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Learn to Draw: Landscape

Lesson 1 of 7


Amy Wynne

Learn to Draw: Landscape

Amy Wynne

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Lesson Info

1. Introduction

Lesson Info


Hi, I'm Amy Wynne, and we are in this beautiful park in Rhode Island, where I'm gonna be teaching you something about landscape drawing. Landscape drawing is quite possibly one of my very favorite things to do. I love to be outdoors. I love to be under a canopy of trees. And I love hiking around and gaining inspiration form the natural world. So, I'm gonna talk a little bit about connectivity to the natural world in this lesson. But I'm also gonna be talking about how we can compose a landscape drawing, how to create preliminary sketches, how to use materials wisely, and also how to create an efficient, portable kit to take out with you when you're drawing. So one of the things that I really find important is traveling light. Like you really don't need to bring a giant, heavy backpack and a lawn chair to go draw outside. In fact, if that's your mode of doing things, over time you're just gonna be exhausted, and not really wanna do it anymore. So we really wanna inspire you to keep draw...

ing and make it simple, so I'm gonna show you what I do and maybe that'll give you some ideas to make it a little less daunting to go outside. So one thing that I find really important is to have a variety of sizes of sketchbooks. I mean, maybe two. I like this 9X12 size and then I like a smaller one. This is more of a softcover, and this is more of a hardcover. So if you have a hardcover sketchbook, with a spiral binding, it actually makes it so you don't really need to bring a drawing board with you, because it's gonna support your paper and not bend on you. So a couple of different types of drawing surfaces is really, really nice to have. A clip is really nice to have because a clip is going to save you in windy weather. So the weather is always an issue. Whether it's sunny or cloudy, the light's gonna change, a storm might come outta nowhere, so you always wanna be prepared. And for me, I don't really like my drawing paper flapping around in the wind, so I always have a little clip with me to hold it down securely. Another thing that I bring with me is a view catcher or a view finder. This is adjustable. This is sort of a fancy one, but you could certainly make this out of cardboard. It's basically a device that you can use like a simple zoom lens that helps you choose your composition. So we're gonna be talking about how to choose a composition, how to compose a picture in a way that's very beautiful. So this is a great device for that. And the last thing that I wanna show you is my travel kit for my drawing materials. And it's never fun to have like all your pencils fall to the bottom of a giant bag and not be able to find anything. So what I like to do is organize things like, something like this. You could certainly throw things into like a cigar box, or a little drawing pouch. But I like this because everything, I can see everything, I can find everything, and as soon as I wanna pull a particular pencil out, I know where it is. The other thing, too, is I mean, you could just go out with a 2B pencil, like a yellow pencil and sketch quite a nice picture, but I like having a variety of things, because sometimes when I arrive at a spot I'm not sure, initially, really what I wanna do for the final drawing, and so having a combination of a couple of pens and a couple of pencils is a nice thing to have. In addition, having an eraser, and, you know, a way to sharpen your pencils, a nice thing to bring along. So, artists throughout history have been drawing the landscape. And it's really important for my process to continually look at artists' drawings to get inspiration. And I really encourage you to start developing an image library. Start just downloading landscape drawings that you like and note who the artists are. Like some of them might be more old school. Some of them might be from the past, and some of them might be contemporary artists. And if you create a file for that, or even print some of those drawings out, like I've done here, like this Seurat drawing, I really love because it shows sort of a really active, kind of almost like frenetic way of putting marks down. And I, and this is sort of an industrial scene, which I like. Very different than the scene we have here. So you also may notice whether you're interested in sort of doing a more natural scene, or if you're drawn to more urban landscapes. And both of those are really great to draw. And then this Schiele drawing is also one of my very favorites. It's sort of a meandering line, it's a very different use of material, but it, too, is more of an urban scene, or a town scene. So there's so many different ways to approach it, and in this course I'm gonna show you a couple of different ways in and also show you some images that are gonna help you be inspired. So, drawing outdoors is a really amazing way to connect with your world and connect with nature. So, I'd love to get started to show you some great strategies.

Class Description

Join instructor and professional painter, Amy Wynne, as she teaches this introduction to drawing the landscape. She’ll share how to use a fountain pen, brushes, water, a pencil and a viewfinder to go out and capture the space and environment around you.

In this class, Amy will cover:

  • Surveying the landscape: seascapes, countryside, and industrial
  • Composition: nature sketching as a sensory diary
  • Using a viewfinder
  • Choosing your sky to land ratio
  • Achieving depth in your drawings
  • Establishing atmosphere and shadows

Amy will end the course with a series of drawing challenges to get you outside and drawing more every day! She’ll challenge you to draw the view from your car dashboard or your window at different times of day, keeping drawings in a field sketch journal.

Amy has been teaching painting and drawing for over 20 years at colleges across New England including the Rhode Island School of Design.

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Diane Boland

Amy is an excellent at teaching in a clear and concise way and getting exactly to the point. A good brief introduction to get you started in landscape drawing. I'm not sure it was exactly as I expected but the information presented is important for any beginner. Class was fairly brief but I still need to learn to put what I see down. My tree looks nothing like hers. This is where i need help next and was not really covered. I could easily take more of her classes if she had them.

a Creativelive Student

I cannot understand the few people who were critical of this class. She gives dozens of excellent ideas for the beginning landscape artist. Especially helpful was the explanation and use of the viewfinder to focus your drawing. Five stars fom me to her. Thank you! Extremely helpful and inspirational.


Good tips on relaxing and enjoying the outdoors before you begin drawing. Great course.