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Quick And Easy Pen & Ink Landscapes


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Quick and Easy Pen & Ink Landscapes:

"What can I draw from my imagination in the limited time I get from my busy schedule without any prior drawing experience"

This is a question I often get asked and one that newcomers to art are often confronted with. In this post, I will describe a pleasing landscape that can be done quickly using simple steps. All you need is a good gel pen, a paper and a positive attitude. Drawing is not just for 'artists'. Every one of us can engage and enjoy this creative pursuit even with our limited time. Vol 6 of my workbook series covers this in detail.

Here is a pleasing landscape that we will learn to draw step by step. The key elements of the drawing are highlighted below and in different steps, we will see how these elements can be easily drawn.


Step 1: Draw Horizon

First step is to draw the horizon in the shape of a flattened U using broken line as shown below.


Step 2: Drawing Surface Contours:

Horizon line drawn in step 1 indicates far out. In front of it lies the middle and foreground. The contour or surface shape of this area is next indicated by using curved parallel lines as shown below. These simple contour lines transforms a blank white space into pleasing indication of ground form.


Step 3: Indicating Ground Cover (Grass):

Grass is next drawn on these contour lines using small curved lines as shown below. Together with contour lines, this completes the drawing of ground.


Step 4: Drawing Distant Tree Line:

A distant tree line on horizon adds lot of visual interest and with its darker tone provides a nice contrast and a focal point for our eyes to rest. This is drawn next.


Step 5: Drawing Background Element:

Furthest out behind the distant tree line is the backdrop of a hill or a mountain. A backdrop like a hill below provides a very pleasing focal point for our eyes to rest as they travel from the foreground to background. A house, a church or any other such element can further be added at the top of the hill to add further interest.


Step 6: Finishing with Sky:

Sky is finally added to set the mood of the drawing. This contrast from lighter foreground surface to darker distant element and hills to again lighter sky makes the drawing appealing and draws viewers interest.


This completes this overview of drawing quick and easy pleasing pen and ink landscapes. For more details on strokes and other considerations for drawing different elements covered above you can visit my completely free Tutorials page, or better yet, get the following pen and ink drawing workbook from Amazon.

Available for only $6 from Amazon and other online retailers, this workbook covers the above steps in full details with step by step illustration of strokes and hands on activities. With coverage of lots of other options for drawing such landscapes, you will be able to draw the following in no time. For more information on the workbook, pl. click here



Happy Drawing,





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Not bad, but I'll observe that the distant element looks better when it's drawn lighter than the foreground element. The first drawing in Step Five is a better rendition of the distant mountain than when its filled in.

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Ssomething about perspective seems to make the filled in distant hills work.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.



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It may be a taste thing, but I find it diminshes the sense of atmosphere and its action on distant objects.

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Due to atmospheric dispersion of light, objects tend to have less visibility and hence less tone as they go further out but it doesn't imply that any object further back need to always have less tone than the one in foreground. The inherent tone of an object and its size also comes into consideration, and a background hill that is drawn at relatively bigger size as in this drawing can be given darker tone compared to thin grass covered foreground. What is important is that if another hill is drawn much further out and hence much smaller in size, then it should be given lighter tone than the one in foreground.


It is indeed a personal taste and I like hills bit darker (as long as they don't look odd) as they then act as focal points and draw attention of the viewer and also provides a nice contrast with the sky. As mentioned, I have covered these cases and many other in vol 6 of the workbook.


Here are 2 drawings from the workbook, one with lighter hill and another with darker hill contrasted with a mountain. I like the darker one as well but other might differ.




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