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Landscape Artist Career Profile

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a landscape artist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and skills to find out if this is the career for you.

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Many of history's best-known artists have chosen landscapes as their subject matter. If you have strong artistic talent and love to portray the outdoor world in your work, consider a career as a landscape artist. There is no required education, but a fine arts degree is an excellent base, offering training in skills and techniques that can help you develop your craft.

Essential Information

Landscape art involves creating paintings or other artistic representations of an outdoors environment. To pursue this fine arts career, individuals must possess artistic and creative talents. Although no formal education is necessary, training is available through postsecondary degree programs in fine arts at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Many artists are self-employed, while others work in industries including motion pictures, design services and publishing.

Recommended Education Fine arts degree
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 2% for craft and fine artists
Median Salary (2015)* $46,460 for fine artists, including painters, sculptors and illustrators

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Overview

Landscape artists work within a niche field of the fine arts. They traditionally practice painting to illustrate landscape scenes. Like all fine arts, this practice is primarily concerned with aesthetics and symbolism, requiring a diverse set of physical, artistic and creative skills.

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Education

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that about half of craft and fine artists were self-employed as of 2014. As such, there is no strict education requirement for a career as a landscape artist. However, most colleges offer art-oriented degree programs that can help landscape artists refine their technique and develop skills to improve their art. Associate's degree programs are common in the art field, though several universities offer Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs for those seeking advanced training and career opportunities. Additionally, numerous study abroad programs are available for students seeking to advance their skills by studying the artistic heritage of museums and sites in such cities as Tuscany, Paris and Prague.

Fine arts degree programs teach oil and water painting, drawing, art history and design fundamentals. Courses in landscape painting may also be available. The curriculum commonly involves extensive studio practice. This is where artists can apply their understanding of color theory, mediums, tools and the concepts of realism or abstraction. They can receive feedback from their instructor as well as peers.

Skills

In addition to general artistic ability, landscape artists must develop manual dexterity as well as creative skills. Attention to detail and concentration are also important. Landscape artists must also have knowledge of art as a business in order to successfully market their paintings.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, the job rate for craft and fine artists as a whole should rise 2% from 2014 to 2024. The median annual salary for fine artists was $46,460 as of May 2015.

Even the most naturally talented artists can benefit from postsecondary education in the fine arts, whether it's an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree. Students can often take advantage of study-abroad programs through their university or college. Developing and honing your skills will help you continue to improve as an artist.

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