Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we’ve looked at drawing a landscape on sanded art paper. I began the series by describing the first round of layering and blending color. The second part covered the next phase of work.
If you see something you don’t like, make corrections. I didn’t like the way the trees on the right side of my landscape looked. They were nearly inseparable visually.
To correct that problem I added a strip of sunlight in front of the dark tree to separate it from the lighter tree in front of it. I used Light Yellow near the tree, and blended it into the greens already on the paper toward the left.
On the right, I added a few strokes of White to emphasize the brightness of the light streaming in from that direction. To bring the smaller, lighter green tree further into the foreground, I extended the bottom edge with Light Green, and touches of Light Yellow.
Next, I added a cast shadow with Hooker’s Green applied with heavy, horizontal strokes, then added another patch of sunlit grass in front of that tree with Light Yellow and Sap Green. Once again, I made the highlight brighter on the right and blended it into the color already on the paper toward the center of the composition.
Finally, I went over the foreground with Sap Green, Light Green, and Hooker’s Green, all applied with heavy pressure and using the side of the pencil. I also added a few touches of Brown in the darker areas to tone down the green, then blended the new work with turpentine.
Step 13: Overcoming an error in judgment
Instead of creating smooth, rich color, the turpentine blend produced a few blotchy patches that were nearly impossible to cover with new color. The paper in those areas felt the same as the rest of the paper, but behaved like slick paper.
I tried softer Prismacolor pencils and harder Faber-Castell Polychromos, all to no avail. The only options I could see were to A) blend the entire thing with turpentine and take my chances, B) abandon it until I could find a way to restore enough tooth to finish it, or C) finish it the best I could and see what happened.
Derwent Drawing pencils are soft pencils, and are also said to be quite opaque, so I layered Chinese White over the blended area in the field. That didn’t cover everything, but it covered enough that I was able to layer Light Green and Light Yellow over it, then add a few darker accents with Sap Green.
The result wasn’t totally satisfactory, but it made continuing worthwhile. If you run into this same type of problem after a solvent blend, I recommend trying one of these pencils to cover the area so you can “start over,” so to speak.
With my problem solved, I continued shading the shadows cast by the trees on the right with Dark Blue, Brown, and Hooker’s Green. I also layered Sap Green and Hooker’s Green over the nearest part of the field to create a better transition between cast shadows and sunlit field.
The whitest parts of the clouds were also burnished with White.
In both cases, I worked horizontally to fill as much of the paper’s tooth as possible.
Next, I added Marine Green accents to the most distant trees with heavy pressure and a stippling stroke. I followed up by adding a few lighter accents of Jade Green using heavy pressure, but mixing stippling strokes with squiggly strokes.
In the next row of trees, I combined stippling, squiggly, and directional strokes to darken the shadows. I also added a few Grass Green accents in the trees on the left, and finished by adding a few Cream accents on the sides facing the light. These warmer, lighter colors brought those trees forward enough to separate them from the more distant trees.
I alternated patches of Cream, Lemon Yellow, and Dark Green in the field, applying each color in horizontal strokes. In the patches of sunlight, I started with heavy pressure on the right and reduced pressure as I stroked to the left to mimic the way sunlight falls across the land. In some areas, I layering colors side by side and let them mix visually. In other areas I layered one color over another.
I finished each of the two cast shadows on the right with Dark Green with a vertical stroke near the trees, and a horizontal stroke as the shadows stretch away from the trees. I also used heavy pressure near the trees, and decreased pressure further from the trees.
Step 16: Finishing the landscape
I finished the lower part of the drawing by adding alternating layers of Lemon Yellow and Olive Green in directional, vertical strokes to simulate grass. In the darker areas, I used Prismacolor Light Umber to tone down and darken the green. Brighter highlights were added with Caran d’Ache Luminance White.
In the background, I added patches of bright color in the middle values just beyond the cast shadows, and used Olive Green to add a few more details to the trees in the far left distance.
Due to my earlier problems with solvent blending, I didn’t fuss over this landscape as much as I usually do. It turned out to be more of a learning experience than anything else. But that doesn’t mean I regret the work put into it.
I definitely learned some things NOT to do for my next sanded art paper landscape, and that alone was worth all the time I put into this piece. Hopefully this tutorial has helped you as well!