Mountains With Snow And Trees

Mountain Range With Trees Drawing

Snow-covered mountains present a variety of shapes and patterns to compose beautiful winter landscapes. I can see part of the Catskill Mountains from my studio window, and when I look at the skyline, I see a line of trees silhouetted against the sky that, to me, resembles the stubble of a beard Sketch A . Mountain ridges with trees offer many opportunities for creating interesting shapes and designs, but be careful not to make ridges parallel to each other or make trees all alike. Vary your...

Barns Grass Rocks and Water

Old Barn Drawings

At one time or another, you will wish to include other elements such as barns, grass, rocks or water in your landscape drawings. It's not enough just to have them in your picture, but careful consideration should be given to whether one will be the center of interest or a supporting character. Therefore, a knowledge of their construction and characteristics is important for drawing successful landscapes. Of the many things on the endangered species list, barns must be near the top. The next...

Charcoal And Conte Sanguine

Snow Mountains Clouds Sketches

Part of the enjoyment in drawing is the variety of papers and surfaces to work on, as well as the many mediums available to draw with. For this drawing, I chose a piece of Ingres Antique laid paper in earth color. This is a mould-made paper with lines embedded during the manufacturing process. I used a sanguine drawing pencil made by Cont . Sanguine is reddish in color, though Cont makes various shades of sanguine you may want to try them all to see what you prefer. This is a sketch of a walnut...

Boughs Limbs And Foreshortening

Foreshortening Tutorial

As a tree grows, it sends out boughs, branches and smaller growth that diminish in width as they grow. Therefore, when you sketch a bough coming from a trunk, remember not to make it the same thickness as the trunk. The same principle applies to branches from boughs and to smaller growth, like twigs, from branches. In the bottom drawing, you see a branch that appears to grow from the tree toward you. This is called foreshortening. You can create the illusion of foreshortening by making the...

Foreground Middle Ground Background

Sketches Background And Foreground

In the previous pages, we have discussed seeing values and translating values from nature to your drawing. Now I would like to introduce you to the three Gs foreground, middle ground and background. Most landscapes have all of these in their composition, and they may vary in any imaginable combination. In the examples below, the hay bales and grass are the foreground, the trees and mountain are the middle ground, and the sky is the background. Look them over and see if you can pick out the...

Realistic Oak Tree Drawings

Oak Tree Outline Drawing

Some of the most distinctive characteristics of oak trees are the heavy boughs with twisted, angular branches. These boughs and branches can easily be seen because oak trees have many more sky holes than most trees. Another outstanding feature is the downward thrust of the lower branches, as shown in the graph-ite-pencil drawing at right. The foliage is often heavily branched, and in the fall, it puts out a beautiful scarlet and red-orange leaf. Whereas most trees drop their leaves in the fall,...

Drawing On Toned Paper

Charcoal Drawings Toned Paper Fantasy

Toning your paper or surface before you start your drawing creates a midvalue color as a background, and with just two more values a dark and a light you can compose an interesting and unusual picture. There are many ways to tone paper, such as pastels, watercolors, gouache and acrylics, to name a few. Artists are constantly toning their canvases and overpainting with complementary colors for more interesting color effects. For this demonstration, I'm using acrylic paint in burnt sienna for my...

Drawing Rocks In Water

Drawing rocks in still or calm water gives you the opportunity to practice composing a picture that tells a story with values and shapes and a minimum of detail. These two drawings are good examples of how to say more with less. The charcoal drawing on the right was started and finished with one pencil, a 4B charcoal pencil, on a piece of folio paper. This paper has a distinct texture, which helped me achieve the feeling of rippling water I wanted to portray. I wanted to capture the time of day...

Techniques For Showing Heavy Snow

Tree Snow Drawing

This is the same tree as in A but with a heavy snow. I proceeded as before with a 2B graphite pencil to sketch in the trunk and limbs, but this time I left more white space to indicate the heavier snow. Notice that I've included snow on the trunk of the tree. When you have a heavy snow, blowing wind produces this kind of buildup. The dark shading was done with a 6B graphite pencil. Drawing D, containing the same elements as drawing B, shows the difference between a light snow and a heavy snow....

Drawing A Tree Without Foliage

Skinny Ballerina Drawing

Walking in a woods or forest during late fall and winter is a treat because it allows you to study the trees without their foliage. It is like being in a life drawing class all these wonderful shapes just waiting for your sketchbook. Start by noticing the overall shape, both up close and from a distance. Notice how branches grow from the trunk and how they taper and get thinner toward the ends. Each new growth is in unison unless it has been disturbed by any number of elements. Each tree is a...

Simple Nature Sketches

Simple Lake Nature Drawing

Lakes supply an artist with a lot of good drawing material water, animal life, rock formations, tree and plant growth, and other sometimes unusual natural wonders. In this small drawing of North Lake in the Catskill Mountains, I included the lake and an unusual phenomenon called a quaking bog. The bog floats around, gradually increasing in size through the years, and eventually becomes anchored as part of the land mass. The large drawing was also inspired by North Lake. In both sketches, I...

Drawing The Landscape On Colored Paper

Snow Landscape Pastel

Working on colored or toned papers gives you the opportunity to stretch your imagination and creativity. For a winter evening scene like this one at right, for instance, you might think of working on a blue paper. In fact, the blue paper does give a pleasing effect of dusk changing to evening. But why not try another color Quite a few darker colors would be effective for a night scene, as shown in the demonstration below. A piece of blue Fabriano Ingres paper became my midvalue background for a...

The Proper Way To Hold A Pencil

Pencil Drawing Outdoors

The way you hold your pencil or any drawing tool will affect the outcome of your work. Holding it as you would if you were writing see photo at top is good for detailed or controlled work, as you are primarily moving only your fingers and wrist. On the other hand, when sketching and drawing outdoors, you'll want more freedom. Try to move not only your wrist, but the whole arm, giving the mobility and the sweep needed for working on large sheets of paper. The bottom photo shows how to hold your...

Nature in Various Mediums

Pencil Drawing Nature

Up to this point, we have been discussing the many elements that go into composing a landscape. Now we begin to put it all together with a look at some landscapes done with various drawing materials on a variety of papers and surfaces. For example, the drawing at left was rendered with several hard- and soft-leaded graphite pencils, which, when combined with the textured-surface paper, lent a richness of tone and texture. These examples are not the last word on landscapes. There are no...

Mass Of Trees Without Foliage

Draw Pine Foliage

When you look at a forest, you see big and small trees, wide and thin trees. There are also numerous pine trees and trees that do not shed all their leaves. This means the forest is denser in some areas and thinner in others, providing an environment of various shapes to include in your drawing. A forest without foliage seems to be dozing, but it is very much alive and full of happenings. Start your drawing as indicated by the sketch at the top. This is your guide, your thinking. You do not...

Clouds As Center Of Interest

Nature Sketch Background

To create pictures with clouds as your center of interest, use a low horizon. This helps give you maximum display room for your clouds and less distraction if you include a landscape. Clouds that display strong contrast, motion, different patterns and shapes, perspective, or the atmospheric condition of the day will all create a strong center of interest. The challenge here was how to capture the tumultuous storm clouds in all their excitement. There is so much activity with the clouds in...

Drawing Winter Leaves

Draw Charcoal Grass

The next time you take a walk after a snowfall, notice the leaves lying in the snow some partially buried, others lying on top in various shapes and positions, such as an oak leaf curled up like a beckoning hand. But how do you get a pile of snow into the studio and keep it from melting You could take photographs, but if you want to be more intimate with your subject than photography allows, there is a solution. First, go outdoors and collect a large variety of leaves. Bring a large paper bag...

Capture The Character Of A Tree

Cottonwood Tree Sketch

To present trees in your drawings that have a reasonable resemblance to the type of trees you wish to portray, you must study the characteristics of the various trees you come into contact with. If you squint your eyes while looking at a tree, you will see a pattern of darks and lights, as illustrated in Sketch A. All trees have a pattern to their foliage it's different for each tree, but it's a definite pattern. Drawing B illustrates an oak tree in which the main trunk usually grows straight...

Tips on Storing and Framing Your Drawings

Anime Sketches Pencil

Using Acid-Free Storage Materials Matting Your Artwork Cutting the Opening in the Mat How Wide Should Your Mat Be What Is a Backing Board Attaching Your Artwork and Mat to the Board Glazing Moldings Metal Frames Plastic Frames Using the Right Molding for Your Picture Through the years, students have asked what inspired me to paint a certain picture, or what kind of pencil I use for drawing. My answer is, It is a thousand-hour pencil. In other words, the secret is not the pencil it is the work,...