This week in my online class Field Sketching for Landscape Painters we are using pen and ink and wash techniques. This has been a favorite sketching medium of artists for centuries and it is ideally suited for landscape work. Both Rembrandt and Corot used it to great effect and we've studied examples of their work as well as 19th century American artists like William Trost Richards.
This was done in an area called Lennox Woods, an old growth hardwood forest about 6 miles from us. It is one of the few remaining areas like this in the state and this one is particularly diverse given our location in the far northeastern corner of Texas. The Lennox family preserved it and gave about 300 acres to the Nature Conservancy. The forest is part of the Pecan Bayou watershed. I am working on a series of paintings inspired by Lennox Woods so I am over there a lot sketching.
I used a dip pen with a Hunt #512 nib, india ink and a small brush to apply the washes. The drawing is on Arches cold pressed watercolor paper. All images can be clicked for a larger view.
We are in week 2 of my online class Field Sketching for Landscape Painters. The idea for this class came from two of my students who expressed concerns about their drawing skills and the challenges of working outdoors. One of the things I have noticed over the many years I have painted plein air and taught plein air painting is that most students are not really ready to take on the rigors of outdoor work. Most do not have the drawing skills, but those who do, fair much better. That combined with my interest in 19th century landscape painters and their working methods, led me to design a course which would give students some basic skills in drawing the landscape as an important prerequisite to painting it.
Our text for the class is John Ruskin's The Elements of Drawing which was so influential for American landscape painters in the 19th century. Combining Ruskin's drawing exercises with other assignments, students are building drawing skills for creating form, understanding value, and learning to slow down to appreciate and understand Nature as artist/naturalists. Here is some of their work.
Caroline Simmill, Moray, Scotland
Ash tree- Ruskin exercise Caroline Simmill
Brian McGurgan, Astoria, NY
Ruskin exercise Bea Lancton, Fredericksburg, TX
Ruskin exercise Jamie Kirkland, Santa Fe, NM
Ruskin exercise Jamie Kirkland
Jan Delipsey, Dallas, TX
copy of Wm. Trost Ruchards drawing Phoebe Chidester, Clearwater, FL
We got back home about a week ago and have feverishly been trying to get caught up and back down to earth (literally, from 9,000 ft to about 400!). It was an exciting trip with lots of wonderful interludes- seeing old friends at the PAPNM show, the workshop, meeting new friends, and visiting with family. As usual I failed miserably at taking enough photos. No photos of Steve's "gumbo night" party, Kyoko's tempura feast, and a dozen other things. But, here are a few.