Thursday, March 26, 2009

Abstracted Landscape Sketches

The following pictures were done for the first landscape assignment in my Abstract Composition class. The assignment was to do a black and white sketch of a landscape. I did three sketches. I chose the reference photo for this sketch because it was a natural for abstracting. I also liked the element of repetition provided by the moon's reflection in the water. (see photo at the end of this blog entry) In each sketch i used different tools to achieve different stroke characteristics and experiment with using stroke direction and quality to affect mood.
I specifically wanted to create a dynamic and moody effect in the the above drawing so I used a Japanese calligraphy pen. This pen is like a fountain pen except that it has a brush tip (hair) rather than a nib. Its great for getting dry brush effects in a drawing as well as creating areas of dense blacks. (see the brush pen at

In the drawing above I wanted to create an energetic vibrancy with the brush strokes. here i used several variously shaded gray Tombow markers that have a simulated brush tip that is merely an extended felt tip. Not easy to get dry brush effects but nice for making marks of varying width. Denser areas were created using a brush of 80% shade and overlapping the strokes. (

In the last one, pharecamp3 I wanted to create a serene meditative mood. Here i combined the use of the brush pen and the Tombow felt tips markers. I used 20-30% shaded felt tip marker sides to create broad horizontal strokes and overlapped the marks to create the water and sky. I used the same method on the denser shaded areas going back and forth with an 80% shaded Tombow marker and the brush tip pen.

The following picture is the reference photo I used for this assignment. It was taken by my husband on a birdwatching expedition. It was that recent crisp winter night when the moon was the closest to the earth that it would be all year...

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