Foreground Middle Ground Background

Turn Your Hobby Into A Business

Turn Your Hobby Into A Business

Get Instant Access

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 three major values —dark, mid-tone and light —in the foreground, middle ground and background. The scene is the same in each example, but as you can see, you can create various moods, weather conditions or times of day just by changing values from light to dark.

Now is the time to make thumbnails to help you decide the placement of values in your foreground, middle ground and background; what will dominate your drawing; and what combination of values will tell your story.

In the drawing at right, titled Round Bales, I have conveyed —

In sketch A, there is a predominance of light values in both foreground and background, creating what could easily be a bright, summer day.

Sketch B tells you that it is still a bright day, but more toward late afternoon. Notice that the lighter-value bales of hay have become more prominent.

Fore Middle And Background Composition

mmm through the proper use of values and placement of foreground, middle ground and background —a sense of a hot summer day, which is usually found around haying time. Thus my picture has a truth about it and is believable.

Round Bales, 5Vi"x7", graphite pencil on Strathmore 2-ply bristol.

My finished drawing is a synthesis of the foreground and middle ground of sketch B with the background (sky) of sketch C, which I felt would better create the mood of the day.

Sketches Background And Foreground

Was this article helpful?

+3 -1
Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Easy Step-By-Step Lessons How Would You Like To Teach Yourself Some Of The Powerful Basic Techniques Of Pencil Drawing With Our Step-by-Step Tutorial. Learn the ABC of Pencil Drawing From the Experts.

Get My Free Ebook


  • gilly bolger
    How to foreground midground background drawing examples?
    8 years ago
  • niklas karjalainen
    How to draw foreground middleground background?
    8 years ago
  • jouko
    How to sketch backgrounds?
    7 years ago
    Is the foreground more prominent than the midgroudn?
    1 year ago
  • melanie
    Do you start in the foreground the middle or the backbround when sketching a picture?
    12 months ago

Post a comment