How To Choose The Best SLR Digital Camera For Your Needs

How To Choose The Best SLR Digital Camera For Your Needs

SLR digital cameras are a dime a dozen these days. With so many manufacturers, models and features to choose from, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll run through everything you need to know to choose the best SLR digital camera for your needs.

First things first, what is an SLR digital camera? SLR stands for ‘single-lens reflex’. This means that the camera has a mirror inside it that reflects the image from the lens up into the viewfinder. This is the main difference between an SLR and a compact camera – with a compact camera, you’re looking at the image through the lens itself.

The advantage of an SLR is that you can see exactly what the camera is going to see when you take the photo. This makes it much easier to compose your shots, and you’ll also be able to see if anything is in the way of the lens (like your finger!).

So, now that you know what an SLR is, let’s take a look at some of the things you need to consider when choosing one…

1. Price

As with anything, price is going to be a big factor in your decision. SLR cameras can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so you need to decide how much you’re willing to spend.

Of course, the more you spend, the better the camera is likely to be. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune to get a good camera – there are plenty of great options at lower price points.

2. Features

As we mentioned, there are a lot of different SLR cameras on the market, and each one has its own unique feature set. So, you need to decide which features are important to you.

Do you want a camera with built-in Wi-Fi so you can easily share your photos? Do you need a camera that can shoot video as well as photos? Do you want a camera with a touchscreen display?

Think about what you want to use the camera for, and make sure you choose one with the features you need.

3. Sensor size

The sensor is the part of the camera that captures the image. The bigger the sensor, the more light it can capture, and the better the quality of the image will be.

Most entry-level SLR cameras have what’s called an APS-C sensor. This is a good all-round size, and it’s what we’d recommend if you’re just starting out.

If you’re looking for the best possible image quality, you’ll want a camera with a full-frame sensor. These are usually found in more expensive cameras, but they’re definitely worth the investment if you’re serious about photography.

4. Lens compatibility

One of the great things about SLR cameras is that they’re usually compatible with a wide range of lenses. This means you can buy different lenses to suit different situations.

For example, you might want a telephoto lens for taking photos of wildlife, or a wide-angle lens for landscape photography.

When you’re choosing an SLR camera, make sure you check which lenses are compatible with it. That way, you can be sure you’ll be able to buy the lenses you need in the future.

5. Weight and size

If you’re going to be carrying your camera around with you a lot, then you’ll want to consider the weight and size. Some SLR cameras can be quite large and heavy, so make sure you choose one that’s comfortable for you to carry.

6. Battery life

Another important consideration is battery life. If you’re going to be using your camera a lot, you’ll need a camera with a good battery life. Otherwise, you’ll be constantly having to recharge it.

7. User-friendliness

If you’re new to photography, you’ll want to choose a camera that’s easy to use. Look for a camera with an intuitive menu system and clear, easy-to-understand controls.

Also, make sure the camera has a good viewfinder. This is what you’ll be looking through when you take a photo, so it needs to be clear and bright.

How To Turn Photos Into 3D Art

How To Turn Photos Into 3D Art

Do you have a bunch of 2D photos that you would like to turn into 3D art? It’s actually quite easy to do with the right tools. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to turn photos into 3D art using the popular 3D printing program, Tinkercad.

First, you’ll need to sign up for a free Tinkercad account. Once you’re logged in, click on the “Create New Design” button.

Next, you’ll need to upload your 2D photo. To do this, click on the “Import” button and select your photo from your computer.

Once your photo is imported, you’ll need to resize it. To do this, click on the “Edit” button and then click on the “Resize” option.

Now that your photo is the correct size, you’ll need to convert it to a 3D object. To do this, click on the “Create” button and then select the “3D from 2D” option.

Tinkercad will automatically convert your 2D photo into a 3D object. All you need to do now is click on the “Export” button and select the “STL” option. This will save your 3D object as an STL file which you can then upload to a 3D printing service or print on your own 3D printer.

In the past, creating three-dimensional art required a lot of expensive equipment and materials. Today, with the advent of digital technology, artists can create 3D art using nothing more than a camera and some software.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to turn your photos into 3D art:

Step 1: Choose your subject matter

When choosing a subject for your 3D art, it’s important to pick something that has a lot of visual interest. This could be a person, a landscape, or even an inanimate object.

Step 2: Take multiple photos

To create a 3D image, you’ll need to take multiple photos of your subject from different angles. The more photos you take, the better.

Step 3: Upload your photos to a computer

Once you have your photos, upload them to a computer. You’ll then need to use some software to stitch them together into a single image.

Step 4: Export your image as a 3D file

Once you’ve created your 3D image, you can then export it as a file that can be viewed on a computer or printed out.

And that’s all there is to it! With just a camera and some software, you can easily create stunning 3D art.

How to paint shadows – basic methods explained

How to paint shadows – basic methods explained

Painting shadows – resources for realistic painted shadows

This site tries to give some help on painting shadows in realistic, representational painting.
To establish the right form of a shadow is one thing, but to get the colour of a shadow “right” is at the centre of mastership in painting, I think.
Imagine a meadow in sunlight and a tree that casts a shadow on it. There will be different shades of green, some in light and some in shadow.

Especially the capability of the human eye to adapt quickly to low light levels adds to the difficulty to draw and paint true shadows. As you look into a shadow it seems to get lighter. When you look back into the sunlit areas the shadows suddenly seems so much darker again.

In the end painting shadows is painting light, a particular form of light: shadows are reflections of indirect light whereas the sunlit parts of a subject are exposed to direct sunlight.

Some basic steps to paint shadows are discussed here from dark to light and vice versa. Depending on the medium used there are limitations and different potentials to depict shadows. Two example paintings in oil colour (Plein Air) and dry pastels (studio still life) are discussed in detail. The tips can be used in studio work as well as in works on site, Plein Air.

Basics of the colour theory are explained together with links for more extensive studies. Finally some comprehensive “how to books” on painting light and shadow can be purchased from this website.

Image credits: All images on this webpage ,if not otherwise stated, are creations by the author.Images and illustrations of products (in affiliate links) are used according to Squidoo TOS.

The theory of light and shadow explained with a pastel still life painting as example

This is a great explanation of the theory of light and shade in drawings.

Understanding the categories of direct light, highlights, form shadow, reflected light and cast shadows can help a lot to see and depict the effects of lights in nature much better.

I lit the still life set above with a strong side light from the left and a weaker top light. With a bright piece of cardboard I reflected light back into the composition from the right side because otherwise those shadows would turn into a massive dark and partly almost black area. This is a method that photographers use a lot in portrait work to reduce the contrast between light and shadow areas.

What categories of light an shadow can be seen in this pastel painting?

1.) In area one there is the brightest part, the area of high light on this particular vessel

2.) In area two you see the darkest form shadow (core shadow) that contrasts the most with the area in direct light. This is partly an optical effect rather than a “true” observation. On curved surfaces you will see a more or less wide zone of transition from the brightest direct light into the form shadow. The core shadow will fade more and more
as you move away from the light source and will finally get brighter again when you get in to area 3

3.) Area three is a form shadow that receives some reflected light, often the reflected light has a different color and it will change the color of the form shadow. In this particular case I added some more red that was reflected from the background panel onto the vessel.

4.) Area four is interesting as a cast shadow falls directly into the zone of bright direct light. That dark shadows cast from the soda bottle is lit up on the lower edge of the other vessel by some reflected light from the lower body of the soda bottle.

5.) The shadow in area 5fice is a special case. There is a soft, somewhat blurry cast shadow with a darker core. That effect occured because I used two sources of light. The darker core is in fact a more precisely cast shadow from the strong side light, whereas the soft broader outer part of the shadow originates from the further away light bulb under the room ceiling.

Light, shade and shadown in drawing and painting a beginners guide

Is there a formula to mix the colour of shadows?

An example in oil colors -Some problems and questions that occur in painting shadows

Artprint plein air landscape painting by editionha
Large format printing by Zazzle

In this plein air oil painting light and shadow are the main features. I did this study because I wanted to find out what is the colour of grass and foliage in sun and in shadow and whether there is a way or maybe a kind of formula how I could get the best or convincing results.

But from which colour or shade should I start from? Should the colour of the grass in sun be the starting point and I would mix from bright to the darker shadow, or should I come from the dark side and establish the colour of the grass in shade first and brighten that colour somehow up to paint the areas in direct sunlight?

The most irritating thing is that the human eye adapts always to the light conditions. When I looked at the grass in sun the shadows seemed to be very dark. But when I studied the areas in shadow it seemed that the shadow was not that dark anymore the longer I looked at it. It seemed to get brighter and many different shades of grass emerged, which disappeared again when I studied the sunlit parts of the landscape. Particularly the border between light and shadow presented a difficulty. The contrast seemed so very strong there, but my logic told me that the amount of light and as a consequence the colour of the grass directly at this border line and a few meters away from it had to be the same. In other words the shadow would not get darker close to the sunlit area and also the sunlit area would not be brighter close to the shadow area. This effect again has to do with the way our eyes handle strong contrasts. There are limits for what our eyes can discern and for that reason leaves of trees observed against a bright sky always seem very dark, almost black even though we know that they are green.

Finally I had to realise that I never would be able to reproduce the very same sensation and experience of seeing light and shadow in my painting. Instead I could try to imitate the “effect” of light. For that reason I painted the grass near the border to the sunlit area in a darker and cooler green than the grass close to the edge of the forest. Also I tried to put in some variations within the sunlit and shadow areas.

Also my idea of a kind of a mixing formula vanished; instead I understood that I needed to establish the right tonal values between light and shadow and that I had to find the true colours of grass or leaves etc in shadow and light. Plein air painters often have a small card board frame with a small hole in it with them. By looking through this hole they can isolate certain spots of colour to determine the true colour of objects. I used the palm of my hand to form a kind of monocular and thus isolated certain spots of the landscape for my eyes to get an idea what the true value and colour. This helped me to establish the basic tonality of the shadow and the sunlit meadow. Then I started from these middle values and expanded the range by mixing slightly lighter and darker colours of dark greens and greens in sun.

Some people mix their shadow colours by adding blue, violet to the colour of the sunlit areas or objects in a rather schematic way. These shadows often look artificial. The same applies for the other method that starts with the object colours in shadow which then is brightened up with white and yellow to imitate the sunlit appearance. Both methods are based on the assumption that shadow or sunlight can be understood as some sort of colour filter. Sunlit areas contain more white and yellow, whereas shadows contain more blue and violet components. of course these basic assumptions are correct and helpful on the way, but for more sophisticated painting one has to drop “recipes” I think.

So how do you mix dark shadow colours with oil colors ?

There are many ways to mix dark colors, in fact the possibilities are endless. However there are only a few starting points.

1. Add black color to your base color
Let’s say you need a dark red. By adding black to red color you can mix a darker red, but the red will get more and more muddy the more black you add. You can tell by the greyish look of a paintings that a lot of black has been used in mixing. If you want that look it is fine, but if you prefer bright colors this method most probably will not be the preferred one

2. Start with a dark version of your base color and add dark blue
If you want to keep your colors bright and virbrant adding dark blue to the base color will give you a dark, but blueish version of the base color

3. Mix a dark color with the three primary colors : magenta,blue and yellow
This is the most demanding version to mix the color as seen from the primary colors. You might want to experiment with dark versions of the primary colors or similar colors for example you could subtitue magenta by burnt siena and use prussian blue instead of a primary blue etc..

4. Use Schmincke van Dyke brown to darken colors
I have used Schmincke van Dyke brown with great success to darken colors, especially for painting shadows on green foliage or very dark foliage.
In fact I consider van dyke bewon the best black you can get. It does not kill the clarity of your base color as black does. In combination with variation of no.2. and 3. one can get great results.

I commend to experiment with all four starting points. The shadows and dark greens in the landscape above were painted by using variations of the no.2–no4.

What is the colour of shadows ?

A bit of colour theory

The colour of an object is determined by the light, or more exactly by the wave length of the light that is reflected by the object.
An object in direct sunlight reflects stronger and different light in comparison to an object that receives no direct light or only a fraction of the available light because some other object is casting a shadow on it by stopping the light from the primary light source. Nevertheless the object receives indirect light from the surrounding, which is reflected light, when in shadow. The colour of this indirect light can vary of course depending where it is coming from especially from where it is reflected or maybe even filtered.

Very well known is the effect of blue and grey shadows on snow. Snow in shadow receives mainly indirect light from the sky. As snow is white i.e. without colour or more correctly reflects all colours, the shadows in snow look blue under a blue sky without clouds or greyish on an overcast day with a closed layer of grey clouds.

Example 2:
The shadows under a red sun umbrella are influenced by the colour of the umbrella for example. A blue drinking cup under a red umbrella might change to a violet colour due to additive colour mixing theory : blue + red=violet.

Also it is interesting to observe that the colour of the primary light produces shadows in the complementary colour. If you chose a red bulb as your primary light source in a still life painting the shadows cast by that bulb will have a greenish colour.

How to paint shadows – basic approaches

From light to dark and vice versa

1. From light to dark
In water colour and in acrylics it is a very common method to lay down the colours of an object in “normal light”. Then the artists waits until the colours are dry. In a second step those areas in shadow will be covered with a transparent layer of colour that will darken the original colours in order to get a shadow effect. A similar approach is also used in oil colours by adding blue and darker colours to tone down from light to dark shadows. That way the colour hue of the sunlit area is always present in the colour mix for the shadows.

Usually the primary source of light as the sun contains warm yellow light and the colour of shadows are mixed with blue colours as cool complementary hue.

2. From dark to light
Of course it is also possible to start from the dark side and to establish the colours in shade first. The colours of the sunlit parts are then mixed by adding white and yellow to the shadow colours to brighten up or tone up the shadow colours.

3. Mixing the colours as seen
The other way is to paint the colours as they appear in front of the painter. In principle there is no difference in mixing the colour of the sky and the colours of a wall in sun and in then in shadow. In any case the painter has to observe the colours and to translate his observation into a colour mix.
Very bright hues can be mixed by adding white and if the source of light is “warm” i.e. yellowish, as direct sunlight mostly is, with a little bit of yellow in addition. In general it is wise not to overdo the mixing with white because the result will be washed out or almost bleached colours. Overdone highlights can really ruin an otherwise well done painting.

A major difficulty is to mix dark or very dark colour hues. To know the extreme dark and bright colours that are possible with your medium is very important. The gamut of oil colours and other painting media is just not sufficient to represent the wide range of tonalities which are there in nature. Therefore a very bright light can only be represented by emphasising the contrast with dark colours around.

Painting or drawing shadows with dry pastels

A studio still life study with controlled light

This is a still life in dry pastels on medium rough watercolour paper from life in my basement studio. During a week I studied light and shadow colours in artificial light. I tried to find the right colours as seen on the objects to get the realistic look of light and shadows.

It was very helpful to have different colour shades in the Schmincke set of pastels colors. For example the ochre tonalities in light and shadow on the lamp on the right are only very slightly mixed. For the most part I applied the pastel without mixing in that case.

The green glass bottle in the middle however required quite a lot of careful mixing as the set of pastels colour did not contain greens in a suitable gradation of tonalities. I also used bits of grey or charcoal to darken certain areas. With purpose I avoided to use a lot of white in the brightest areas. I would commend to establish small areas with the brightest colours and the darkest colours very early in the painting process to keep control over the contrast or tonality range. It might be very difficult to establish highlights later if the medium tonalities are to high already. If you set your middle values too dark the deepest darks in shadows can become a problem. I found that it is more difficult to create the darkest darks in pastel than the lightest lights.

As you may observe the tonality varies in shadows, by darkening the shadows close to the contact with the bright areas I tried to imitate the sensation for the eyes when it looks at strong contrasts as described in the previous paragraph. There was a rather complicated mixture of shadows cast by the objects onto themselves and on others as well as effects of reflected coloured light, particularly in the green glass vessel at the centre of the composition.

Great Easy Acrylic Painting Projects

Great Easy Acrylic Painting Projects

Find Great Easy Acrylic Painting Projects

Find easy acrylic painting projects. It has great ideas and acrylic painting projects and access to other painting projects too. Discover the joy of painting in acrylic and explore this great medium with these projects.

Finding an Easy Acrylic Painting Project

Finding things to paint can be a trial sometimes. But it need not be. There are things to paint all around. For instance did you know that Vincent van Gogh spent months and months painting nothing but flowers. It doesn’t matter that he used oils it was the dedication to finding a subject no matter how difficult the task.

Often us painters cannot see what to paint, we are too busy looking for that amazing landscape or capturing rare lighting which is all great. But in doing so we miss the little things. We forget that it is the beauty in what we see and paint that makes it amazing.

Below are projects for you to try. Depending on where you are in the world will depend on when and if you have winter, summer or seasons or monsoons. But there is no reason why you cannot adapt each project for your own needs. OK here goes.
Find Great Acrylic Painting Projects on Amazon
Finding great acrylic painting projects is a great idea as it expands your learning and techniques and gives you plenty of ideas. Below are some project ideas for your acrylic painting

Easy Acrylic Painting Project 1

Project 1

For this project we are going back to basics. For those of you who haven’t done any color mixing start here.

Watch this video on basic color mixing as you will need to be able to mix colors for future projects.
Then practice until you can confidently get most of the basic colors.
Purple etc

Easy Acrylic painting project 2

painting project Two

Van Gogh may not be to everyone’s taste, however his work was based on feeling and color. If you are a beginner without much experience it is important for you to get the feel of the paint, how it works, how quickly it dries and what it looks like. The best way to do this is to play.

To do this project we are stepping into Van Gogh shoes. We are aiming not for an artistically correct piece, but one with color and feeling. Using your new found color mixing skills from project one we are going to create a simple painting.

1. Pick a subject that you love. Make sure it is fairly simple to do. Try to keep it natural. Flowers in a bottle or vase would be great, your favorite part of a garden, a cliff a tree etc. If you think a vase is too much keep it to one flower. Painting outside can be a challenge so only do this if you feel comfortable. Remember this isn’t about making a perfect picture but playing with color. do not paint from a picture or photo from other artists.
2. Gather together all your art colors and canvases and brushes.
3. Spend time looking at your image. Break your image down into both color and light.
4. Just paint the very basic shapes and basic colors. Don’t worry about detail just the overall image.
5. Make sure your colors are over vibrant and your paint thick. Keep your brushes larger to prevent fussiness.

Project 3 – Simple Acrylic Winter Landscape Project Challenge

Project 3

This is a lovely painting to do, it reminds me much of the Bob Ross style which is well known for bringing art to everyone. So challenge yourself to get out those brushes and explore the colors of winter!

Easy Painting Project 4 – A Simple Landscape

Project 4

This is a beautiful little painting to do. Not only is it a project but it also teaches you techniques all done by a 3 hour video tuition after which you should have some useful knowledge to apply to any local landscape painting you might fancy doing.

Project 5 – Fun Cave Horse Painting

This Comes With a Popularity Warning

One of my favorite projects was one I didn’t think I would enjoy but it was really fun. This is the cave horse painting. This is a beginners project however lots of people af all skill levels love to do this one. You recreate the stone walls by building up the paint much as you would for any other painting though it is designed to look really messy! The cave horse is painted much as the cave men would have done and he looks fats and dumpy.

Cave horse and other cave animal pictures are on the open domain if you want to get one.

WARNING: Very Popular. I didn’t think anyone would like a picture of a cave horse, but have found that it is very popular. My sister napped mine when my tiny house got crowded with art. Then my other sister wanted one too and I have to repaint one for me! So be warned you might have to do more than one! It isn’t a problem it is fun to do and can be done quite quickly.

Lots of Painting Projects for the Beginner to Advanced Painter

This is absolutely amazing! I came across this site while searching for inspiration and wow did they give it. This site has to be the best and most comprehensive site for art courses on the net. If you don’t agree and have found another one feel free to pop it on the comments as I am always in search of the best information and ideas out there. But I think this will be very hard to beat!

This is definitely the site by artists for artists of all levels and skills. These guys cover everything from easy acrylic painting projects like the one above right through to the more complicated projects and courses. If in doubt they do a free course and a free magazine just to get you started – these should keep you occupied for a while. However if you want to plunge right in there are some great courses and they start at low prices or you can buy modules.

What is good drawing? How to make a difference

What is good drawing? How to make a difference

Good drawing – better drawing , how to make a difference

What is good drawing is a question that I was confronted with on my first day in school. The answer I got to that question changed a lot in my life for quite some time. The dimensions of this seemingly innocent question are much wider than one would assume on first sight.

But this question is not put up here to stage a controversy or to seek late revenge for an early injury by a stupid teacher. Rather I want to use it to arouse interest in the many facets of drawing. The question what is good drawing forces to analysis and development of criteria which allow to make a difference in quality between drawings. As a result this process will lead not only to better understanding, but also to enhanced enjoyment of drawings.

At this point it might be clear that this site is not about construction or instruction drawings, but about drawing in arts and in particular about the artistic value of drawings.

How to analyse a drawing

The analysis of a drawing often consists in separating certain aspects of a drawing. Usually it starts with the level of technical skill that the artist shows. As second aspect the content or the picture idea is examined further and finally the artistic value might be considered.
Such an approach is not without difficulty, because it is impossible to separate these three aspects from each other as their combination is what makes for the quality of a drawing. The use of simple lines might indicate a lack of technical skill, but in fact simple lines might be used with purpose as a means of artistic expression for example.

However this method is still a good way to explore drawings and therefore I want to discuss these three different layers of a drawing further.

Craft and dexterity – technical skills and quality of a drawing

What are drawing skills ?

Postcard Forest diary ink drawing postcard

I remember the tale of an artist and his king in China. The king commissioned a drawing of a cockerel to a famous artists and the artists agreed. After waiting one year as the works was still not finished the King got impatient and started to send out messengers to the artists cabin a long way in the woods.
They returned and reported that the drawing was not done yet. This happened a couple of times until the King got so angry in the 10th year of waiting that he made the journey himself ready to punish the artist on site, if he had not finished the work yet.

In the cabin the king urged the artist to do the drawing otherwise he would be killed. The artist replied that the king just came on time as he was ready no to do the drawing. He fetched a piece of beautiful rice paper, prepared the ink and laid down the drawing with his brush within a few minutes. The king was totally amazed and pleased with the quality of the work, which was a perfect piece of art and a beautiful representation of a cockerel.

The king asked the artist, why for heaven sake didn’t you do this quick drawing already ten years ago? The artist said nothing but turned to his big wall cupboard to open the doors. As the doors opened hundreds and hundreds of drawings fell to the floor, documenting that the artist had done nothing but drawing cockerels over the years until he thought that his skills were good enough. The King was ashamed and fell silent.

The most realistic or illusionistic representation in a drawing is often seen as the ultimate proof of quality in a drawing. The more a drawing conjures with a photographic image the better the quality it seems. Indeed it takes very long and talent is needed to achieve skills that enables the artist to depict a subject in aphoto realistic way.

Training of drawing skills was a major task of art academies during centuries. These academic skills were abandoned in modern art not because artist were too lazy to do the exercises, but the value of academic drawing was questioned by modern artists. Pure imitation no matter how skillful it is conducted seemed to be without artistic value.

These are two main position that have been discussed in art for a long time and it seems there is no end to this. I think that there cannot be an end or a final valid judgement on these issues. The interesting thing is the discussion itself, the different views on drawing which open new perspectives for the participants in this discussion.

Content , image idea, meaning of a drawing

Drawing as visual language

The formal content of a drawing is what we recognise first. Our perception is constantly and immediately interpreting what we see and offers meanings to us saying : This is a dog or a house what I see for example. This is a rather simple level of understanding and usually we perceive a lot more of impressions which go much further than that at the same time. Apart from rational thoughts drawings like any other picture evoke emotions.

The quality of a drawing can also literally be seen in the way and in the efficiency the artist manages to communicate with the viewers and in his capacity for original inventions and modes of execution. Drawings can be seen as a kind of visual language and some artists are better speakers than others.

At this point the connection to the previous paragraph has to be considered. What happens if the viewer is not capable to understand the visual language of the artist properly ? There are many misunderstandings regarding the quality of drawings simply for this reason. As the artist improves the skills of his visual voice with exercise the viewer improves his skills of listening i.e. understanding drawings by looking and examining drawings on a regular basis.

Artistic value in a drawing

academic versus artistic drawing

To determine the artistic value of a drawing is the most difficult task. People who might agree in considerations about technical skills and image idea still can come to totally different conclusions about the artistic value of a drawing.This disagreement is based on different ideas about what artistic value is.
It is very interesting to study many different opinions and to compare the points of view. The more one tries to define artistic value the more it seems to vanish into something vague and undefined. Words seem not to be able to grasp what is meant. “The there is a harmonic sense in lines and their relationships, a music of line that is found at the basis of all good art” This quote from the book: ThePractise and Science Of Drawing, by Harold Speed, might illustrate this difficulty.
I heard drawings praised because the artist was able to draw lines that were considered fast, suspenseful or dynamic and so on. All these attempts to address the quality of a drawing are very much based on personal standards which have beenacquired.
Over the years my own standards are changing constantly and I am eager to see drawings that are executed in a way I did not see before.

Almost every art lover has a kind of internal hit list of works or artists he likes or dislikes. The comparison and ranking of different artworks is a good method to learn about the quality of a work,especially when we want to know why we like something better than the other and start to ask questions in that direction. It can take some time to evaluate the quality , works that had been in a lower ranking might advance to a better position after some time when the work is better understood.

What is good drawing ?

The one that does not wear off !
I had the opportunity to attend workshops given by a great artists and watercolour landscape painter named Simon Fletcher. Simon Fletcher has a traditional point of view on landscape depiction and puts great emphasise on graphic skills in his work. The underlying drawing, the visual grid that constitutes a painting, establishes according to him the potential of a painting. If the drawing or graphic skeleton is not good the painting cannot be good. He also explained to his students that once the drawing has been established successfully the artist gains maximum of freedom to do with thecolours whatever he wants. His works illustrate these principles, that I tried to lay down here in short, very well.
This alone does not get us a step forward to an answer to the question what good drawing means. I found the answer Simon Fletcher gave for pictures in general applies also to drawings very well.

This is a very simple criterion, that covers all aspects and conditions of the picture itself and those of the viewer. There is indeed the phenomenon that we consume certain pictures with the blink of an eye and move over, others intrigue us, stay in our memory and attract our curiosity again and again. This is also a holistic approach that is valid without sophisticated intellectual analysis.

The eight most efficient drawing tips for landscape drawing

The eight most efficient drawing tips for landscape drawing

How to make fast progress in drawing landscapes (and other things)

After years of drawing, having attended workshops and having studied tutorials and art books I found eight drawing that helped me most to improve my landscape drawing skills efficiently and fast.

Everybody who can write her/his own name on a piece of paper can achieve a high level of drawing skills as writing and drawing require in principle the same capabilities of hand to eye co-ordination. This is a matter of fact. Recently I found another interesting scientific article on the topic which underlines these simple insights: Why Are Some People Better at Drawing than Others?. In the end learning drawing from life is nothing but training,learning and changing your perception of the world as you see it.

If you follow these drawing tips and apply and observe them in regular exercises you will see a dramatic change in your drawing capability in relatively short time of weeks and months.
Doing one drawing exercise of 20-0 minutes a day is already enough. The most important thing is to exercise regularly.

Landscape drawing TIP No.1 – Forget the eraser !

Miles Davis : “Do not fear mistakes, there are none.”

Every line you draw counts and is important. Knowing this will

give your drawings the necessary drive and the motivation to accept your own hand-write. Your own hand-write is the basis for a unique artistic development ! Do you want to erase that ?? Draw with media that cannot be erased as often as possible. My preferred media are ink and pens. The more you exercise the more you will like it. You will gain self-confidence in your lines and marks and you will discover your own drawing style. Your skills to hit the “right” line first will improve fast too.

My top recommendation for Drawing books

When it comes to drawing books Bert Dodson is my favorite. His first book “Keys to drawing” set an unbeaten standard from my point of view.

Landscape drawing TIP No.2 – Blind drawing ..blind drawing….blind drawing

Blind drawing often also called blind contour drawing is a method that occurs in all serious drawing lessons and books.

Blind drawing means that you draw without looking at your drawing paper, but following your subject with your eyes and to make notes of what you see on your paper at the same time. I found it extremely helpful on drawing trees.

Blind drawing is a well known thing in the drawing world, but not many people practise it ! So my advice is don´t forget that, do it and try to remember this each time you start a drawing.

The training effect is absolutely great. Within 2 weeks of 15 minutes of blind drawing per day you can make unbelievable progress! Blind drawing will keep your work vivid.. it is a real ANTI-STIFFENER

Landscape drawing TIP No.3 – Drawing negative forms or space

Imagine you want to draw a net of thick ropes. Drawing negative forms means that you don´t try to draw the outlines of the ropes, but the outlines of the empty space in between the ropes.

Negative forms can be seen almost everywhere. Drawing negative spaces makes things quite often much easier, than following complicated outlines of positive forms. Also drawing negative forms helps quickly to develop stronger observations skills.

description by Robert Gardiner, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Landscape drawing TIP No.4 – Squinting to see values and simple forms

By squinting with your eyes (remember Dustin Hoffmann
in “Little big man” :).) it is easier to see the different tonalities, the patterns of dark and light forms, the contrast between light and shadows in the scenery in front of you.

Link Tipp:
Squinting, Drawing and Never Forgetting
Published: July 11, 2004

Landscape drawing TIP No.5 – Take measurements !

Handling of the proportions is mostly considered an important issue. “Oh I don´t get the proportions right !” How many times is this said and thought ?

There is a way to eliminate that question. Take measurements and start to train your eye.
Use a little stick or your pencil as reference.
Select an important or clear line in the motif as metrestick. Stretch our your arm as far as you can (in order to get same scale each time) and then measure how long is that roof top for example and how long is that window frame in comparison to that. How tall is the chimney in comparison to your “roof top metrestick” and so on.

As time goes by you won´t need much of measurements anymore. You will get rid of wrong proportions quickly if you decide to use the measurements intensly until you don´t need them anymore.

You will learn quickly to place your drawing in the right size so it fits onto your paper, you will be able to estimate lengths and distances amazingly correct. Fractions like 1:2 ,1:4, 1:3,2:3, etc. will be no problem any more.

Landscape drawing TIP No.6 – Use construction lines

Construction lines are imagined connections between to points in your drawing or an elongation of a line.
If your not sure what the inclination of the roof is for example just elongate the roof edge until it hits another line. Use your pencil or a small stick again to take aim. Thus it is very easy to find a second point in your drawing to confirm the real inclination of lines or planes.

Possible useful constructionlines in this drawing:
If you are not sure about the angle of the church roof just elongate a line (no3) until it hits the vertical no1 almost exactly on the border of the drawing. The elongation of the roof line represented by no.4 hits the church door in the lower right edge of the forth window (left row of windows). Line number 2 connects the balcony of the big building on the right with a prominent edge of a tall building on the left. This way you can develop a grid work that connects the parts of the composition into an image that makes sense to the viewer. Of course it is helpful to understand the theory of perspective, but in practise it is much easier to work with construction lines.

How to draw a tree – a paperback published on BLURB

The little book in format 8X5 is based on the content of this lens. It contains

70 black and white images of pen, ink and charcoal drawings. You will find many of the illustrations on this lens, but others also from related lenses on drawing deciduous and coniferous trees and some extra images too in the book.
The book summarizes my experiences in drawing trees. The majority of drawings are deciduous trees, but there is also an explanations about pine tree drwaing and spruce.

Link to the book How to draw a tree There is a full preview available.

Drawing the urban landscape

Exploring the city with a sketchbook
Between April 2006 and May 2007 I have worked on an exhibition project about the urban landscape of the city of Stuttgart,Germany.
I have selected more than 30 drawings for a book now available online at BLURB.
The first 10 pages show panoramic drawings together with the essay about the urban landscape and the experience of drawing such a complex subject. The following pages show two panoramic drawings per page without text.

Drawing TIP No.7 – go into the zoo and get into the flow

With increasing exercise your drawing speed will increase. Also you will find your personal work flow. Most people do not recognize how fast they are drawing when they are in the flow.
To get into the flow while drawing is a wonderful experinece. Everything seems to happen easily without tension just as if you were knitting :).

Drawing moving animals forces you to be fast and almost within minutes most people adjust to the new situation an skip all rational reflections and internal self-dialog and just dive into the visual encounter !
When you come up to the surface again you will feel great ! Drawing a landcape and/ or architecture shortly afterwards is like getting into extrem slow motion and goes much,much easier.

How did I do this drawing:

Everybody who has been watching animals in a zoo knows that animals unfortunate enough to live in cages or aquariums develop an individual moving pattern within the space they can roam.
So instead of trying to draw one fish after the other I worked short sequences on those fish who had taken a specific resting position for a minute or so. When my model moved I looked for the next fish in another resting position. So in fact I always worked on a fish that did NOT move! Some of the fishes are one and the same individual (the big one watched me very interested !)and O.K. the turtle was easy…:).

Drawing TIP No.8 – regular exercise !

If you want to improve your skills repeated exercise is the key. Everybody has his/her own preferences and possibilities to exercise on a regular basis. Similar to sports it is better to practise every day for 15 minutes instead 90 minutes only once a week.

My reading tip : Beginners guide to drawing

Great drawing tip by Michele Weller

The extra tip – 36 pages great sketching advice from 1900

Sketching from nature in line and tone
This is a great find on the net. A fully digitalised version of a book by J. Littlejohns
in the library of the university of San Diego,California. It contains great illustrations and practical advice !

Sketching from Nature


Two awsome stories about people who make their living by drawing

I stumbled into this stories which I can relate to so much. When it come to drawing talent is one thing, but it is not everything. Most people are not prepared to pay the price for aquiring drawing skills: time and practise.

These stories are a great motivation.

The story of Jørn Nielsen who was told that he could never make a living out of his drawing skills.

Neuland – Dialog: I do my two favorite things for a living: drawing and thinking.
I do my two favorite things for a living: drawing and thinking.
Interview with Brandy Agerbeck, Chicago

Learn how to draw a pine tree

Learn how to draw a pine tree

A drawing of a pine tree – Pinus silvestris

Ten typical features of pine trees are explained and shown in a big size image of a pine tree drawing study. The tutorial explains how to draw the pine from the tree top with needles, the branches to the trunk with different zones of bark. The example drawing has been done in pen on site directly from nature. Learn about drawing a realistic looking pine tree. See more examples, get inspiration for own drawings here.
For those who are looking for a cheap book on drawing trees I can recomend my publication on Blurb “How to draw a tree”
If you were looking for botanical information I can recommend another squidoo lens Scots pine

Image credits: All images on this webpage ,if not otherwise stated, are creations by the author.Images and illustrations of products (in affiliate links) are used according to Squidoo TOS.

An example of a pine tree drawing – 10 typical features explained

Pen line drawing
Below there is a sketchbook study from life in pen, showing a pine tree. If you click on the image a large version accompanied with text will open in a new tab. May be you want to download and print out that file (ca. 2MB) and study it. There are ten numbers with explanations marked in the sketch that point out to some typical features of pine trees. Of course the appearance of pine trees vary between different species,age,environment and conditions for growth,but if you understand and reckognize the important features it will be easy to do your own drawing.

Explanations to a pine tree drawing with detail images

1. I started to draw the pine tree from the top. At first the shape of the tree top was drawn as outline. I looked at the tree, not at my paper and followed the outline I could see against the light sky. That is called blind drawing,if you don´t know about this check the link.


2. Then I tried to identify the pattern,rythm or structure of the pine tree needles and executed these details within the previously drawn outline

3. I noticed 3-4 basic patterns in the needles appearance and made a note of them. You might see things different and may develop your own signs or marks for representation. Perhaps you want to put those on a separate sheet.

4. I recognized that there are thin branches with and without needles at the edges of the bigger clusters. These thin branches look a bit like a spiders web and they contribute to the typical look of a pine tree.

5. Then I continued downwards with the outline of the trunk and added the branches. The branches of pine trees take typical turns, no other trees do it that way. For that reason one can recognize a pine from miles distance.

6. There are also many old,short pieces of branches that make for a tyical appearance too.

7. Bigger branches have clearly visible “shoulders” at the junction with the trunk.

8. A number of branches grows circular around the trunk every year. The yearly growth in height is still visible by the length of the free space between two of those circles,which can be seen by those small dark branch marks in the bark even when the branches are already gone.

The bark of a pine tree changes from top to bottom. in the top area it is bright and sometimes shiny. Then it changes in area of redish surface where the thin soft bark comes of like pieces of old skin.

9. Further down the bark gets darker and rougher with lots of fine lines on the surface.

10. At the bottom the bark is very thick and shows these typical deep cracks and gaps.

11. As comparison I have added a small piece of a spruce tree in the background. By observing and depicting the typical features of a tree it is possible to evoke a realistic impression even if the proportions are not exactly correct.

A pine tree as part of a landscape drawing

This is an India ink drawing which was done on a cold January morning. The young pine tree is an important part of the scenery. It is a different species (Pinus niger) with a more dense tree top. In the detail below one can see how the needle masses were represented by simple strokes in various directions.

How to draw a tree – The book published on BLURB

A field guide to drawing and sketching trees

The little book in format 8X5 is based on the content of this lens. It contains


70 black and white images of pen, ink and charcoal drawings. You will find many of the illustrations on this lens, but others also from related lenses on drawing deciduous and coniferous trees and some extra images too in the book.
The book summarizes my experiences in drawing trees. The majority of drawings are deciduous trees, but there is also an explanations about pine tree drwaing and spruce.

Link to the book How to draw a tree There is a full preview available.

Great examples of pine tree drawings by Artists on FLICKR

The very special tip !!!!!
I am glad that I found these inspiring drawings just by incident. I am glad that meantime the author has added his name. These great drawings are all done by Mike de Weese a professional illustrator..
I write this paragraphs really only to make sure that this link is not overlooked !

Plein air set of ink drawings
This set of Plein air drawings posted by FLICKR user Mike DeWeese contains a series of great drawings, mainly pine trees but also other conifers. The artists has studied all parts of the tree from trunk to tree top, including details and complete forests.
A very inspiring set of work !

How to draw a pine tree – a video instruction

Video for beginners – drawing a pine with ink and brush

Pine – pine tree by yanghaiying

Pine tree drawings online – link list

archive of pine tree drawings

Pine tree – Archives of American Art: Sketchbooks: Curators’ Choice
Worthington Whittredge sketchbook of a trip down the Rhine River 1849 / Worthington Whittredge, artist. Sketchbook : 1 v. : various media ; 15 x 24 cm. Worthington Whittredge papers. Archives of American Art.

Pine Tree Study on Flickr – Photo Sharing!
Nice study by Art*edges on FLICKR
#Loved the wild lines of this pine tree. So full of texture. Watercolors and ink.

Drawing the urban Landscape

Exploring the city with a sketchbook
Between April 2006 and May 2007 I have worked on an exhibition project about the urban landscape of the city of Stuttgart,Germany.
I have selected more than 30 drawings for a book now available online at BLURB.
The first 10 pages show panoramic drawings together with the essay about the urban landscape and the experience of drawing such a complex subject. The following pages show two panoramic drawings per page without text.

More drawing lenses by Edition Handdruck

Landscape drawing – improve your skills efficiently and fast !
8 tips how to improve your landscape drawing skills efficiently and fast.Everybody who can write her/his own name on a piece of paper can achieve a high level of drawing skills. Drawing can be learned much more easy than painting and it gives so much pleasure !Link to some of my sketches and drawing

How to draw a tree
How to draw a tree – Find a collection of tree drawings and explanations how they have been done. Get inspired by famous examples and have a look at online drawing tutorials. Find your own way how to draw a tree.

How to draw deciduous trees
This is an introduction to drawing deciduous trees from life.MPM, Monotype printmaker Martin explains how he draws decidous trees with a pen and with charcoal. There are no rules in drawing,every body can develop a very own way to draw a tree. If your looking for some inspirations or ideas have a loo

Artist sketchbooks – little nothings turn into big somethings
For decades artist sketchbooks have only been noticed by a limited specialist audience which got access to those precious resources mostly only after the death of the creator. Excerpts might have been published in print media, but mostly only at the price of damaging or destroying the sketchbooks.

Sketching gear – what does the beginner need ?
Sketching outdoors is a great activity and a rewarding hobby for everyone. This lens is for those how want to start sketching outdoors in the city or in rural landscape. What sketching gear would you need to have with you ? What kind of gear is suitale and what should the quality be like ?

How to draw water – a drawing tutorial,tipps and tricks

How to draw water – a drawing tutorial,tipps and tricks

Drawing water – tipps and tricks

Water is transparent like glass if it is clear and the surface quiet. The water itself therefore often appears as “not visible”. Natural water in creeks and rivers is mostly not 100% transparent. Anyhow drawing water can be a challenge no matter whether it is without color or not and moving or not.

What is visible when we look at water are the reflections on the water surface and those things that one can see under the water surface. Big masses of water like the sea appear in opaque colours, often it is the reflected color of the sky or a muted variation of the sky color mixed with the color of th water. Also the waters of a big river can look opaque. Depending on the situation there are different strategies to depict water in a drawing. Unfortunately in the most cases the water you want to draw appears in a very complex and always changing mix of reflections and transparencies. On this website you will find tips and tricks how to depict water in a convincing way.

What you see when you look at water an analysis before drawing

What you see when you look at water an analysis before drawing
The appearance of water, especially of moving water, can be very confusing. I commend to sit down and watch the water flow and to make notes of what you see:

1. Reflections of the surrounding landscape and sky

At Harmony lake you see the typical mirror effect of a flat water surface. Clouds and trees are reflected on the water. The reflections of vertical elements converge towards to the viewer, as the trees are in far distance that effect is not visible that much.

The mirror effect can be perfect on a totally quiet water surface. If there are ripples the reflected forms are interrupted in a certain typical pattern. Tree trunks are deformed to wavy lines or even interrupted by bright reflections of the sky colour on the ripples. The contours get blurred or frayed as you can see in the black and white image of tree reflections.

2. Stones, sand and other things at the bottom of the water, changed in color by the turbidity and light

The beautiful view of the chalet at a lake is a very difficult subject as the water is very clear and reflections of the landscape above water level and the lake bottom are visible and overlap in an intriguing mix.

Almost any water surface, be it a river or a lake, shows a dark line directly at the bank. In the image of a quiet lake you can see that thin dark line, a shadow of the bank. When you look at the water surface yiou will notice that the closer you get to the bank the more the muddy colour of the water gets mixed intot the reflected color of the sky.

Water pen sketch

In this sketch I tried to depict a water surface with the reflections of a post. From left to right there are more and more ripples. The more the water moves the more difficult it gets to draw water. Appart from horizontal lines or short strokes flat elliptic lines can evoke the impression on water.
The reflection of the post gets more and more blurred or distorted the more the water moves and the bigger the ripples are.

If you experiment with horizontal and elliptic lines to represent ripples on the water you will get a feel what works and what not.

Helpful books on drawing water, river and seascapes

Amazon offers several books that deal with drawing and painting of seascapes and rivers and ponds as frequent and interesting elements of landscape drawing.
“Down by the sea” got excellent reviews and so does “drawing sceneries” more a compendiium of various landscape types.

Online Tutorials on how to draw water

Diane Wright is an experienced artist. She has written a number of great tutorials on landscape drawing. Her tutorial on drawing water is comprehensive and covers the subject very well.

DRAWING WATER – tutorial by Diane Wright
DRAWING WATER tutorial by Diane Wright. Artist Diane wright has written a great comprehensive tutorial on drawing water that covers all aspects very well.

Observations on moving water – analysis before drawing

Moving water is more difficult to draw as the ripples or waves will not mirror the surroundings as quiet and complete as a flat lake for example does.

One can see different patterns of ripples, depending on the water follow. However once the appearance of a ripple is understood and seen correctly drawing moving water becomes easier as all ripples show the same characteristics.

Simply spoken ripples always have a bright top and a darker flank. Ripples vary in direction, curvature and width. In the darker flanks the surrounding landscape is mirrored as more or less thin colour bands, whereas the bright tops reflect the sky and /or might be white because of foam.

Reflections on a pond in the woods

Gouache sketch in the forest diary
In June 2011 Im sketched a pond in the woods. When looking at a water surface from a low view point there is almost no transparencies to see, one can concentrate on the pattern of reflected colours and froms on the surface.

Pastel sketch drawing of moving water

This is one of my early humble attempts to sketch water. I have a vivid memory of thoset 30 minutes I stared into the water, concentrated and tried to draw what I saw. Suddenly I understood the Hermann Hesse novel Siddartha much better, contemplating on a river or stream changes your mind and way of thinking. It was a happy afternoon and for that reason I kept this humble sketch as a souvenir. The water was flowing quickly between those big stones near the river bank creating a confusing pattern that changed and re-shaped again and again…

Stunning realistic drawings of water

Emma Stibbons creates amazing works in charcoal. Her Upstairs gallery portfolio contains impressive seascape drawings in big size.

How to draw deciduous trees

How to draw deciduous trees

Tips on how to draw deciduous trees

This is an introduction to drawing deciduous trees in a realistic way from life. This site explains how to draw deciduous trees with a pen and with charcoal. If your looking for some inspirations or ideas for tree drawing have a look here.

The website discusses the main features of deciduous trees and how to draw them. First simple drawings point out to the basic proportions and parts of a tree. Then tree trunk, branches and tree tops are explained further. Examples and methods how to represent bark and foliage of trees in drawings are given. Finally the making of a very detailed ink drawing of an apple tree orchard is demonstrated in a sequence of intermediate states. Herre you can see the process of drawing step by step.

Let´s try to draw some simple apple trees !

A tutorial for beginners
In the beginning a simple four step approach to drawing trees with pen or ink might help.

In order not to get overwhelmed by the many details of a tree I commend to begin with studies from a distance.
First try to depict the shape or outline of trunk and tree top.

In a second step larger internal forms in the tree top are mapped. The confusing pattern of leaves in fact follows a certain order and on observation one can see that the leaves are organised in typical “groups” following the branch and twig structure of the specific tree species.

In a third step the larger forms can be described further by filling them with a typical smallpattern that the leaves are forming.
I a final fourth step one might add hatches to add shadows, thus the drawing gains more three dimensional look.

No.1 : Starting with the trunk

After the outer form was established I continued with drawing the trunk and then continued to represent the foliage in shade on the right side of the trunk in small circular movements with the pen.
Later the hatching was added for the shadows on the trunk and for the darker tonality in the shadowed area.

The trunk of a tree is a very interesting subject for further exploration. The ink drawing below shows the stem of an old apple tree.

No.2 Mapping the tree tops

detailed view of line pattern
The foliage of trees shows, depending on light, lots of different shades or tonalities. By squinting I identified darker and light areas or clusters of twigs with foliage that have different tonality. Then I try to map the borderlines between darker and the lighter areas by blind drawing.. With some experience you will notice that eqach tree species has a specific “organisation” of branches and twigs and therefore shows a typical pattern of leaves which are grouped by the twigs and branches. So the method here is to establish the bigger forms first and then proceed to the next lower level in the hierarchy.

No.3 Patterns of leaves and foliage

round or jagged outlines?
Each tree species has it´s own pattern or rythm of leaves. I tried to imitate the rythm I saw with my pen movements. The leaves seemed to be arranged a bit like little roof tiles. Also it makes a big difference whether the leaves have rounded edges like on fruit trees or more sharp distinct edges like a red oak or a maple tree. Jagged leaf outlines should be represented by a pattern of jagged lines if the natural character of the tree shall be displayed in the drawing.
With light or heavier pressure on the pen I tried to create thinner/lighter or thicker darker foliage.

How to draw foliage in tree tops

This sketchbook drawing shows a group of apple trees. In the detail below it can be seen how I tried to represent the variations tonalities in the foliage. A realistic impression can be achieved by putting emphasize on the outer branches and leaves of the tree tops and drawing them in very dark tonality. Leaves and twigs at the very tree top often seem to look very dark or almost black in contrast the bright sky. As soon as you move your eyes downwards from the very tree top the foliage seems to get lighter and colors become more visible, because the bright sky does not dazzle the eyes so much.

Apple tree orchard – tree drawing in ink

Development of a landscape drawing with trees
apple trees with ink drawing on site, plein air With more experience the draughtsman develops a strong feel for proportions and an excellent eye to hand co-ordination. The masters seem to know already how the finsished drawing will look on paper and all they need to do is to put it down with their drawing tool. I have not come that far yet, but meantime I can estimate proportions fairly well and I find myself starting a drawing without establishing the outlines visibly on paper first.

See here an example of a detailed landscape study, an apple tree orchard. I have documented the progress of the drawing on several subsequent days. I avoided cross hatching with purpose in this drawing as cross hatchings tend to obscure details and thus reduce the clarity of a drawing. Of course sometimes that can be a wanted effect too.

ink drawing apple tree orchard

I started the drawing with the base of the important tree trunk on the left and then proceeded further to the other more distant trunks and finally into the branches and tree tops. The tree trunks functioned as basic grid and reference for proportions and spatial order. Working all over the page helps to keep the drawing coherent and to make the right decisions about gradadtions of tonalities too. The best is to know from the very start which parts of the drawing shall be the lightest ones and which ones should be the darkest.

In the decidous forest – a charcoal drawing

Oak and beech forest in spring,strategies to deal with an abundance of detail.
The drawing on the right was done on site very near to my home. It shows a beech and oak forest in late spring. I remember those big leaves of Coltsfoots that bloom early along those machine path prepared for logging of timber. You can see those leaves in the foreground on the left.

I found the best way to adopt to the overwhelming amount of details in a forest scenery is to examine the subject before starting with the drawing. I decided to built the picture around the bright spot where the sun hits the grass. It was that light that attracted me to choose that subject.
The big trunks and some smaller ones established the composition grid in this drawing. I start with light marks and lines because mistakes can be wiped out with a cloth easily and the darkest darks should be placed at the end with consideration. The darkest and the lightest spots in a drawing attract the viewer eyes like strong magnets. Wrong placement, wrong form of those “highlights” can spoil the most beautiful drawing. In order to pull the viewer into the picture I placed the sunlit spot of grass at the end of the over grown path in the very center of the paper. To enhance the brightness I placed the darkest darks around the bright spot, which seems brighter than the blank paper in the sky or the foreground.

After the vertical grid was established I concentrated on typical structures of foliage and shrubs and added the background, which filled the spaces between tree trunks. I used a soft eraser to recover some lights in the background to imitate the impresionj that the pattern of light spots on the leaves evoke. To improve that illusion I added dark small marks that resemble the form of leaves.

Finally the foreground was put in. Instead of trying the impossible, to copy each and every grass or leave, I concentrated to represent samples of some of the typical forms and structures I saw. After all the drawing is a simplification of the real scenery, that is just detailed enough to keep up the illusion.

How to draw a tree – The book published on BLURB

A field guide to sketching and drawing trees

70 black and white images of pen, ink and charcoal drawings. You will find many of the illustrations on this lens, but others also from related lenses on drawing deciduous and coniferous trees and some extra images too in the book.
The book summarizes my experiences in drawing trees. The majority of drawings are deciduous trees, but there is also an explanations about pine tree drwaing and spruce.

Link to the book How to draw a tree There is a full preview available.

Quick tree sketch with charcoal

One day a thunderstorm surprised me when drawing. Quickly I seeked cover under a bridge and made a quick drawing of young trees in a rain shower

A look to the edge of a forest

Drawing a forest with pen
This sketchbook drawing was part of an exhibiton project “A year in the vine yard”.
The full sketchbook can be seen here “A year in the vine yard”
Study of a willow tree
Ink drawing in four stages
drawing of a willow tree in four stages

This ink drawing was done in several short session of 20-30 minutes due to cold winter temperatures. The depiction of the many think twiges at the top of the willow tree was a challenge. Not all of those visible in reality found their way into the drawing. More than ofteb less is more in drawing.

Drawing the urban landscape – publication on Blurb

Exploring the city with pen and sketchbook

Between April 2006 and May 2007 I have

worked on an exhibition project about the urban landscape of the city of Stuttgart,Germany.
I have selected more than 30 drawings for a book now available online at BLURB.
The first 10 pages show panoramic drawings together with the essay about the urban landscape and the experience of drawing such a complex subject. The following pages show two panoramic drawings per page without text.

Draw people in a landscape

Draw people in a landscape

Landscapes with people how to draw them

I love to draw and sketch outdoors and my favorite subject is the landscape. A landscape picture changes a lot when you add the human figure. Often paintings and drawings require figures. Learn here some tricks how to depict people in clothes as they appear every day,moving around on the streets or in the landscape. Be prepared when someone shows up in your landscapes drawing on a sunny morning like the guy with the hunters hat in mine. He has not been there on the previous days, but suddenly he showed up and walked through my picture in a minute.

I want to pass on some of the skills which might help to get those figures into the landscape easier and I want to propose some easy exercises which might help you to be prepared when someone steps into your drawing ! Most important: do not hesitate, start drawing people today !

There is also a list of the best rated books on drawing people or the human figure. Drawing People: How to Portray the Clothed Figure helps you to improve your skills in drawing people as they apear everyday in their clothing.

The proportions of a human figure

Some very basic facts about the proportions of the human body
There are a few easy to remember guidlines about the proportions of the human figure that help to draw people. Click on the images for enlarged views.

A fact that is often ignored is that the head of a human is only about 1/8 of the full body length or 1/4 of the upper half. Of course individual measures deviate from this rule.
how to draw people – proportions of the human body
The eyes are located in the middle of a frontal view of the head. The distance between eyebrowns, tip of the nose and chin are almost equal. Looked at a head from the side it fits into the shape of a square.

It is a good exercise to draw figures in different positions from imagination using the basic knowledge of the proportions of the human body.

Figure Studies in the public

drawing people in public places
Drawing people in public places is thrilling for many reasons and not easy to do. I admire sketchers who are able to capture people in movement. In the beginning it might be helpful to choosea place where people do not walk by, but stop standing or sit. I used the situation in a museum for some studies of visitors and staff. Usually I start with the head and work down my way over shoulders to the feet of the person.

Also sketching at the busstop or at the train station is a good choice as you will find people who do not move around that fast.

I always have a sketchbook with me because waiting lounges in hospitals and other maybe more pleasant public places are great for drawing and sketching people. Waiting time goes by much faster.

How to draw people in a landscape with watercolor

This video demonstrates how the draw or paint simple figure shapes to represent people in a landscape with watercolor

More proposals for studies of the human figure

It is not necessary to go out into the public to draw people.
For exercise purposes you might consider also:

drawing from photographs – your family album
drawing from a TV film or a video

Especially drawing from video is great because you can stop and repeat a sequence that you like.

Learn how to draw a female body with the proportions

video tutorial
This is agreat tdemonstratioon haow to draw a femal teenager body with the right proportions. It start already with an important feature for drawing kids. The teenager bodey is about 6 heads high, whereas the adult body is about 8 heads high. The younger the child the bigger is the head compared to the body.

How to Draw Female Body Proportions: Teenager to Kid, Manga Style

Art supplies for figure drawing

anatomical models for drawing studies at home
Anatomical models can be very helpful for studies on the human body. The limbs can be moved and fixed on almost any position and the model can be drawn from various viewpoints.

So how does it work to draw people in a landscape ?

After some time spent with life studies you will develop a good eye and memory for the position that a human has taken in the scenery in front of you. Even if you could not finsish the specific figure you will be able to reconstruct the situation later. I often only mark the position of the heads and “hang the bodies” later. You can even complete the drawings at home or continue after you have moved to another place. For example the person you started to draw was sitting on a bench,but now stands up and walks away. You can wait until someone else will sit down or you move to another place where people are still sitting on a bench.

Before I place a figure in an empty landscape I sometimes do some trial drawings in the sketchbook to make sure I get he right size and proportions. Then I might use a transparent paper laid over the sketch to trace an exact copy of the draft. Then I can move the draft on transparent paper over the landscape study until I find the right position.