Exercise 1: Developing your studies

This exercise called for me to draw upon my observations so far, the main thing I have noticed with my landscapes, the focal point is often small, subtle or even non existent. This is likely because I am having to find suitable areas to draw for the exercises rather than having inspiration hitting me and seeing something that would be interesting to draw.
For this image, I wanted to draw on some of the things I have enjoyed and found interesting to draw, I hope that will make my efforts more interesting and hopefully even a little dramatic.

I wanted my composition to have some depth, I wanted to portray some receding landscapes, some rolling hills and valleys all under a dramatic sky, much like I saw in Constables works. My main focal point would be a cut/broken tree trunk, as you look past that other things will lead you through.
I divided my scene in layers, my focal point up front, this would show the most contrast and detail, as we journey through the drawing, we see a deep forest, this would be less contrasty, but have dark to mid tones, finally the far distance, this would offer the less contrast and me much lighter in value, I only wanted to imply detail here as it would be too far away to carry minute visual information.

I worked to my strength of understanding to the mediums I had been using, Pencil offers me control, and come in a wealth of tones, if I require darker tones and soft edges I can select a pencil that will help with that. Clouds seemed to be well suited to this medium, I can work the graphite into the paper smudge and blend hard edges to soft and get a good degree of control into my marks and gestures.

I really have enjoyed using diluted drawing ink with a brush, the varied brushes offer a wealth of pattern and marks, the fan brush when suitably loaded with diluted ink, starts to clump and lends itself nicely to building dense foliage, it also means I don’t have to work with line, I want my line work saved for the main focal point.
For the tree stump, I used a combination of fine liners and diluted ink, this line and wash technique was how I hoped to retain the white of the paper and some nice deep blacks, offering a good range of contrast.

Some composition thumbnails

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