How to Establish a Mood For Your Paintings

Some of the most popular paintings that sell well are rustic buildings with flowers, pet portraits and landscape paintings. But there’s more to making art that sells beyond subject matter. That includes establishing a certain mood in a landscape painting or other scene to increase the emotive appeal for all viewers, regardless of who they are or what genres they might be drawn to at first glance.

Why a Mood?

What will help you sell your art is establishing a mood that shows the viewer an uncommon scenario or one that is particularly striking. It isn’t easy for viewers to get excited with small paintings that show an average, ordinary-looking daytime scene. You have to find and paint what makes that scene notable and extraordinary, that strikes an emotive nerve in them in the best of ways.

The Fog and Mysteries


The Wolves Sniffed Along on the Trail but Came No Closer | Frederic Remington 

Fog is a great, reliable tool to create depth and invite the viewer to feel like they can walk deeper and deeper into the woods.

The Appeal of Warmth

Out of the ordinary color schemes like the warm colors of the burnt orange and red-orange that color the sky before dusk are great because this type of sky does not last long, so you can say it’s an “out of ordinary” occurrence because of its brief life.

Night Time Is the Right Time


James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Nocturne in Black and Gold – The Falling Rocket

From movies to paintings, nocturnal scenes are considered great mood setters. The dark engages the viewer to use their imagination because many details are left out in our nighttime environment and leave much to wonder.

Glimmers of Light

Have you considered adding some sun rays for a spiritual touch? This type of scene can be inspiring, comforting and tends to evoke a lot of emotion because of the contrast between distinct light and dark.

Do you have preferred tricks you use to establish moods in your paintings? Or are there certain moods that you want to see more of? Share them with me!