Expanse. Part 3. Project 2. Landscape. Exercise 2. Sketchbook walk. Exercise 3. 360 degree studies.

Go for a walk in your local park, around your garden or somewhere you normally walk. Find a view you like or familiar with and use your view finder to help you focus on a point of interest…….

Make four sketches during your walk. Draw rapidly, don’t rub out mistakes. Draw over them and re-state what you want to depict. Try to capture the idea of what you see through drawing; think of your sketching as taking notes. Try to get everything in, no matter how roughly. Fast drawing helps you to concentrate and see more clearly, shutting out unnecessary ‘noise’

Make written notes;

  • the time, weather, conditions, light direction and shadow
  • the main point of interest such as a building, gate, trees
  • the division of space into the foreground, middle ground and background
  • pattern and textures, repetition of large and small shapes, tonal values etc


On the 7th October I took a walk, firstly down Marshalswick Lane towards our local shops. It was a very bright sunny day, about late morning time. Dividing up a sheet of A3 size paper, I drew quickly with a soft pencil, which can be see below. I put my little sketches inside drawn boxes, to help me focus on the areas I was looking at.

As it was quite sunny there were lots of deep contrasting shadows and bright light on the buildings. As the morning progressed it became overcast and in my last sketch I lost those strong light and dark areas. When I got home, I quickly drew St Mary’s Church in ink on a coffee toned paper, as I didn’t want to lose that wonderful feeling of the light I had experienced outside earlier.

St Mary’s Church in ink on coffee ground paper.

I did an additional walk the next day, but to the Heartwood Forest and made a further four sketches in pencil on paper. The weather was good, but the sky was overcast and featureless it was about 2 pm.

Heartwood Forest in pencil with a tree outside St Mary’s Church

These sketches above, gave me the opportunity to explore scribbling to express the foliage and start to describe foreground, middle ground and background. The bottom right drawing is of a large tree outside St Mary’s Church.

I was quite keen to do some more ‘walks’ and on the 10 -13th Oct I went back to the Heartwood Forest and Jersey Farm Woodland Park (as they are near each other) to look for different views that included foreground, middle ground and background. The weather was cloudy but a warm day.

Here are my sketches.

I love these sketches as I have worked quickly, using rapid dashed marks, and shading to define the woodland trees and bushes. I drew in portrait and landscape formats to gain a better idea of composition.

I was totally ‘lost’ in my drawing exercise, and the marks I made seem to reflect my energy and visual stimulus. It’s probably why I went back to make more drawings. I hope to use them for additional work.

360 degree Studies of Heartwood Forest view

Heartwood Forest view
Heartwood Forest view
Heartwood Forest view

I did a series of small sketches by turning around, and drawing inside boxes to capture the whole scene.


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