Sketching the composition – Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Work fast – if you’re doing quick sketches 7 x 10 cm allow yourself 10 minutes each

1.    Reduce your landscape elements to 7-8 large shapes and draw these first, these shapes should cover the whole paper (count the background also). Make sure your 7-8 shapes are different sizes and try to make one shape larger than the rest. Don’t add any details at this stage. You will not have a pleasing finished result if your foundations have not been properly laid.
2.    Fill your shapes with a least 5 different tones. Black the darkest, white the lightest and 3-4 mid-tones
3.    Think about where you want to direct the viewer’s eye - this will be the focal point of your painting. An easy way to do this is to divide your drawing area into thirds and put your centre of interest on one of the 4 dissecting points.


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4.    Use counterchange to make your centre of interest stand out. (counterchange is when you have a very dark tone next to a very light tone the contrast attract the eye).