Landscapes in Oil

Landscapes in Oil is the first-ever comprehensive guide to classical landscape painting reinterpreted for the twenty-first century. Drawing from the tradition established by American painters of the Hudson River School–artists like Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, and George Inness–author and painter Ken Salaz reveals great masters’ philosophy and methods, updating their approaches for the contemporary landscape painter.

Beginning painters are given the basic tools and step-by-step demonstrations, intermediate painters are challenged with unpublished techniques that allow them to break through to the next level, and advanced painters learn to apply their skills under unified theories.

A Contemporary Guide to Realistic Oil Painting In The Classical Tradition

Landscapes in Oil devotes a chapter to each of the fundamental elements of landscape painting–drawing, value, color, composition, and light quality–and offers critical advice on selecting tools and materials, choosing colors, and structuring your palette for best results. Emphasizing the necessity of plein air drawing and painting, Salaz demonstrates how to translate small, quick studies made outdoors into full-scale studio paintings.

Landscapes in Oil

As an artist depicting light quality, you have to become attuned to the lighting conditions of the different times of the day. When a viewer looks at your painting, it needs to be clear what time of day is being depicted. To deepen my understanding of how light quality affects a painting, I decided to paint the same landscape in plein air at different times of day and under different lighting conditions. Comparing my three paintings of the same view of New York City from the Hudson River village of Dobbs Ferry, you can see just how much the light affects the overall painting. Conveying a specific time of the day adds an authenticity that is integral to the painting’s illusion.

He provides detailed step-by-step breakdowns of the creation of four of his own paintings, focusing not only on application but also on the ideas that underpin every decision a landscape painter must make. The scores of landscape masterworks, past and present, that illustrate this book have been carefully chosen for their aesthetic power and because each embodies a specific aspect of the landscape painter’s craft.

Landscapes in Oil, An Essential Resource For Beginning And Experienced Painters Alike

For Salaz, landscape painting is a noble pursuit, and the goal of the landscape artist is not to paint “pretty pictures” but to create compelling images that express human beings’ profound connection to nature in all its diversity and grandeur. At a time when the classical landscape is enjoying a renaissance in art schools, ateliers, and galleries across North America, this book is an essential resource for beginning and experienced painters alike.

Landscapes in Oil

Ken Salaz was born in 1970 in southern California. He spent several years traveling the world, through Asia, Central and South America, and Europe painting landscapes. He studied with Leonid Gervitz and Jacob Collins. His work and processes have been featured many times in notable magazines and publications such as Fine Art Connoisseur and his work was recently selected for the spring cover of PleinAir magazine. Mr. Salaz is seen by many as a new and unique voice emerging from a realistic tradition and yet is breaking new ground with his own modern interpretation of Poetic Realism.

He is represented by several galleries including Reh’s Gallery in New York City. In addition to being a masterful Artist, Mr. Salaz is a highly accomplished magician, mentalist, and professional pick-pocket, entertaining such celebrities as Bruce Springstein and Jimmy Fallon. He currently lives with his wife Camie Salaz and their sons in the beautiful Hudson River Valley. For more about the artist visit


“Ken Salaz has produced a remarkably thorough book on landscape painting. He covers the foundation that every landscape painter needs to master: drawing, color, composition, perspective, atmosphere, illumination, field sketching, and studio painting. His explanations are clear and the diagrams and illustrations are helpful. This book will be a great help to young artists and professionals alike.” – Jacob Collins

Landscapes in Oil: A Contemporary Guide to Realistic Painting in the Classical Tradition by Ken Salaz. Hardcover: 240 pages. Language: English. Publisher: Monacelli Studio (March 19, 2019).

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