Creative exercises for every month

Landscape Escapade

A new updated course will be available for 2020. The exercises will be posted to our Facebook group from the 1st of the month as well as to our Instagram page.

We ran this course in December 2019 on our Facebook group.

In December we take on ‘The Landscape’. We invite you to join us to get adventurous, to search for inspiration from great painters as well as your own experience.

The exercises are varied and will hopefully challenge you. Our group is open to all skill levels and is very friendly and encouraging.

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Exercise 1

Exercise #1 Paul Cezanne ‘Mont Sainte-Victoire’ (1902-04).
🎬 I love the way these videos cover the painting’s place in history as well as how and why the artist has approached the subject.

  • Copy the painting using vertical lines only
  •  Focus on the dark areas
  •  I had the image saved on my phone and took photos of my own drawing as I went along to compare them side by side and see if I was on the right track 

Exercise 2

#2 Create a collage of Cezanne's work using squares.

  • It helps to look at a small image of the painting whilst doing this exercise.
  • Stick large pieces down first to cover the page, then smaller ones on top.
  • Look for general colours, don't get caught in the details.
  • I did this on half a standard piece of paper.

Exercise 3

 I love the bold colours of this painting by Henri Matisse. It’s great fun to play with the works of the masters.

  • Copy a Matisse window painting but paint a different landscape outside.
  • I based my window view on a landscape with a tree as the focal point that I have played with a few times.
  • It’s quite detailed so I suggest working on half a standard piece of paper to save time.
  • I used oil pastels and baby oil.

Interior with Egyptian Curtain, Henri Matisse, oil on canvas, 1948 [Source: Wikiart]

Exercise 4

Contour drawing of a landscape— pen on paper.
I love the drama of this painting. I chose it for its strong contrast which made it a good option to simplify into a contour drawing.

The Mill, Rembrandt, oil, panel, canvas, 1645 [Source: Wikiart]

Exercise 5

Upside down drawing of a landscape

  • Use this drawing by Oskar kokoschka, or use another that's similar.
  • Look at the drawing upside down, don't try and figure out what objects the lines represent. Look at the drawing as an abstract piece with just lines and shapes.
  • You can cover part of the drawing and reveal more of it as you.
  • Don't worry if you can't finish the whole drawing
  • Turn your drawing around and compare it with the original

Unfortunately the drawing was on a crease in the book I used.

Exercise 6

Sketch or paint a landscape from a thumbnail image.

  • Use an image of a landscape on your phone.
  • Keeping the image small, paint or sketch your landscape.
  • Don't be tempted to look closely at the image, focus on the major shapes and lines you see.
  • Take photos of your sketch along the way and look at it side by side of your photo. You can do this by adding your photo to an album in your photo app on your phone, then add the photo of your sketch.
  • Keep taking photos of your sketch and compare them with the original photo.

Exercise 7

 Continuous line drawing

  • Find a landscape, either from life, photo or painting.
  •  I chose this Australian impressionist, Tom Roberts, an autumn morning.
  • Draw without taking your pen off the paper, don't worry about overlapping, or accuracy, let it flow and work quickly.

Exercise 8

Digital photo manipulation
  • Find a photo or take one, of a landscape with interesting lighting, I chose a dappled light image
  • Use either what apps you have on your phone, or a digital software such as photopea or gimp (these are both free)
  • I used photopea because you don't have to download anything and it's all online It is helpful if your're confident with these sort of softwares
  • Experiment with changing saturation, contrast, hue, you can use the smudging tool to change the image, you can also cut and paste parts too, I used the pencil tool to draw on mine.
  • Have fun and try stuff!


Exercise 9

 limited palette— 2 colours only per sketch.

  • Choose a landscape picture that you’ve taken. One you’ve used before is a good option. It’s fun to get a different result.
  • On a large sheet of paper lightly colour 4 squares with different colours.
  • I used chalk pastels.
  • Sketch your landscape on each square using one other colour (and black/white).
  • Be daring!

Exercise 10

Copy Andre Derain’s ‘Charing Cross Bridge’ using a colour wheel to change the colours to their complementary colours (it's opposite on the colour wheel). I used crayons for this one on half a standard piece of paper. I love this painting ❤️

Exercise 11

Here's our final exercise for the month, create a landscape using textures.

  • Use material or anything out of the kitchen cupboard or garden. I used salt.
  • I found a simple landscape to use as inspiration, by Max Lieberman 1870.
  • Play around and see what works.