Landscape #1 Reality versus Photograph

Hello guys and gals, long time without posting,  i thought i could analyse some of my landscape painting! Well last year, as many would know, i finished my first year on the Illustration Masters. With it, especially on my second semester, i jolted down 3 sketchbooks and a half and i started to notice a small tendency towards landscape painting so i’m trying to develop that interest further. I ‘ve just finished a jam at the Botanical Garden, and suddenly i started to ask myself what makes a good landscape painting? Was the landcape i was painting good for it? was the subject interesting?  So here’s the painting a did will i was there:

I was there for about 1 hour, and this was the result. Now i can pin down some things that don’t work for this image, and that’s:

– The absence of a focal point (wash by wash is kind of a difficult method, i should’ve  worked with brushes instead of the brush pen);

– I didn’t filtered the content i wanted in the picture and tried to draw and paint everything;

– There are areas with too much confusion, causing a bad balance between filled shapes and empty shapes;

– As i mentioned, i worked in watercolor with a pen brush over a large area, so i couldn’t lay large washes and the brush pen has always water, which means all my washes lose intensity;

– There was diffuse light all around which made the landscape all washed out without cast shadows or form shadows;

Now i have to do some adjustments to this to make it better, but those will be at my studio. This sketch as some good points, which i can point out like, the colors i used where approached to the things i was seeing, and the composition wasn’t that bad, as i used a viewfinder to help catch something interesting at the gardens. Also there was a good balance between cool and warm colors.

Let’s compare to some landscapes i did, but i used photographs instead of painting it from reality:

Now i noticed somethings when doing these:


– Issues like perspective, colors and composition are all resolved for you;

– The colors aren’t true to nature, the camera can’t absord as much information as our eyes, so it results on some not so vivid colors, James Gurney as an excellent example on this on his book “Color and Light, a guide to the realist painte”, check it out its an awesome book!;

– More and more i’m believing that we draw using all of the five senses we have (as stated on the “Natural Way to Draw” the awesome drawing manual of Kimon Nicolaides), that’s why we don’t completly  understand a subject through a photo, because we are limiting ourselves to one of those senses, vision;


If we want to learn about subjective things like composition, colors and all in all drawing and painting we should do it as often from real life as we can, photos are a shortcut because the photographer as taken care of that himself. It’s difficult i know, but i will take my viewfinder and practise! Feel free to chime in on the critics, as long as they are constructive ,they are welcome!

Later i will post the image of the gardens with the alterations!


About drawabunch

Illustration major student, interested in the classical fundamentals used in concept illustration and in illustration in general
This entry was posted in Landscape Painting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s