Project 1 – Hard or Soft Landscape

For this exercise we are asked to choose a view tha is either a hard or soft landscape (i.e. buildings or rural type of scene). As I am surrounded by a mix of both hard and soft landscape, I decided to incorporate both elements into the same piece, so I hope I haven’t gone against the grain of what is required.

As the weather was bright yesterday, I decided to walk around our part of the estate where I live and do some quick sketches of interesting perspectives / compositions. I used an A2 cartridge paper sketchbook and divided it up into 6 sections with blue tape. However when I removed the taped it tore away some of the surface (which I find quite interesting! to look at, but I digress). I strengthened the rough pencil sketches with Tombow markers to increase the tonal areas. I decided to choose the last composition to use as the starting point for my painting.

6 x tonal studies in pencil and Tombow marker pens o A2 cartridge paper

For this exercise I decided to use my last sheet of Galeria canvas paper, which is 16″ x 12. I first primed it with a mixture of red and orange acrylic paint. I chose thise undertone as I knew I would be using a lot of green in the painting and wanted it to have some inner spark and vibrancy. for my palette, I used cerulean blue and white for the sky. Pyrrole red and Permanent Green Deep mixed to create the darkest tones. I used Permanent Yellow Light and Yellow ochre, as well as Lemon Yellow mixed with the darker tone to create various shades of green for the mass of the tree shapes and the undergrowth, weeds and wildflowers around the fence. I used a mixture of pyrrole red, ultramarine blue, white and yellow to create the shadow on the building and pathway. For the building face I used white, Permanent Yellow Light and a touch of pyrrole red. I used sgraffito to carve out some of the branches into the darker paint and a fan brush for some of the plant detail.

Hard/Soft Landscape – Cobra wm oils on Galeria canvas paper 16×12″

I am quite pleased with the colours in this little piece, as I’ve managed to capture the really bright green of the field in the right middle-ground (behind the trees) and also the fabulous solid blue of the sky, without it looking too twee. I have resisted the urge to try and paint anymore detail in and tried to leave it light with just dabs of colour here and there to suggest flowers and foliage. I am happy with the building shapes too – overall I think i’ve successfully captured both the soft shapes of the natural plants and trees, as well as the harder lines of the buildings and fence.

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