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Part Three: Drawing Outdoors- Project Landscape Drawing

Project: Landscape Drawing

On 7/9 I sent assignment 2 to my tutor 48hr recorded delivery and it was collected 17/9. Four days later I enquired about the progress of my assessment.In that time it rained constantly.Two weeks lacking my sketchbook; I took on a Barn Owl oil commission to relieve my frustration and help save up for my next course.


I used fast drying Griffin alkyd oils with liquin and I really want to do more of this. I blogged this thoroughly to add to my learning log as it was a steep learning curve. Is not painting wet drawing with a brush? In which case I wish to explore the mark making possibilities.

Research Point  Durer, Lorrain and Lowry

See learning log

A Sketchbook walk

My garden 1

This was my first.I was self conscious and tense.I stuck to the 15 minute parameters. The weather was cloudy and overcast and there were no cast shadows.

My Garden 2

I chose a slightly different view. I was warmed up by now and comfortable with my set up. Excited about the dry weather I reached the 25- 30 minute mark with this a subsequent views.

My Garden 3

The sun began to peep through, slightly, and some highlights were added to the oil tank. I omitted the foliage from the trees on the left to fit in the 25 minute cut off.

My Garden 4

Of the four this is the most satisfactory. The sun broke through and there were shadows to exploit. There is recession into the distance with less detail, tone and pressure. I assigned pencils to background (4H- 2B), mid ground (4B- 6b) and foreground (6B-8B) using Faber castell 9000 pencils. I drew from about 9 am to 11:30 with breaks.

Sketchbook walk

I attempted this in my sketchbook before I was due to just because I felt it would be a worthwhile and enjoyable activity. I loved this activity so much I taught it to my primary school pupils at Muir-of-ord (Tarradale), Ferintosh and Cromarty but, due to bad weather, we had to do a virtual walk made up of Claude Lorrain landscapes projected on to a Smartboard.

It was an observed lesson with a Quality Improvement officer in attendance.

Claude Lorrain virtual sketchbook walk 2

She felt I should have gone out into the wind and rain as the children would be disappointed at missing the opportunity. That I had built up their hopes only to dash them.

Claude Lorrain virtual sketchbook walk 3

Irrespective of any defence I might make; the QIO admitted that the work the children produced was extremely high quality. Especially since it was rapidly mounted in a black book having been photocopied with toner enhanced.

Claude Lorrain virtual sketchbook walk 4

This is important since I am a relatively unknown quantity as a visiting art specialist in the region and so the positive  feedback was valuable. Also, making copies gave me an insider “feel” for Lorrain’s mathematical positioning of features. I am convinced that many are contrived and composited from real features but in a “made up” landscape that exists only in Lorrain’s preferred aesthetic.

360 degree studies

I chose the open view from Avoch harbour as it has a promintory that stretches out into the sea affording good wrap around views. The sea makes me happy and I go there every Tuesday to teach art at the local primary school.

Avoch harbour looking South

I think the view finder helps with visualising the composition. I love being outside having been house bound due to ME; and to draw in the open. Also because these are studies or sketches; you are permitted to work in a fast energetic way.

The view is Eastward looking towards Fortrose and Chanonry Point lighthouse that featured on Springwatch as a dolphin look out point.

Avoch harbour looking North

This is where you go to get a dolphin boat excursion.

Avoch harbour looking West

Research point Monet, Pissaro or Cezanne

See learning log.

Drawing Cloud Formations

Cloud 1

Drawn facing East late lunch. High winds meant fast travelling clouds.

Cloud 2

Similarly East facing cloud form. The tops were light with greyed centres but often a corona of highlight. Stormy skies were competing for space and I did not enjoy drawing in thr car.

Cloud 3

The more stormy of the cumulous clouds muscled in from the righ hand side. At this point an accumulation of conte crayon had built up on my lap.

Cloud 4

I had used a Daler Rowney A3 Ebony ring bound pad. I had decided that since the weather was stormy for afortnight already, that this was suitable for the tubulent sky.

Cloud 5

I took rough Langton watercolour paper with me for charcoal development and Ingres sand coloured paper for conte pencils in my kit. This is Ingres with conte pencils viewing South early afternoon.

Cloud 6

I used pentel oil pastel for this formation and attempted to capture the light peeping through a gap. This was the wrong material for the task.

Cloud 7

I prefer the combination of conte on Ingres pastel paper and combined the stick and pencil forms to build this image. Facing South on late afternoon the right side lit up. Corona outlines evident on the larger clouds but the thinner ones lacked shadow.

Cloud 8

In high winds with a storm coming in from the South. Looking East towards Tore from the Art Gallery. The image kept changing rapidly and so this is the composit of several skies in a 15 minute period. Foremost clouds are lit full face but contain moisture darkening the base.

Cloud 9

I was intrigued by the build up of long strato cumulus clouds fingering their way across the sky.There was always the optimistic hope of a blue sky even through the dark and lowring moments and high winds soon revealed them. I had to be patient. Drawing in the car is a compromise. Crampted conditions and the accumulation of dust was not ideal. I don’t recommend using fixative in an enclosed space but sugest galssine paper between each page. I photographed each pre-spraying and note deterioration in the image since. I recommend conte pencils over sticks and tissues for blending. I have some interesting images for charcoal development since putty rubbers are not ideal with conte and definately not oil. Use sellotape folded upon itself.

Charcoal development….

Plotting Space through composition and structure

Compositional study 1: Teawig

Compositional study 2: Tomich

Research Point Claude Lorrain and Turner

Check and Log Page 83

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