Artists who prefer to paint the light houses of Lake Michigan or the rolling hills of the Sleeping Bear Dunes are called landscape artists. They use nature as their palette.

The end product can be a realistic interpretation of the landscape or even an abstract view of it. Through the use of startling colors, some artists choose to conjure up emotionally charged visions.

Or, they can be like Salvador Dali and paint imaginative landscapes that are dreamlike. His most famous being The Persistence of Memory – look it up on

Landscape painting isn’t just about the land. It includes seascapes, riverscapes and even cityscapes – also called urban landscapes. As long as the image has scenery in it, then it is considered landscape art.

Those who paint outside with the landscape in full view of them are using “plein air” the French term for “in the open air” style. They are immersed in the beauty of the scenery.

Inspire the inner artist in you and your kids by pulling out the colored pencils, some sketching paper and go outside for some “plein air” fun!  The vast and varied landscape is yours to interpret on the blank page before you.

Content provided by Oakland University


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