Posted in 01 Thinking about landscape, Coursework, Part One ~ Beauty and the sublime

Exercise 1.1 Preconceptions

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.

maxresdefault-1 norsigian-ansel-adams-yosemite-valley.jpg

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.




Hi, I'm ChloeClik, artist, writer, photographer, musician, day dreamer and all round lover of life. I love so much in life and equally love to blog about it. I hope you enjoy sharing some of my adventures with me :)

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