Part Three, Project 2, Exercise 3 – 360° studies

Choose an expansive landscape where you have an open view in all directions. Start one drawing looking north. Use your viewfinder to find a focal point, frame your view and complete a 15-minute drawing.  Then turn your stool on the same spot to face west, south and east. Each time repeat the process of finding a focal point and complete another 15-minute drawing.  This exercise should teach you how the landscape view changes by just shifting your viewpoint slightly. Many artists return to a favourite spot and, simply by shifting their viewpoint, see something entirely different in the landscape.

I chose to do this exercise from the middle of my local park, because the views are expansive.  I achieved all four pictures in about 15 minutes each.

NORTH

This view looks out towards the M6 beyond a football pitch surrounded by trees.  The sun was coming from the south to inspire of the fact there was bright sun, there are few really defined shadows falling across the grass.    It was such a beautiful there was little to observe in the sky either- no clouds!  The motorway lights were twinkling white in the distance over the road and there was deep dark shadow under the flyover and within the trees, especially on the left of the pitch.

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EAST

This view was interesting, but complex, to capture.     The path leads through a row of trees, beyond which is a playground.  The sun put deep shade under the trees, but beyond parts of the playground were still in bright sunshine.  Beyond that there were more trees- again in shade.  As I was drawing from a distance I couldn’t home in on some of this detail, but hope I captured the sense of it. I think this was the first time I really managed to do a quick simple sketch of a group of trees without getting hung up on being overly accurate!  I like the way they are planted in a row, and the repetition of their trunks and the space between the trunks.

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WEST

Looking towards houses to the side of the park.  This time there is dark defined shadow rom the trees draped across the grass, which gives more of a sense of sunshine.  This sketch also contains repetition in the shapes of the roofs.  The path leads the eye through the sketch.

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SOUTH

Although this direction was probably the least appealing in reality I think the sketch is the more interesting of the four.  Mainly because the trees have more variety and shape.  The houses were interesting to draw and there is deep shade on the bank under the hedges.  The sun was coming from in front of me, but there is no real shade from the trees on the grass- I hadn’t noticed this at the time, but it was the middle of the day so the sun was probably high and I was standing low down at the level of the path.  Beyond the path there is a bank which rises up and puts the top of the bank at my eyeline, at the level of the shadow in the background.  When I look at the thumbnail photo of this view, taken from above the bank, there IS shadow, and It is clear that the bank is shielding tree shadows from me.

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