is that they cast a soft color and can easily blend into other colors.

When you’re looking to paint a relaxing landscape painting idea like a beach sunset, watercolor is the perfect medium for those delicate pastel hues. Crashing waves on the shore and a cotton-candy-colored sky make for a visually pleasing outcome. 

19. Palm Trees at Sunrise

Something about watercolors makes it so well suited for all things related to the ocean or anything tropical. Mix your favorite shades of pink and orange to create a colorful sunrise or sunset, then add the outlines of a few shaggy palm trees to highlight the tropical nature of this landscape painting.

20. Pillowy Clouds

Perhaps the most obvious of all watercolor painting ideas, create your ideal sky full of soft, pillowy clouds. This landscape painting idea might not contain any actual land, but you can still fill it with a sky full of soft pinks, blues and lavender along with big, puffy clouds.

This is an easy landscape painting for beginners that allows you to master the art of depth in your paintings. 

21. Desert Scenes

Another easy watercolor landscape painting idea is your favorite desert landscape. From the red sand of Sedona to the soft browns or white of the Sand Dunes National Park, watercolor is the perfect medium for this scene.   

desert landscape painting idea
via Classpop!

22. Under the Sea

This landscape painting idea is technically a seascape, but that just makes it more special. Rather than creating from the point of view of sitting on the beach, create a make-believe scene from under the water.

Whether it’s a blend of reality and cartoon or a total fairytale, that’s for you to decide. You’ll want to be sure to have a variety of thick and thin brushes to create small details on your under-the-sea creatures. 

23. Koi Pond

This landscape painting idea also features water, but this one doesn’t involve the ocean. Watercolors can be as soft or as bold as you make them, and the addition of water to the process makes it a natural medium for painting all sorts of water.

Paint a zen garden with a lovely koi pond the next time you’re staring at a blank canvas seeking inspiration. 

24. English Countryside

Paint a quintessential English countryside with this landscape painting idea. Optional features to include consist of a Tudor-style home, an immaculate garden or and a lush green field below a slightly overcast sky. 

Easy Oil Landscape Painting Ideas

25. Starry Night Dupe

One of the most iconic paintings of all time is Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh and it’s tons of fun to re-create. Landscape painting ideas don’t always have to be realistic, and this one is perfectly abstract.

The swirling sky and trees mixed with tiny homes peppered throughout the foreground make this a fun masterpiece to emulate. 

rainbow version of Van Gogh's Starry Night painting
via Classpop!

26. An Epic Mountain Vista

Model this landscape painting idea after an actual mountain range or simply your mind’s conception of the mountains. This design is great if you’re wondering how to start oil painting because there’s no right or wrong, and you can add many layers to your base.

Oil paint takes longer to dry than acrylic, so you can always go back and mix in more colors for greater depth to your painting. 

27. A Sailboat in the Bay

Using fine strokes, you can add tons of dimension to this landscape painting idea featuring a docked sailboat in a bay. Adding thin lines of red, yellow or even black to a mostly blue and green piece will make it seem more lifelike. 

28. A Field of Flowers

Create a magical field of brightly colored blooms with this flower painting idea utilizing oil paints. Layer the paints to add depth and mix colors to create brand-new hues that please your eyes.

From a rural field of sunflowers to uniform rows of vibrant tulips or a mix of wildflowers, this landscape painting idea sparks joy.  

29. Seasonal Trees

When it comes to painting a tree or several trees, it’s more than just shades of green and brown. Even depicting a tree in full autumn colors for a fall painting idea can require practically a rainbow of colors that go into adding depth and dimension to your design.

Painting a landscape of trees can be as abstract or realistic as you want it to be, and both can involve a huge range of colors from tiny dots to large swatches of colors you might be surprised to blend in.

fall leaves landscape painting idea
via Classpop!

30. A Stormy Sea

While lots of landscape painting ideas about the sea might paint it as bright blue and relaxing, the reality is there is a whole other side to the ocean. Capture the magnificence and power of a stormy sea by mixing and layering oil pants to create texture and depth.

31. Play With Contrast

When it comes to landscape painting ideas, if you’re going to stick to more realistic colors and scenes, you have the option to also play with the contrast.

The same view can look completely different if you use very little contrast as things will start to blend together, or you can make things stark and use dark, dramatic colors to create a lot of contrast between objects. 

32. A Close-Up of a Tree

Painting a forest of trees is a whole other skill set from painting the close details of a patch of leaves or buds. For your next landscape painting idea, mentally zoom in on a spot on a tree, whether it’s a lemon tree full of fruit or a bunch of green leaves that seem to shine when the wind blows them.

Use a variety of shades of the same color to bring a flat green disc or yellow oval to life. 

33. The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are a naturally occurring phenomenon that most people have on their bucket list to see firsthand. Whether or not you’ve seen the Northern Lights in person, it makes a cool landscape painting idea where you can play with shapes and color.

Picture shadowy snow-covered hills against a dark, almost black night sky that has been lit up with streaks of neon greens, purples and pinks. 

painting of the Northern Lights over a dark mountain range
via Classpop!

As you can see, you can take landscape painting ideas in pretty much any direction you would like. The basic design allows you to take complete creative control from your color palate to your brush strokes.

Each and every beautiful creation can make a lovely addition to your walls, a thoughtful gift or an artistic handmade card for someone you love. 

When it comes to your tools, it’s up to the artist’s preference. Watercolors are kid and beginner-friendly due to their low color density, while acrylic paint is a nice intermediate paint that dries pretty quickly.

Oil paints have a slightly steeper learning curve, as they take the longest to dry and also have the most power to stain, so just be aware of what you are wearing and where you plan to craft your landscape painting ideas.

For even more fun art ideas, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!