Nature sketches in all its beauty is a job well done when you start with a few basic drawing principles to help you out.
Whether you opt for a forest scene, the beach, a desert landscape or want to capture the essence of your garden at home, following a few simple rules to keep your nature sketches in balance will cut the chaos and confusion when getting started.
Find Your Desired Vantage Point
The vantage point is the artist's conception of where to center the landscape and create around the horizon. Your vantage point may be slightly elevated for a sweeping view over an apple orchard, a bird's eye view from a soaring eagle or a peek through the trees at an open field. Your vantage point is also going to be your reference for adding depth and sizing to your sketching.
Line Up A Frame In Your Head
To get a frame for the portion of the landscape you wish to focus on, extend your index finger and thumb into an L-shape on both hands to create a box.
Then, look through the "box" and narrow your vision of the wide open space. Once you have the vision and concept, concentrate on that contained area and begin to draw what you see.
Set the Horizon Line
Your horizon line is going to separate sky from ground or water and may be set to the center of the sketch pad or slightly higher or lower depending on the detail you wish to draw. Nature sketches that focus on billowy clouds or birds in the air will require a lower horizon than art projects concentrating on lakes and trees. You are the boss and your sketch is going wherever you take it. There is no right or wrong, so loosen up your mind and just begin.
For instance, if you want to create a line of light through the trees, the top of the tree leaves will be gently outlined to indicate a light strike from the sun and the underneath portion will be shaded to create a shadow. The placement of light and dark strokes can be anywhere on your canvas, however, the line of light must be straight as a rod the way it is in the natural environment.
A successful landscape sketch must have perspective that depicts objects getting smaller as they disappear into the background. Useful tools when creating perspective include highways, bridges, stepping stones and anything else that you can gradually make smaller as it creates the illusion of depth. In a nutshell, if you wish to add a road to the foreground of your sketch, simple narrow the parallel edges as the road moves toward your horizon line.
And don't forget to keep your additional objects to scale with your perspective view, ergo, flowers, trees and animals will be the same size as your diminishing county road.
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