Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tiered Fantasy Landscape Step-by-Step #FantasyLandscapeStepOut #FantasyLandscape #FantasyLandscapeStepByStep

The tools you'll need for this step-by-step:

  • A pencil
  • An eraser - a good plastic or kneadable eraser would be best.
  • A pen - Any pen will work. If you intend to watercolor after drawing, use a waterproof inked pen.  I use Tombow's Fudenosuke hard tip brush pen or Pigma Micron.  Both are water-proof, but the Fudenosuke must dry a while first.   
  • Paper.  I recommend at least 5 x 7 inch.  You may want to go larger depending on whether you intend to tangle or color it when you are done.
Last week, I posted a step-by-step showing one way to use a Portrait Orientation to create a tall landscape.

The second reason to use portrait? To draw a tiered landscape, where there are sections separated by roads, rivers, fences or walls.  Tiered landscapes are great for people who like to draw rows of the same object.

As I sat down to write this step-by-step, I realized that I should have introduced roads first, but I'll do that later.  For today, we are using Striped Roads, which cut your landscape into sections.

Tiered Fantasy LandscapeStep-by-step
For my step-by-step example, I decided that I wanted something more open than my first example, and a composition that moved from side to side rather than having rigid tiers as I did above.

The first thing to do is to pencil in the lines where your roads will go.  This gives you a guide in placing objects, but allows the necessary overlapping. In fact, you might want to do the whole drawing in pencil first (you'll see why that's wise as we go further on).

The object closest to the viewer (other than the lowest road) is this Tall Tree, so it is the first thing drawn.  Note, the extra branches in the tree.  I'll discuss that further, below.

I mentioned that this drawing will be more open than the first example.  I'm going to do that by having fewer objects.  

But I want the drawing more open, not just simpler.  So I'm adding fewer objects but more detail lines and making the relationship between objects more complex. Here, I added more branches to the tree, and more complexity between the trees by having the wall in between them.

Guide Rule: In a crowded drawing, have more objects, less detail and less complexity.  In a open drawing have fewer objects, more detail and more complexity.   

Now - that line of grass.  I was tempted to tell you that I intended to show you the value of drawing everything in pencil first. The truth is I woke up stupid this morning.  It happens to us all, so I thought this was a good time to address it.

Before I address the problem, though, I'll talk about the second rock wall.  I mentioned that I wanted a side to side flow, and I want to start establishing that flow.  I knew where my chicks would go, and that the wall wouldn't interfere.   

I didn't draw the wall on the lower left, because I wanted the eye to jump up to middle wall.  

So what was the problem with the grass?  

I wanted two more trees in the lower left.. While drawing the second wall was planned, the grass was in the way.  I managed to slide the trunk  of the second Tall Tree into a gap in the grass, but my Who-lee Tree  is much shorter than I wanted.  The moral of the story? I'm not as happy with this drawing as I might have been, but probably no one will would have noticed, if I hadn't just told them. Drawing with pencil first helps with planning, but if you make this kind of error, just keep drawing. It will work out.

I added the Chicks, drawing five instead of eight.  Notice that I chose to have two standing in the road, and two that overlap. Fewer objects, more detail and more complexity.  The chicks also aid in the side-to-side flow by drawing the eye up toward the second wall.

In my Tall Portrait Fantasy Landscape  step-by-step, I talked about the weight of values (dark and light) and using them to help balance the landscape.  Since I had the dark values from the Who-lee Tree at the bottom right, I felt the need for some dark values in the middle and chose to draw more Who-lee Trees.

I also decided to leave out the Petal Plants and the Hummingbird to reduce the number of objects.

I drew another line of grass, which was planned.  However, I then had a new idea, which I felt would work better, but would make the grass a problem. Again.

My choice? I was going to draw the two Who-lee Trees, and draw Popcorn trees as I did in the first example, just fewer of them.

My new idea was to draw Flowering Artyjokes at the top and one Popcorn tree behind the Who-lee Trees.  Both of those objects have little 5-petal tips, which would echo each other, and help draw the eye up again. 

I decided in favor of the Artyjokes.  But because I'd already drawn the top row of grass, my Popcorn tree was a little stunted.

Did I confuse you by adding a third tree to the middle?

That does seem to break the rule of fewer objects, and it did mean I had to draw a tree that was shorter than I liked.  But it allowed for fewer objects at the top, and increased the complexity of the relationship between the top and the middle, because the petal tips echoed each other.

This is why art isn't easy.  Rules work until they don't.  An artist has to make choices and take chances.  I didn't break my rule for the drawing overall, but I did bend it for the middle section.

To finish I drew in the roads with pen.  In the first example, the roads provided white space between the crowded sections.  I decided to darken them to get the opposite effect in this drawing.  Note that I made fewer lines in the top road because it is farther away, and you can't see details as well from a distance.

Even though I said I was finished, when I looked at the drawing later, I felt there wasn't a real focus. The three sections had about the same weight.  The top had fewer objects, but was darker in value. The lower and middle had roughly the same number of objects and about the same values.  I thought it would be of interest to make the middle area the main focus and decided to do that by totally breaking my rule.  I added a couple of Starbushes which added more objects, but also increased the complexity of the overall drawing.

So now I have a drawing that is simpler than the first example, but less open than the second drawing. I didn't really break the guide rule that I established - I changed the game.  

Some things to think about when deciding between a crowded or an open drawing.
  • If you plan to add shading, then less complexity might be better.
  • If you plan to add tangle patterns then the fewer objects and less complexity the better.
  • If you plan to color either way would work.
In my fantasy landscape world there are two reasons to use a Portrait Orientation.  To emphasize something tall, or to create a tiered scene.

Your fantasy world may differ.  Can you think of other reasons why you might use a Portrait orientation?  Please leave a comment if you do.  I'm interested in knowing and suspect my other readers may be as well.

Next Friday, I'll have a step-wisely for you showing the three different roads you'll find in my fantasy world.

For a full list of Fantasy Landscape Step-outs, Step-by-steps, Step-wiselys and guide rules go here.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
Weekly Challenge #96: Tangle with Y-Z-A

Pattern-Collections Weekly String

Pattern Videos
Daily Tangle - Tak
Daily Tangle - Featherfall 2ter Teil
Daily Tangle - Holdgem + String 26
Daily Tangle - Edelsteine / Gemstones 1
Daily Tangle - Edelsteine / Gemstones 2
Starfish Barrel Tangle Pattern Lesson # 186
Starfish Double Barrel Tangle Pattern Lesson #187

New Patterns
Heart N Half
Starfish Goes Grid
How to Draw Papz
On the Slide
How to Draw Frunky

TangleHarmony Weekly Roundup
Go to Pattern Part 9

Fantasy Landscape Resources
New Permanent Page-List of Fantasy Landscape Step-Outs, Step-by-Steps, & Step-Wiselys

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts
Painting a Spanish Church Step by Step
Common Calligraphy Ink Problems + Solutions
How to Draw Water and Waves
Fluid Acrylic Painting Technique - Unexpected Red Rose Surprise
Sample of New Palette Magazine-Robert Burridge tutorial
Journal52 – Week 21 – Soar

Copic Team Changes & a Give-Away-Doodle Pack markers and Copic Sketchbook
36-Count GelWriter Premium Gel Pens Set Giveaway
Crafter's Companion USA giveaway-win one of four Mystery Box prizes
Beautiful Faces Scholarship and Giveaway
Win Artwork by Terra Nord
The Postman's Knock Giveaway-Finetec Pearl Colors palette
Kelly McKernan’s Ultimate Art Giveaway
Jetpens giveaway-Finetec Opaque Watercolors

Monteverde Canyon Rust Fountain Pen Ink Review
Sketchbook Review: Field Artist 4" Square Watercolor Journal

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fountain Pen Fantasy Landscape #FantasyLandscape #FountainPen #PenAndInk

Playing around with possible ideas for upcoming fantasy landscape step-outs.  I figured out a super, easy way to draw people!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Peek-A-Whoo! #Owl #BallpointPen #Z-Grip

Done on Clairefontaine Paper with ballpoint pen over partial coffee wash.  Zebra Z-grip colors - Purple, Dk Green, Lt. Green, and Orange.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

IF YOU are interested in my Fantasy Landscape/Step-Out series, please check out my poll here.

Wow! You guys were busy while I was away.

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
Weekly Challenge #95: Tangle with V-W-X
joey's weekly tangle challenge #166
Weekly Zentangle Challenge 317

"It's a String Thing" #196

Pattern Videos

New Patterns

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tall Portrait Orientation Fantasy Landscape Step-by-Step #FantasyLandscapeStepOut #FantasyLandscape #FantasyLandscapeStepByStep

Even though I'm posting this on a Tuesday, my plan is to post a Fantasy Landscape step-out or a step-by-step every Sunday, until I get tired of doing them, or all of you get tired of seeing them.

Starting out, I want to stress that I'm keeping it as simple as I can. I'll be sharing tips, techniques and ideas, but these are fantasy landscapes, so I'm making up the rules.  My rules will be influenced by the rules of drawing-composition, pattern, and perspective, but sometimes I'll break those rules. Gravity and science just aren't the same in a fantasy world - they are much kinder in mine.  Nobody ever grows old, either,  so you can keep on playing like a kid while you are drawing Fantasy Landscapes, lol.

Today, I'm starting with something very basic - the orientation of your piece of paper.  You probably know the two orientations, Portrait and Landscape.

Aha! You might think - and rightly - that the landscape orientation is better for landscapes.  It is. Except when it isn't.

So when would a portrait orientation be better for a landscape? In my fantasy world, there are two reasons for using a Portrait orientation.  I'll save one reason for another step-by-step.  Today, we are using Portrait because we want the viewer to think "How tall that xxxx is!"

As you see in the example below, there are short objects too, and there might be tall objects in a landscape orientation.  But you would choose portrait, if those trees (or other tall objects) are the focus of your drawing.

To draw a similar fantasy landscape, follow the step-by-step below.  Note, that I say similar.  It is slightly different.  I did that on purpose.  I'm drawing my fantasy world, and you should draw yours.  Don't try to make any two drawings exactly the same.

Good rule of thumb.  Read all the instructions before you start drawing!

Are you surprised that I chose the Tall Tree step-out to start with? 

This first tree will seem to be the closest, and all the other trees should be drawn behind it.

Notice that I didn't worry about getting my lines straight.  Trees in a fantasy landscape are wobbly (and most in real life too).  I also had an OOPs! about half way down.  I'm not going to edit out my oops.  I won't worry about them and you shouldn't worry about yours.  No one will notice in the finished piece.

Look at the bottoms of the trees.  The first tree is closest so none of the other trees should start lower than the first one.  These are wild trees, not orchard or nursery trees, so they don't grow in a straight row.  Stagger them.

Now look at the tops of the trees.  Even though the second and third trees started higher on the page, they are shorter than the first tree.  

Rule: In a landscape, something that sits higher is farther away in the distance, and may or may no be taller than closer objects.  The lowest point of the object is more important than the highest point in conveying distance.

Continue drawing more Tall Trees until you have 5-8 trees, depending on the size of your paper.

Now add some Grass Tufts.  Establish the horizon line, where the earth meets the sky.  This will be the highest line of grass tufts behind the trees and the furthest point away from the viewer (unless you add clouds or the sun).  Don't draw the line all the way across though.  You'll be adding some trees that are closer than the horizon line, but cross over it because they are so tall.

To the right, I added three Who-lee Trees, using the same steps as I did with the tall trees.  These two set of trees have a relationship of balance.  Each type of tree dominates one side of the page. But only one type should dominate the whole drawing, even if only a little. Therefore, when you draw the Who-lee Trees, you should think about the way they will relate to the Tall Trees.

One or the other should be dominate to the other.  I wanted the Tall Trees to dominate, so I drew fewer trees, and made all of them shorter than the tallest Tall Tree.  You might choose to let the Who-lee trees dominate.

I also made sure that the closest Who-lee Tree was further back than the closest Tall Tree, and the farthest was closer than the farthest Tall Tree.  I felt this gave a good sense of balance between the two types.  It isn't the only valid choice though.  You might want to try changing that relationship and see how it changes the feeling of the drawing.

The darkness of the 'wholes' still gives more dominance, but I'll take care of that a little later.

Next, add some Big Rocks.  The size of your rocks and the number you draw can make a big difference in the finished drawing.  Your rocks could become a wall, or you could have only a few big rocks that might rival the trees for attention.  I chose to use them as embellishment, adding a little interest, but not drawing the eye.  I also had another reason for keeping them fairly small.

Do you see him? I added a Bunny, who looks a bit like the Big Rocks and is about the same size.  If the rocks were bigger, the bunny would stand out more.  By keeping them about the same size, the bunny is partially hidden.  People might miss him, but those who find him will think he's a nice surprise.

I also decided to make my horizon line uneven and create a ridge 

I added to the ridge, by drawing a wobbly dividing line.  It definitely shouldn't be straight.  Are you familiar with the saying that 'Nature abhors a straight line'.  In most cases, you should avoid them in a landscape.

Then I added a line of dashes to indicate the edge of the ridge.  Now it looks like the bunny is hopping from one side to the other.

I drew the ridge hoping to add to the dominance of the Tall Trees, but  I actually like the first version of this drawing, without the ridge, better.  I believe if this were a landscape orientation rather than a portrait that the ridge would have worked because of the wider range of space.  And that's why landscape orientation is more often used - more room to explore the possibilities.  

I added a Petal Plant and Grass Tufts.  I made it the closest object to the viewer, so that the viewer measures more distance between the lowest object and the farthest object.  This tricks the eye into feeling there is more depth in the drawing.

I talked briefly about balance and dominance between the trees earlier, and I wanted my next addition to work toward that issue. This time I was looking at values - the degree of light and dark.  Those 'holes' in the Who-lee Trees are the darkest thing in the drawing, which gives them more weight than I want them to have.

I decided to add Starbushes, behind the Tall Trees.  They add more interest to the background, plus they have darker values, increasing the dominance of the Tall Trees.

Two Starbushes were enough in this case, though I used three in the first example.  The difference had to do with the size of the bushes, and the amount of darkness added to them.

And that brings me to another point.  Starbush has a pattern  inside of it, and it's a little difficult to draw that pattern while weaving it around the Tall Tree trunks (say that 9 times real fast, lol) .  But, in this case, the Starbushes are the farthest thing away from the eye.  And things in the distance are always more blurry, less detailed and less attention is paid to them.  The moral being - don't worry about getting the pattern right.  The dark values are more important, If the Starbush was up front and closer, then you should spend more time getting the pattern just right.

And I feel that gives you enough to think about.  I hope this was helpful.  On Sunday, I'll tackle the other kind of Portrait Landscape.

For a full list of Fantasy Landscape Step-outs, Step-by-steps, Step-wiselys and guide rules go here.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Should I change the name of my 'Fantasy Landscapes/Step-Outs'?

A few people have asked if my Fantasy Landscape/Step-Outs will have dragons and fairies, and that isn't what I have in mind (at least for now).

I just intend for the series to help people create landscapes from their imaginations, that they can then use to color or tangle patterns in. The 'fantasy' is that the landscapes aren't meant to look real, just fun. I'm wondering if I should change the name of the series to 'Simple, fun landscape/step-outs' or something else to help avoid confusion.

So I'm asking you. And a poll is born.

Should I change the name of my 'Fantasy Landscape/Step-Out' series?

Tiered Fantasy Landscape Step-by-Step #FantasyLandscapeStepOut #FantasyLandscape #FantasyLandscapeStepByStep

The tools you'll need for this step-by-step: A pencil An eraser - a good plastic or kneadable eraser would be best. A pen - Any pe...