08 April 2016

Studying Art Online: Drawing the Landscape

I'm taking another online course. This one is focused on drawing the landscape, taught by Deborah Paris.  I know how to draw faces and figures, but I have no experience drawing landscapes, so I thought this would be worth taking, which it was. 

The purpose of the course was to learn to draw and sketch in the field, the idea being that if you can't draw the landscape, you will probably have a difficult time painting it, too. 

Deborah advocates studio painting from field sketches and memory, no photographs, which intrigues me.  I don't want to paint landscapes by copying photos in a studio.  That seems ironic and mechanical to me.  I know plenty of artists prefer that approach, and some do it well.  But when I paint from photos, I get too literal and it kills the energy and expression in the painting.  It's not for me.

In this course, we started with master copies, graphite on Bristol board, after JD Harding, from his book "On Drawing Trees and Nature".  The book is ancient, but if you can get past the vernacular it is a treasury of advice on drawing from nature.  It's all there.  

Here are a couple of my master copies.  Next post I'll put up some original work from the class.

Scotch Fir after JD Harding, 8x10", graphite on Bristol board

Rocks and boulders after JD Harding, 4.5x10", graphite on Bristol board