5 “Must-Know” Landscape Drawing Principles!
5 “Must-Know” Landscape Drawing Principles!


I’m going to share with you five key principles
that I think are really going to help you when drawing landscapes. At the end of this free lesson, I’m going
to show you how you can save big on my latest landscape series and then also take advantage
of five free pencils that come along when you order this set. But first, let’s go ahead and take a look
at those five key principles on drawing landscapes. Objects in the distance and background are
often more obscured by distance and atmosphere. It’s really important to realize that you
have a lot of leeway. Some variance is just fine, such as the mountains. Front and back. It’s nice to have that irregular edge that
gives the variety of terrain and also the trees that are different sizes. Without getting too detailed, we want to be
able to create a value instead of trying to outline things which would really take away
a lot of our opportunity to show distance from one object to the other. We want to be able to show that they’re
separate. But again, in drawing this, you want to make
sure that you just feel comfortable with the fact that you can just free up a little bit. You don’t have to get every little tree. In fact if you did do detail in the trees
and got too carried away with that you’d probably start ending up with something that’s
going to be distracting. It’s not going to convey that this is in
the distance. Kind of influenced by the fog. We would just have something that would almost
become an edge and be a contradiction to what we have in the foreground. We want most of our detail to be there. So again, we can enhance distance. You can see how, now that that little mountain
in the front is developing, it becomes just a natural environment. Things that we’re used to seeing. It’s just not something that’s odd because
we tried so hard, we felt obligated to do all the little trees. But we can do just do them very generally. As long as you’re not making an outline
we can keep that in the foreground and push the other mountains back. We’re also creating some extra graphite
on the paper. I think that’s going to be really handy
in this particular instance because we have clouds and fog and we want that detail in
the mountains to be obscure. The farther they go off into the distance
the softer they’ll probably appear too. So the one in the front probably has more
of an edge and detail. But we can take our cotton ball now, with
that extra graphite, we can use it to soften up some of the grain of the paper even, and
make sure there isn’t too much focus on any one detail. As long as we’re keeping it with a clean
edge to value instead of having it blend into the background. A brush is really handy. That brush, and/or the cotton ball is very
soft and it doesn’t damage or influence the surface of the paper, and so it becomes
a tremendous advantage, again to take advantage of the graphite and to cast it into areas
where you might want to lighten up something. Now that there’s tone in there, you could
maybe make a lighter portion of the cloud or brighten up the fog that’s coming behind
that foreground mountain. Great opportunities as long as you know how
to use your tools and when and what you’re trying to accomplish. So these important principles, if we go over
them like this, are an opportunity for us to just become aware. Look at these things. Another important principles is everything
gets smaller as it moves away, and as it goes into the distance, they appears smaller. Although we’re talking about big mountains
back here, they’re still much smaller than they would have been in reality. And then we have the furrows of that, I guess
farmed land, or little country road that’s getting smaller as it goes off into the distance
and over and disappears. All of these things are the same principles
that are played out in our everyday life. We’re in a room, or in our yard, or everywhere
we look, there’s perspective. So our minds are trying to assess where is
something and as soon as we start adding some of these important principles we have the
opportunity to solidify what we’re looking at so that it starts making sense. It actually adds such a wonderful interest
to our drawings and again without getting carried away with too much detail. Something like this could be detailed to quite
an extent, but on the other hand look at how the general application of these principles
starts playing out. Variation again. We’re going to—I’ll probably mention
that several times, with the variation. It’s just the way it is in nature, it’s
the way it is usually naturally. You’re not going to have just straight lines
and looking like it’s manufactured and then fabricated out there. It’s something that is conforming to a natural
environment—conforming with nature. So again if we have the principles down it’s
going to make sense even though we don’t have every detail incorporated. You notice the values starting to make a big
difference. Things just like the trees I mentioned a little
bit ago they don’t have to be as detailed but thing usually become darker as they come
into the foreground when we’re looking at a light source like this. The light’s in the distance, the fog’s
there, things that are taking advantage of the lighting and almost making a glow. But in the foreground we’re going to see
things without all that obscuring, possible diffusion, though they will get probably greater
in value. Another important principle is recognizing
the direction of your light source. That’s important, again, regardless of what
you’re drawing. If I’m drawing a portrait I also want to
know where my light source is so my shadows and everything else starts making sense. And then when we establish the source, you’ll
notice that it’s going to have a perspective to it, just like we have in any other part
of this drawing. I’ve laid some pencils out so that we can
see the direction and you can also see the contrast. If we didn’t pay any attention to a light
source and we just randomly put pencils on there it wouldn’t make any sense. So we don’t want one light beam or a shadow
to conflict with what we are creating in another area. Otherwise it’s going to create such a conflict
that it doesn’t make sense. You’ll notice that every one of those beams
will change a little in angle because of where we are in relationship to that shadow. So perspective is going to play out each and
every time. Watch as these trees will become a little
bit darker as we come forward. We want them to become somewhat diffused because
of that gathering of light where the sunbeams are going to be coming through. But as they come forward and we get on this
side of the light then we’re going to have more of a silhouetted tree just like that
bigger one that we’re going to add. But again, this brings consistency to our
perspective, our distance. It helps us to be able to realize what we’re
looking at in the background is way off. Almost giving it an ethereal look. You can imagine what might be there. We don’t necessarily have to see it. And then the shadow that’s being created
from the tree, you’ll notice it’s conforming to the terrain, there might be rocks and little
furrows. bushes or all kinds of different things. And this is all adding to the realism, the
feeling like you’re there. Instead of just trying to have a concept sketch
where you have a few lines and you’re trying to tell people what will be. It’s starting even in a simple level, starting
to really look like we’re becoming part of this environment. That’s the exciting part about this. Now you’ll see the pencil being used like
this. It’s just a reminder. Whenever you’re questioning how intense
a shadow should be, do that little pencil trick. Placing the point of the pencil on the paper,
watching how intense, and the value is increasing, as it’s closer to where it’s making contact
with the paper. As it comes away and the pencil is lifted
up, and you can even see it as I am handling it there you can see the shadow getting lighter
and lighter and wider and wider. That’s exactly what’s going to happen
with the shadows as they’re coming towards us, even though they’re at an angle they’re
still going to become a little lighter and wider just like the road is as it goes off
in the distance. Sometimes it’s hard to think about that
because we’re still working with a different value. The light beams and the shadows will still
have the same principles apply. Now we’re working on that foreground tree
and it’s darker because it is blocking our light effectively. It’s wider, it’s bigger, and being closer
it’s like putting your hand in front of your face, you are blocking a lot of what
you’re going to be able to see with your eyes. And when it’s off in the distance like the
smaller trees, they’re going to give us the opportunity to see more and more light
coming through both because they’re smaller and because they’re off in the distance. Another important principle is light and dark,
that contrast can be used to create depth and dimension. Very important to have a good sense of the
values you have at your disposal. The better you can manage your values the
more you’re going to be able to do with any subject. I’m using a dry eraser pad. We can go ahead and kind of pinch it. You can’t really see that. I have it in my hand and you can see that. It’s pinched into a narrower place but it
has soft edges. It allows us to do something that isn’t
such a precise streak through there, because again the light is being diffused by the atmosphere
and doesn’t have a clean edge in this case. And then we want to be able to have perspective. I wish I had maybe put a little more perspective
in mine, and had that source as from the spoke of a wheel a little more but still these are
things to think about. You don’t want to get too exaggerated with
some things because it’ll look odd and bring attention to the wrong thing. And we don’t want to just disregard the
rules because we’re going to end up creating conflicts. Like having those pencils representing sunbeams,
having them all different directions it just wouldn’t make sense because we’d have
to have several different light sources. But when we have this contrast and we have
that graphite we can create sunbeams by taking away something instead of trying to draw it. And that gives us an opportunity to not see
the trees through that streak of light and it’s all diffused much better and it’s
like it’s real. Now we can keep adjusting a little bit here
and there but you want to remember too, this is another important principle, things in
nature are rarely uniform. They just are more random and varied. Again it should help you feel more comfortable
about how you are going to be able to interpret your drawing because don’t have to be so
exact. Now let’s look at some of the principles
in the drawing that I did for this project. We’ll see again that little video didn’t
go as far, but we can see I was able to even brush some of that extra graphite into the
sky. Now, naturally, more could be done, but look
at the mountains, they get softer as it comes down to the fog. And so we have contrast. This is maybe a little darker in the foreground
than it is back there. The foreground here, and this horizon in the
foreground, or halfway in between, is a little darker than this. And yet we watch the trees. They should be getting just a little bit darker
and a little bit darker until we get to that foreground tree, which is really obscuring
the light, blocking it from our view. And we just see the effects of light instead,
as it comes from behind, somewhere from behind the trees. Now again these things, you could take these
things much farther, still very general with the principles but we still have solid perspective
going here. And those are things again that surprisingly
even show up on a face when you are drawing a portrait. If we don’t have perspective—things become—what
is it, oblique? I forget what the term is. But without perspective it just becomes a
mechanical measurement and there’s no depth and dimension to it in a real sense. Because even when we are looking at a face
there’s perspective. Depending on which way we turn our faces,
it may not be straight on, we may have one eye in the distance on the far side smaller
than the one in the front. Maybe one nostril is bigger than the other
one just because. And so we have our centerline changing. All those things. But we have so many wonderful principles,
well not so many really, it’s really simple. We don’t have something that is going to
be so complicated but this gives us a chance to isolate some of those, use them in a very
effective way and come up with something that you could really feel good about. It might be something that you decide you
want to hang on your wall, and demonstrate how principles, and not always the detail,
can become extremely effective. We can create a mood, we can have something
that makes sense in our minds compared to what we normally see. I hope you enjoy this project if you choose
to work on it or if you do another landscape, anything else you’re drawing, try to think
about these things. This is a good opportunity for us to just
get them isolated so we can identify and you’ll be surprised at how many times this is going
to play out again in regardless of the subject. You know, I think art in general is therapeutic. It has a lot of experiences for us to just
relax, and also project us into an environment that we may not have an opportunity to be
in. Maybe we want to remember something, or if
we’re working a hard job at an office or a factory, or whatever we happen to be doing,
it’s really nice to just be able to have some time to just experience a different environment. And realizing you can actually create this
to give the emotion and the feeling you’d like to be able to convey, is not only for
you but for others as well. I just think it’s a wonderful opportunity
that we have to create and to express something that is just a better place. One of the things that I have the opportunity
to do in helping you is not just to say, “One, two, three, go!” and you’re on your own. I know people have talked about classes that
they’ve had that that’s pretty much what happened. Maybe somebody walked around and told them,
“you might want to put a tree there,” or whatever it is, and that’s all valuable
information. But I like to try to explain things, but also
to show you. I want you to be able to see results and have
the opportunity to try it again if you want to, and again if you want to. And each time you can add something new that
you’ve learned, but even on the simplest levels, the most basic levels, I would hope
this gives you the opportunity to say, “That was worth it. I really enjoyed that, and look what I’ve
done!” You can show it to somebody and see whether
it takes them to a place that either you’re thinking of or that they imagine and remember. It’s always exciting to be able to tell
you we’ve actually finished another DVD series. We work so hard to get these out and it takes
a lot of effort and time, so when we finally finish it, it’s nice to be able to really
let you know. This one is from our Studio classes and it’s
called Morning Mist: Landscape Drawing Simplified. It’s now available in a four DVD set and/or
digital download, which will save you the shipping. For a very limited time, we’re making it
available for just $59.95 instead of the $99.99. That’s forty percent savings if you take
advantage of that soon. Again it’s going to be a limited time. Plus we’re going to include a set of Blick
Studio professional drawing pencils, the five that we use in the Five Pencil Method classes,
and that’s going to come with every order. So again this is available for only a short
time. I’d hate to have, if you had hoped to get
it, we’re going to try to make sure that everybody can see and hear about this, but
it will only be for a short time. There are six classes in total. We’re going to have a few critiques from
some of the students and it’s going to be over ten hours of drawing experience. I guess in site, I’m going to do my best
to try to explain things to you, and give you the opportunity to get started on maybe
something brand new. I know how hard it is and how intimidating
it is to look at a blank piece of paper and maybe not have the experience or you just
don’t know what to do. It’s really an intimidating thing. I want to try to encourage you to let me help
you. I want to do everything I can to explain and
to show you some things that will help you start off with that step. Then we’ll add another one and another one. I want you to realize that you too can do
some of this and it’ll just keep improving all the time. So go ahead and click on the button just below
this video. Let me go ahead and take your hand and pull
you into this experience and give you the opportunity to realize something that you
may have always wished you could do, and now here’s at least an encouragement of an opportunity
to do it. I just think a lot of times we don’t realize
what we can do. And as you keep going you find out, “Oh,
I do have a knack for this,” or, “I think this is within my scope of possibilities.” And so I just think it’s exciting to take
that step, and if I can help you take that step, that’s what I’d like to do. There’s very few of us that have all the
money we want, and when you go to purchase something that seems like it’s a lot of
money, I try to think about myself when I purchase a set of pots and pans. I’m going to be using these things for years. One of the nice things about having a set
of classes like this is you get to come back any time you want to and repeat the experience. Catch those things you might not have fully
remembered. It’s just like taking a trip. You take it more than once, you see things
you didn’t the first time and it just goes the same way. It makes it a pretty economical cost. I don’t always like to be in the position
of selling my stuff but I think that when you really get down to it I’m glad for the
opportunity to be able to create these. The Five Pencil Method Team, all spends a
tremendous amount of time putting these things out and yet we always try to make them as
economical as we possibly can. And giving you a long lasting experience,
not just a flash in the pan, like a vacation. That’s worth something, but it’s not like
a vacation where you have to come back home and the money’s spent and there you are. Again, you can just continue to experience
as many times as you want to and it just keeps making you into a better and better artist
yourself. Even if it’s not your profession, you still
have the opportunity to continue to improve or to reinforce what you thought and heard
or just have the experience over again. I think if you really look at the cost per
experience is really quite a bit less. You know, I think if you’re ever questioning
whether you have any creative ability, this is a great opportunity for you to start seeing
that you can have results. It should be something that isn’t so intimidating
and I think a lot of people don’t express themselves because they’re scared. They don’t know what to do. So if you have just been influenced by the
great pictures you’ve seen somebody else do and, “Oh, I don’t think I could even
draw a straight line,” here is an opportunity for you to go ahead and be able to express
yourself at whatever level you might enter the project. It could be so basic. So simple. And then you find out what can be accomplished
in its simplicity and you might just want to go further or, like I said, do it again
and again. If you’re just in a situation where you’ve,
maybe it’s grief therapy. I’ve had many students that have come into
my classes over the years and lost a loved one or had a terrible thing happen and have
used it as an opportunity to get away just experience something positive. Something else. Maybe it was that place you remember as a
child. Or you shared it with somebody at some point
in your life. That moment you were all by yourself and were
so inspired. Might depend on your livelihood, your work
space, or your work place. I’m in a studio right now that isn’t that
big. I have other places to go, but I’m going
to be drawing something that can take me beyond these walls. I think the possibilities are endless I think
that each one of you, of course I’m just making suggestions, but I think each one of
you have an opportunity, to not only get our of yourself or your space and do something
you thought you might never be able to do have a feeling, almost a deja vu, like you’ve
been there before. And you might be able to do something that
interprets it a little different, something maybe even more ideal than you remember, taking
the basics a little further. That’s the wonderful thing about art, you
can add a different sky. You can add a tree. You can put a little stream or whatever it
is in a drawing. Anyway, if you’re a child, or you’re retired,
I want you to be able to have the opportunity to say, “You know what? One thing I’m always glad I did, and that
is, I picked up those pencils. And I actually did something about it.” It’s real easy to procrastinate on fulfilling
your dream. There’s so many people I meet and they say
“I wish that I had drawn years ago.” It’s easy to put it off, have it out of
sight, out of mind, forget, you get busy, get distracted, and you may not capitalize
on this opportunity. Go ahead and take that opportunity now and
click on the button just below the video.

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