Landscape Drawing in Pencil.

This landscape drawing was drawn on the spot looking out over a natural bay. I had a pair of binoculars with me in case I needed to zoom in on any element. When drawing landscapes we need to take perspective into account but in my experience informal perspective works better than using hyper accurate construction lines.

This is particularly the case when I'm tackling nature sketches.

Trust your eyes and get on with the scene in front of you. You can always use formal perspective to correct any mistakes when you are at home. You can also break the space up into simple shapes as I do in the first few illustrations below.

1. I start with the base of distant hills and this also marks the edge of the water. I have reproduced these lines much darker than they really are so you can see.

2. Now I draw in the bay itself in stages ending with the distant hills. My goal here is to lead the eye around the bay. I leave some things out. Exaggerate features and change spatial relationships. If you let your eye wander around the landscape drawing you can judge how successful or not I have been here. Are your eyes led around the bay? Do you feel at ease or is there something jarring? You will ask yourself this question with your own drawing. I don't always get it right and often spend hours correcting my mistakes back at home. The important thing when sketching from life is that you get down all the details you think are necessary.

3. This is reproduced at the right contrast. You can see how faint the lines are. I drew the hills carefully, getting the contours right.

4. The hills to the right.

5. Some detail on the water's surface.

6. I sketch in details of the foreground using dashes.

7. I work on the hills on the left and then the bottom right.

8. Back to the left side.

9. I draw in clouds.

10. I finish the foreground.

11. Lastly I add more detail to the left.

Click to see a larger image. Opens in another window.

The landscape drawing has enough information on it for me to produce a more detailed drawing if I wish or as the first stage of a landscape painting.

Go to Landscape Painting from landscape drawing