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5-minute landscapes

Try four techniques for sketching landscapes quickly and easily, by Virginia Hein


Fast drawing techniques on the move

Work with thumbnails

Try something different

Virginia Hein Highway 395 North, Eastern Sierras, California, USA. My quick sketch ‘training’ has been years of sketching from the passenger seat on road trips – seeing how quickly I can put down impressions of the landscape rushing by. Of course, it helps when the terrain changes slowly!


Here we’ll look at some ways to get you sketching quickly. I encourage you to be bold, and be ready to make ‘mistakes’ – lots of them! Think of what might look like a mistake to you as simply the result of an experiment. Quick sketching is a great antidote to perfectionism, a tendency that dogs many an artist. When you make a regular habit of quick sketching, you begin to lose the feeling of disappointment or failure if your sketch isn’t exactly what you planned on: you know you can just turn the page and dive in again. This is the attitude of a quick sketch: welcome each ‘mistake’ and be open to every ‘happy accident’ as a door to new discoveries.


One of the great things about quick sketching is that it’s something you can do on the fly. I always have at least one small sketchbook with me wherever I go, and never lack for subjects. Landscape subjects can be found in surprising places. I often do passenger sketching out the window on car trips and find little landscapes through café windows.


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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Leisure Painter - Feb-18
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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the February issue of Leisure Painter, including our 16-page art holidays and courses guide. Leisure Painter publishes a wide range of inspiring and practical tutorials and projects for the beginner and amateur painter each month, from step-by-step demonstrations from photographs to illustrated techniques, practical tips and ideas for making the most of your favourite hobby, and plenty of inspiration to pick up your brush and try for yourself. This month: how to paint landscapes in different styles using watercolour, acrylics, oils and pastels. There are ideas for portrait painting and 5-minute sketching exercises. If you're new to watercolour painting, you'll need David Webb's step-by-step tutorial on how to stretch paper. There are drawing exercises ( yes, you can learn to draw well!), first steps in abstraction, Japanese ink techniques to paint a frog, and ideas on how to fill your sketchbooks. Have fun with your hobby this month.