Landscape Painting in SD

Best Places for Landscape Painting in San Diego

One of the wonderful things about San Diego is our abundance of absolutely breathtaking scenery! When it comes to ideas for things to paint, all you need to do is step outside. We’ve got ocean views, mountains, the desert, and everything in between, making San Diego a dream location for people who enjoy landscape painting. Whether you are new to painting or a seasoned pro, here are some of our favorite spots to paint landscapes in San Diego: 

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

One of San Diego’s most beautiful views is along Sunset Cliffs. Set up your easel at any point along the Point Loma peninsula for a stunning view of the ocean, and if you time your visit right, you’ll probably witness an incredible sunset. 

Cabrillo National Monument

A variety of breathtaking scenes await you at the Cabrillo National Monument! Paint a view of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, the monument itself, or anything that inspires you when you take in the fantastic unobstructed view of San Diego.

Balboa Park

With lush landscaping, beautiful old buildings, a variety of flowers and plants, fountains, birds, and sculptures, there are endless possibilities of subjects inside Balboa Park. Visit one of the art museums if you need inspiration!

Torrey Pines Gliderport / Black’s Beach Lookout 

Head to the Black’s beach lookout next to the Gliderport and take your pick of spectacular views! With the Pacific Ocean in front of you, look left to see the La Jolla coast, and north county spread out to your right. Depending on the activity at the Gliderport, you may see a sky dotted with colorful parachutes!

The Children’s Pool

The Children’s Pool in La Jolla is home to seals and sea lions, and watching them and their pups lazily sunning themselves on the beach is always delightful. Combine the adorable inhabitants with a beautiful beach and panoramic view, and you have a picture-perfect landscape! 


From the US Midway to Seaport Village to views of Coronado, there are so many beautiful things to capture along the Embarcadero. The hardest part will be choosing which gorgeous view to paint that day!

Tips for painting landscapes:

  • Go easy on supplies. You don’t want too much to carry , especially if you need to hike from the car. Invest in an easel that has drawers to hold all your brushes and supplies so transporting everything will be easier. 
  • Don’t sweat the details. Don’t feel like you have to include everything you are looking at or be super realistic — maybe you don’t paint a certain tree or squirrel if it doesn’t inspire you, isn’t in your skill-set, or if you are short on time. It’s ok to pick and choose what to paint!
  • Take tutorials online. There are many free resources online on how to get started, or how to refine your skills. Simply search and try various courses until you find a teacher or lesson that resonates with you. 
  • Learn as you paint. You’ll improve your technique the more you paint, so have fun, be patient with yourself, and enjoy the process —  and watch your skills progress over time! 

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