10 Tips for Painting Mountains

mountain paintingMountains have always been appreciated for their majesty. Whether it is to paint them, climb them, hike them or simply gaze upon them, people are drawn to a mountain landscape. Their visual and inspirational splendor makes mountain scenes a very popular feature for artists to include in their landscape paintings. Mountains are also popular with art buyers from all over the world. So much so that many top art galleries prefer to display oil paintings of landscapes featuring some very popular mountain ranges.

With so many mountain ranges in the world artists will never run out of subjects for their mountain landscapes. Some famous mountain ranges you might want to consider painting are:

    • Blue Ridge Mountains
    • Canadian Rockies
    • Grand Tetons
    • Himalayas
    • Matterhorn
    • Mount Kilimanjaro
    • Rocky Mountains
    • Smokey Mountains
    • Swiss Alps
    • and numerous others

Or you might just want to design a mountain range from your own imagination. There is no hard and fast rule that says it has to be an actual mountain that exists somewhere on earth. You could even paint a mountain range that is on some distant moon or planet. For example Olympus Mons, the highest mountain on Mars. Of course you would have to rely on reference photos for something like this.

See Land Rover Tracks of Mars as an example of an off world landscape with a mountain range made up from the artist’s imagination.

Things to Consider When Painting Mountains

Tip #1 — Pay special attention to the profile of the mountain or mountain range you are painting. Especially if it is one that is a recognizable landmark. Every mountain has a unique feature and specific shape to it. Those who view your painting will recognize the scenery and will want to buy your painting as a result because it has some special meaning for them.

Tip #2 — As you are sketching the mountain onto your canvas, consider making it the dominating feature to show off its majesty. This can easily be done by giving it the most space on the real estate of your canvas surface. This will entail having to reduce the size of the surrounding supporting elements such as the trees, lakes, sky, grass, wildlife, etc.

Tip #3 — As the distance between you and the mountain range increases, everything gets lighter in value. As the landscape hits the horizon line the color is less saturated as it disappears into the distance and becomes closer in value to the sky color.

Tip #4 — When painting mountains that are off in a distance be sure to employ the use of atmospheric or aerial perspective to create a sense of depth. A faraway mountain range will usually appear lighter, hazier and bluer as it gets further away.

Tip #5 —  The further away a mountain is, the less detail it will have. That means crevasses in the mountain side will become less defined and you probably will not see any trees either.

Tip #6 — Tone is very important when painting mountains. The mountain will be a pale tone near the top and will have a deeper tone at its base. This will help to give the mountain depth.

Tip #7 — As a general rule try to arrange the shape of your mountains so they slope into the picture and not out. This will help direct the viewers eye into the painting as they follow the outline of the mountain.

Tip #8 — Try to blur the outline of the furthest mountain into the sky. You can blur it more than you would initially think as the viewer will “create” the shape of the mountain in their mind’s eye.

Tip #9 — To create a sense of depth in your landscape painting, paint your mountain ranges in layers going from those that are the furthest away to those that are the closest. The mountains that are furthest away should be painted in first. They should be the lightest, haziest and possess the least amount of detail. Next add in another range of mountains closer to you. These would be placed in front of the first mountain range. They would be more intense in color and have a more details than the previous range, but not as much as the next range to be added. Continue doing this until you have all your mountains in place. By layering various additional elements in your paintings foreground will help to give distance and perspective to the mountain range in the background.

Tip #10 — Not all mountains resemble inverted cones, many are lopsided, pyramidal, or even flat on top. Some have snow caps, while others do not. Add interest to your mountains by varying its contour, texture and color.

Additional Reading

The Rules of Perspective

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Texas Flag Barn

Life in Texas landscape painting
© Copyright 2015 – Present

Size: 20″w  x 16″ h
Support: Gallery Wrap Stretched Canvas
Description: A landscape oil painting of an old barn with the Texas flag painted on its roof. Part of the “Life in Texas” artwork series. This painting will not need a frame as the painting extends around the edges of the canvas.

TX Flag Barn painting demo
Not to sale

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$410

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Artist Comments

Texans are a proud bunch and we love our state. This is evident everywhere you go here. It would be rare indeed to travel through the Lone Star State and not see a barn or some other out building painted up with the Texas flag like the one in this painting. And you don’t have to travel far outside the city limits to find one either. This particular barn happens to be a famous landmark on US Hwy 377 just east of Stephenville, Texas.

About The Texas Flag

Lone Star FlagThe Texas flag (a.k.a. the “Lone Star Flag”) was adopted in 1845 when Texas became the 28th state. It is a rectangle that has a width to length ratio of two to three. It contains a vertical blue field of color and two horizontal fields of color, one being white and the other one red. The flag also sports a single white star which is located in the center of the blue field. This lone star represents “ALL of Texas and stands for our unity as one for God, state, and country.” Each color field in the flag symbolizes the following:

    • Blue stands for loyalty
    • White represents purity
    • Red is for bravery

This painting is part of the Life In Texas Series.

Have a question?

If you have a question about this painting, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Other Paintings Of Interest

The Garden Tomb at Sunset oil painting
12″ w x 9″ h
Van Gogh’s Church at Auvers, France oil painting
20″ w x 24″ h
Devils Tower painting by Teresa Bernard
6″ w x 6″ h

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Scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro

Africa landscape mountain commission painting

© Copyright 2011 – Present

Size: 24″ x 18″
Support: Gallery wrap stretched canvas
Description: A snow painting of a hiker scaling up Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.

SOLD: This painting was commissioned by an art collector in New Jersey. If you desire something similar, visit How To Commission A Painting for more information.

Customer Feedback

I wanted you to know that I received the painting and presented it to Jim and he loved it! Thank you so much for all of your time and effort. It was well worth the wait! — A. Boutillier, Morristown NJ

Artist Comments

This was a commission painting done for a client who had hiked up Mt. Kilimanjaro one year. The client supplied the photo from her trip for this painting. Since this was a memorable trip for my client, I kept the painting as close to the photograph as possible. My client loved the finished painting and proudly displays it in her living room where it receives many favorable comments from her guests.

About Mt. Kilimanjaro

Located in Tanzania Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro is actually a dormant volcano and also happens to be the highest mountain in Africa at 19,340 feet above sea level. Its three volcanic cones are named Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. It isn’t certain where the name Kilimanjaro originates from, but there are several theories about that. A few possible meanings could be Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness, or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not be any of these.

This mountain is a popular attraction for hikers and mountain climbers from all over the globe. Some estimate that more people have died trekking up Mt. Kilimanjaro than Mount Everest. However, it needs to be pointed out that Everest is attempted by significantly fewer climbers than Kilimanjaro.

Art Commissions

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commission artist for hireTeresa creates works of art for fellow art lovers all over the world. Follow this link to find out how to commission a painting of your own. Or contact us for more information.

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Life in Texas — Round Hay Bales

Life in Texas oil painting
© Copyright 2013 – Present

Size: 16″ w x 20″ h
Support: Gallery wrap stretched canvas
Description: A landscape painting of large round hay bales depicting life in East Texas. This painting will not need a frame as the painting extends around the edges of the canvas.

round hay bales painting demo
Not to scale

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$410

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Artist Comments

This oil painting is part of a series of paintings about what life is like in the great state of Texas. This particular painting is about life in general in the rural areas of East Texas. Cattle ranchers abound here and since cattle and other farm animals need food, we also have a lot of hay farmers. Everywhere you go, if you don’t see cattle or horses grazing in a large pasture, you’ll most likely see hay growing there or you’ll see hay that has been harvested and baled.

Hay farmers harvest their hay using equipment called balers. Balers can bale (package) hay in a variety of ways — small rectangle bales, large square or rectangular bales, or large round bales. The large round bales can weigh anywhere from 800 to over 1,500 pounds! When they are that heavy, they have to be moved around with hay forks attached to tractors. Many cattlemen prefer the round bales as opposed to small rectangle bales as they are less labor intensive to store and move, and easier to feed to their own cattle. They place these large round bales inside hay rings so their cattle and horses can graze on them for days. Small farms and ranches, however, may still use the smaller rectangle hay bales since they have fewer heads of cattle to feed.

This painting is part of the Life In Texas Series.

Have a question?

If you have a question about this painting, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Other Paintings Of Interest

Lighthouse Monument, Palo Duro Canyon wall art
16″ w x 12″ h
Monument Valley artwork
16″ w x 12″ h
Texas Flag Barn artwork
20″ w x 16″ h

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Forgotten Roads of Bygone Days

forgotten roads of bygone days, bonnie and clyde car
© Copyright 2012 – Present

Size: 24″ w x 18″ h
Support: Gallery wrap stretched canvas
Description: This is a landscape depicting a classic Ford V8  car from 1934 similar to the one driven by Bonnie and Clyde. You can read more about this notorious couple in “artist comments” below. This painting will not need a frame as the painting extends around the edges of the canvas.

Classic Ford V8 painting
Not to scale

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$470

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Artist Comments

This painting is of a vintage Ford V8. The same type car that helped make “Bonnie and Clyde” famous in the early 1930’s. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were notorious fugitives who traveled throughout the central states of North America with their gang during the Great Depression robbing and murdering wherever they went. The couple’s crime spree ended in their car when they were ambushed by Texas lawmen at a roadblock and then shot to death when 100 armor piercing bullets riddled the car. Bonnie and Clyde were buried in separate cemeteries in Dallas. Clyde’s gravestone reads “Gone but not forgotten.”

Today the actual bullet-riddled death car driven by the infamous couple is now on display at Whiskey Pete’s Resort and Casino in Primm, Nevada. There is no admission charge to see the exhibit. For more information about the actual car Bonnie and Clyde met their demise in, visit Roads & Rides. Additional information can be found at Roadside America.

This painting made a “sneak peek” preview appearance on my Facebook page before it was added to my website. A fan who follows my oil paintings named this work of art “Forgotten Roads”.

Have a question?

If you have a question about this painting, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Other Paintings Of Interest

Life in Texas — Round Hay Bales painting
16″ w x 20″ h
Lighthouse Monument, Palo Duro Canyon wall art
16″ w x 12″ h
Monument Valley artwork
16″ w x 12″ h

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The Garden Tomb At Sunset

famous travel place Jerusalem
© Copyright 2004 – Present

Size: 12″ w x 9″ h
Support: Stretched canvas
Description: This Bible place painting depicts the famous Garden Tomb at Jerusalem bathed in the rays of the setting sun. Painted on quality stretched canvas, it will need to be framed before displaying.

Garden Tomb at Sunset Bible Study demo
Not to scale

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Purchasing Information

$260

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Artist Comments

This painting is second in a series of Holy Land paintings featuring the Garden Tomb. The famous tomb is located in the Garden of Gethsemane near Jerusalem and is considered by many Christians to be the actual burial and resurrection place of Jesus the Christ after His crucifixion at Golgotha, the place of the skull, rather than the famous Church of The Holy Sepulcher.

Many believe this to be the site of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus because it so clearly fits the description described in each of the Gospel accounts.

Site of the Crucifixion

    • Skull Rock outside the city walls of Jerusalem
    • Near a gate of the city
    • Along a busy thoroughfare
    • At a place of public execution
    • At the place of the skull – Golgotha
    • A garden nearby

Evidence regarding the site of the tomb can be found in Matthew 27:57-60.

    • Skull Rock located in a garden
    • Belonged to a rich man named Joseph of Arimathea
    • Cut out of the rock
    • Sealed with a rolling stone
    • Entered through a low doorway
    • Burial chamber situated to the right of the entrance

For more information about this popular tourist place, check out this website.

This painting is part of the Bible Lands Series.

Have a question?

If you have a question about this painting, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Other Paintings Of Interest

Calvary at Sunset wall artwork
20″ w x 16″ h
Van Gogh’s Church at Auvers, France oil painting
20″ w x 24″ h
Devils Tower painting by Teresa Bernard
6″ w x 6″ h

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Covered Wagon On The Prairie

covered wagon western art
© Copyright 2010 – Present

Size:  20″ w x 16″ h
Support: Stretched canvas
Description: Western landscape painting of a covered wagon on the prairie. An original art composition by artist Teresa Bernard depicts life out on the open range. This painting will need to be framed before displaying.

covered wagon painting demo
Not to scale

Authenticity Certified

TB sealThis painting comes with an official Certificate of Authenticity. It is your guarantee the artwork you have purchased is a genuine Teresa Bernard Oil Painting.

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Purchasing Information

$410

FREE shipping and handling within the U.S.A.

Contact us for international postage and handling.




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Artist Comments

We live in the country and several times a year a small caravan of covered wagons and horses with riders would ride past our small ranch from a nearby community. The caravan was organized by the local vet. This caravan became the inspiration for this painting.

Covered wagons and pioneers are one of the first things that come mind when I think of the Old West. I love that sense of adventure and pioneering spirit that drove early settlers to pack up their family, mount a covered wagon and move across the Great Plains to settle out West. They are indeed an icon of the American Old West.

Sometimes the covered wagon was called a “prairie schooner” because the white canvas covers on the wagons crossing the open range reminded some writers of the sails of a ship at sea.

Have a question?

If you have a question about this painting, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Other Paintings Of Interest

Cowboy Sunset oil painting
24″ w x 18″ h
Forgotten Roads Of Bygone Days oil painting
24″ w x 18″ h
Life in Texas — Round Hay Bales painting
16″ w x 20″ h

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Camelthorn Trees of Africa

African Camel thorn Trees painting
© Copyright 2011 – Present

Size: 24″ w x 24″ h
Support: Stretched canvas
Description: A  realistic depiction of the famous camelthorn or camel thorn trees located in the desert dunes of African Namib-Naukluft National Park. The painting will need to be framed before it is displayed.

camelthrone-tree-demo

Authenticity Certified

TB sealThis painting comes with an official Certificate of Authenticity. It is your guarantee the artwork you have purchased is a genuine Teresa Bernard Oil Painting.

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Purchasing Information

$530

FREE shipping and handling within the U.S.A.

Contact us for international postage and handling.




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Artist Comments

This painting was a fun one to do. At first it appears to be a bit surreal which is not the genre of art that I normally do. I’m a realist painter. This painting is actually a landscape and was painted from an actual photograph of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Africa. It depicts camelthorn trees with a sand dune rising in the background. The sand dune is bathed in orange by the effects of a rising sun. The trees are in shadow from another nearby dune. Some believe these trees have been dead for hundreds of years and that their failure to decompose is because the desert is so arid.

For more information about Namib-Naukluft National Park in Africa visit their website.

Have a question?

If you have a question about this painting, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Other Paintings Of Interest

Covered Wagon On The Prairie artwork
20″ w x 16″ h
Cowboy Sunset oil painting
24″ w x 18″ h
Forgotten Roads Of Bygone Days oil painting
24″ w x 18″ h

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Calvary at Sunset

Christian art painting in oils on stretched canvas
© Copyright 2009 – Present

Size: 20″ w x 16″ h
Support: Stretched canvas
Description: Sunset  oil painting of Calvary by artist Teresa Bernard. This Christian themed landscape in oils on stretch canvas depicts a silhouette of the cross will need to be framed before displaying it in your home or office.

calvary-sunset-grey-sofa-orange-carpet
Not to scale

Authenticity Certified

TB sealThis painting comes with an official Certificate of Authenticity. It is your guarantee the artwork you have purchased is a genuine Teresa Bernard Oil Painting.

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Purchasing Information

$410

FREE shipping and handling within the U.S.A.

Contact us for international postage and handling.




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Artist Comments

This painting is a religious themed landscape painting portraying the cross in silhouette against a colorful evening sky. It is not to be taken as the literal representation of the crucifixion of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Rather it depicts that moment in time just after the disciples took His lifeless body down from the cross.

The Holy Bible tells us about this momentous historical event throughout its pages. From Scripture we learn that Jesus Christ endured the crucifixion from approximately 9 A.M until 3 P.M. and that His dead body was removed from the cross just before sundown. Whereas, the four New Testament Gospels describe some kind of supernatural phenomena which occurred at the moment of His death.

From the four Gospels we learn…

    • The Gospel of Matthew account mentions an earthquake,  the opening of the saints tombs in the vicinity and the resurrected saints making an appearance in Jerusalem.
    • The Gospel of Mark reveals how darkness spread throughout the land and the temple veil being ripped in two.
    • The Gospel of Luke tells us Jesus was crucified with criminals and that the Roman soldiers mocked Him and cast lots for His clothing.
    • The Gospel of John describes how the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and that Jesus was crucified at Golgotha which means the place of the Skull.

Calvary At Sunset is part of a series of oil paintings called the Christian Art Series.

Have a question?

If you have a question about this painting, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Other Paintings Of Interest

Camelthorn Trees of Africa painting
24″ w x 24″ h
Covered Wagon On The Prairie artwork
20″ w x 16″ h
Cowboy Sunset oil painting
24″ w x 18″ h

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Irish Fishing Village, Bunratty Ireland

Irish Fishing Village Bunratty Ireland landscape painting
© Copyright 2001 – Present

Size: 12″ w x 9″ h
Support: Canvas panel board
Description: A landscape painting of an old Irish fishing village located in Bunratty Parish, a republic of Ireland. This painting is composed on quality canvas panel board and will require framing before hanging.

SOLD: This painting sold to a private art collector in Michigan. If you love this painting and desire one that is similar or something else entirely, Contact us, Teresa Bernard does art commissions.

Customer Feedback

Hi Teresa, The painting is wonderful! It safely arrived on time. I have read that floating frames are good for paintings on art board so I’ll likely go that route. Best regards, Peter

Artist Comments

In the summer of 2000 a friend of mine made several business trips to Ireland. After he completed his work for the day, he would venture out into the nearby countryside and local communities to see the sites and take photos of his trip. This landscape painting is from a photo of one of the places he visited while there. It depicts Bunratty, a small folk village in southwest Ireland not far from Shannon and Limerick. The village gets its name from nearby Bunratty Castle, a large 15th-century tower house in County Clare, Ireland. The castle is a major tourist attraction famous for its medieval banquets. Bunratty Castle overlooks the Raite river and the village lies just to the west of the castle. The castle and village are open to the public and feature around 30 buildings.

Fun Facts About Bunratty

    • Bunratty is an Irish word which means “End of the Raite River”.
    • The first settlement in Bunratty is thought to have been built by Vikings in the 10th century and possibly destroyed by an Irish king named Brian Boru.
    • The castle was built around 1277 by Mucegros, a Anglo-Norman ruler.
    • For a history about Bunratty Castle visit here.

Have a question?

If you have a question about this painting, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Art Commissions

Not Finding What You Are Looking For?

commission artist for hireTeresa is also a commission artist and  has painted for fellow art collectors and enthusiasts from around the world. If you have a special painting in mind you would like Teresa to do, follow the link for more information on how to commission a painting. Or contact us for more information.

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