Drawing one part 3 landscape – exercise 2 – foreground, middle ground , background

imagefor this exercise the instructions is to either work from a sketch or photograph or work on location. I decided to go outdoors to draw. It was a chilly March morning so I worked fairly quickly.

I began by doing two small monochromatic 5 minute sketches in my sketchbook exploring using tonal graduation to suggest space and distance before moving onto a larger  drawing

The object of the exercise is to establish a composition and to establish a foreground , middle grown and background to the drawing. I used A3 cartridge paper and used pencils , pro marker and graphite pens as well as inktense coloured pencils which I used with water.

I found a spot looking up to a hill with a few trees and on top of the hill a group of buildings ( the Royal observatory). I decided to stand to do my drawing. It was a bright day with shadows in the middle ground. The grass in the foreground was much lighter in hue as the sun was shining low in the sky. So for this part of my drawing I used brighter colours. I tried to be bold with my drawing attempting to show the gradual changes in tone in the distant. I kept the background fairly muted using greys and earthy tones to suggest a sense of being further away – I kept the drawing fairly loose with very little detail – the darkest areas were the windows of the buildings. I obverved how the bare winter branches appeared to rise above the buildings. I tried to suggest atmosphere rather than a plain pictorial drawing.

When I returned home I was not happy with the background and felt that the buildings were probably a little too large?

I added more paper to the bottom of the drawing and returned to the location 3 days later also around 11am. I worked some more on the foreground. I think extending the drawing in this way worked better and although I still had reservations about the buildings I feel the  composition now had some much needed structure and substance  I found the exercise a challenge but also very useful as it made me more analytical about my drawing. I still need to work on this type of perspective.

looking at my drawing and reflecting on it and the other drawings that I did on location I was able to make a number of conclusions;

  • I had to select the most important elements of of each of the views as I wanted to capture the essence of the natural environment , as I didn’t want to produce a fussy drawing,
  • I decided to simplify the trees as this seems to look better in my sketches
  • I made sure that I observed and used the intense dark  shadows in some of my drawings  as this helped to create a sense of how the light fell into patterns and shapes.
  • I used brighter colours for the foreground
  • I used muted colours for the background as I wanted to empathise that this area of the picture plane is further away
  • I used water colour pencils and used water and a brush to record colour and I found these a useful media to use on location as they are quick to use.
  • I feel that I would have liked to spend more time developing my sketches on location but time and the cold weather was against me
  • I probably should have experimented with photography. I really enjoyed this exercise and found it useful as it helped me evaluate my work.
  • I also feel that I maybe should have experimented with other media such as crayons and pastels.
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