Eight for Eight: Mitchell Albala’s Top Landscape Painting Posts, 2009–2017


November 2017 marked the eighth year since the publication of my book, Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice, and the launch of this blog. In my first post of the new year, I thought I would look back at the most popular (and my favorite) posts from the past eight years. I measured popularity by the number of comments it received and the number of visits (as reported to me by Google Analytics). Here then are eight for eight, the top posts from the past eight years.

My favorites

Video Lesson: Exploring Composition through Shape and Notan

Close to my heart are the posts about notan, and this one remains the most popular by far. The video featured here received over 38,000 views on YouTube. I also have a feature-length article on notan, with supporting illustrations: The Wisdom of Notan – A Brief Introduction.

Playing Studio Detective with a Film of Monet Painting at Giverny

This post, featuring rare footage of Monet painting, received near record comments. If you haven’t seen Monet paint, this will be a real treat. It’s just a 2.5 minute video, and unbelievably inspiring! I offer commentary at various points.

The Affect of Value on Color Identity in Impressionist Painting

This post didn’t receive the most hits, but it should have! I consider this topic to be one of most important of the 70+ posts here. This essential lesson in Impressionist theory still defines the way contemporary landscape painters approach color. Versions of this post appeared both in my book and in the September 2012 issue of Artists & Illustrators. I’ll be offering a workshop in June: The Contemporary Impressionist Landscape.

Most popular

What Color is Your Underpainting? The Monochromatic and Two-Color Methods

As a great proponent of underpainting,, I was’t surprised that this post got so many visits. I’ll be offering a workshop in April: Landscape Painting: Smart Starts Using Underpainting to Build Value, Composition and Color.

Arte Umbria, Florence, Michelangelo, and the Great Italian Adventure

My “travel journal” from my 2015 trip to Italy brought in quite a few comments. My excitement was contagious! This post features beautiful videos of the Umbrian countryside and a compilation of Italian church bells.

“The Approach” – Four Essential Steps to Plein Air Painting

This post, near and dear to my heart, sums up my philosophy about landscape painting: the entire process is better managed when broken down into four logical steps.

Framing Options for Paintings on Unstretched Canvas or Paper

Much to my surprise, this post received the second largest number of comments of any post. Its popularity is a testament to how painters thirst for this information.

Gamvar: Gamblin’s Easy-to-Use Picture Varnish for Oil Painters

If painters were thirsty for information about framing, they were positively dehydrated over varnishing. This post got the most hits of all, 25. I still get questions from readers about varnishing.


About Author

Mitchell Albala is a Seattle-based painter known for his semi-abstract and atmospheric landscapes. His book, "Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice," is a national bestseller with nearly 40,000 copies in print. Mitchell is also a popular workshop instructor at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, Pacific Northwest Art School, and Daniel Smith Artist’s Materials. He led painting adventures in Italy in 2015 with Arte Umbria and in 2017 with Winslow Art Center. He has lectured on Impressionism and landscape painting at the Seattle Art Museum and written for International Artist and Artists & Illustrators magazines. His popular painting blog, which serves as a companion to his book, was awarded #12 on feedspot.com’s Top 75 Painting Blogs.

1 Comment

  1. Excellent review!Just getting back into painting so these posts will be helpful to revisit! Thanks for this blog!

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