Pick up a pencil and draw a very rough sketch of a landscape picture.
- What shape is the picture
- What sort of terrain is depicted
- What’s in it. Are there people?
- How are the subjects arranged?
- How might you describe the mood of the picture.
I was very pleased to see the course began with an art project. Art is so important to me, my dream is to become a children’s book artist. I automatically drew this landscape. As of June I have been creating and drawing the adventures of my character Freckles the fox cub who travels round the world and I have drawn in many landscapes. Therefore as I began to draw it immediately unfolded into the world I had created for her.
Reviewing it I saw how I’d followed some of the conventional landscape rules whilst adding other elements naturally.
- Composing with a foreground to add depth, perspective, interest and draw the eye
- Drawn in a landscape orientation. Though vertical works well to enhance certain features like an open sky.
- Following on with hills and a blur of wild flowers.
- Another hill clipping the middle ground to create depth.
- Rising mountains with snow capped peaks. Two curving in from both sides.
- A waterfall thundering down the rocks
- A dramatic sky with birds in silhouette.
- Freckles herself in the foreground.
- The mood is generally always bright, happy and optimistic which reflects my own character.
- Built up in layers foreground, middle ground, background, distance.
Whilst the landscape is partly from my imagination and partly from a blend of pictures I’ve created of the Glacier National Park in North America,, you can see as the project continued I developed the composition of landscape in different ways but the mountains always seem to feature and the flowers in the foreground.
There is almost a similarity of the photos of Yosemite, below is an example photographed by the revered Ansel Adams. Of course the mood is a complete contrast, bright and happy with dark and moody. Could it be said that that one of the many reasons Ansel Adams landscape photography appeals is because it has such a swell of harmony of ones interpretation of a beautiful landscape.
Going back to the exercise, I realised that I didn’t even think about adding people in my drawing, perhaps that shows that in my mind a landscape is something to do with nature as opposed to manmade elements and I feel empowerment from seeing a landscape unharnessed and free from control. Could nature itself be the character I wish to photograph.
Perhaps that in turn shows a part of my character. Being ill most of my life I have been unable to go and visit exotic places, that saying some days I can’t leave the house I am so ill but the desire is so powerful in me to be with nature. It could have been a subconscious decision to choose this course. Whilst initially I thought I had chosen it because I love the landscape, nature and have always loved landscape photography. My love of photography goes back to when I was only an infant. My parents let me use their film camera to take a photo. I promptly turned around and took a photo of an old coke bottle lying in the gutter. While Mum and Dad were laughing about how I’d wasted the film a man walked by, “I am a professional photographer and that is art,” and thus began my love of photography. I’ve shot on everything from a disposable camera to a tiger shaped camera but my three loves are my DSLRS. The Pentax is now my sisters but the Canon 60D and 70D barely leave my side.
I always want to look beyond the outer layer of a conventional landscape and see the stories and worlds within.
Already exercise one has formulated many questions in my mind.
- If anyone did this exercise would there always be an echo of familiarity throughout all the images.
- If children from different cultures created a landscape drawing from their imagination would there be any similarities. Is the idea of a standard landscape innate to us just as a face is. Excluding of course those who have never been subjected to another person or landscape.
To answer the first question of course all I need to do is gather together the pictures from everyone else on the course and position them together.