Secrets to drawing magnificent pencil landscapes that nobody knows.


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Landscape in pencil after J.D.Harding.   (Low Resolution on the left and High-Resolution Image on the right side, 3006x4041 pixels at 300dpi)
(Inspired by J. D. Harding's style of Victorian landscapes)
34.7 X 27.5 cm
Faber Castell and Staedtler Mars Lumograph graphite pencils on A3 size Classmate drawing pad. 


                   Landscape in pencil represents an absolutely fascinating subject. When someone starts perfecting the art, the scenery is one of the very few topics which seems very approachable. Everyone begins with skies, hills, valleys, rivers, houses, roads, and foliage, grasping them individually first and then putting them all together into a beautiful composition. As the artist progresses towards gaining his skills, modern and contemporary styles and layout become familiar to him. After some time, different mediums and contrasting styles of painting are also introduced in their landscape art. 


 But we cannot talk about landscape drawing without mentioning one of the 19thcenturies, England's most respectable watercolorist, art teacher, and an art critic, James Duffield Harding (1798-1863). One cannot deny the fact that he continued to remain a professionally trained artist and an equally accomplished sketcher throughout his life. This is absolutely precise when you look at the artworks that he created at the time. 


 His idea of learning basic shapes and perspectives before even learning to portray any subjects is considered one of the most critical lessons in sketching. The practical advice that his great lessons offer allows anyone to master landscape and still life with is and skill. He emphasizes the use of hand-eye coordination and drawing from life, which he feels the most significant stepping stone in befitting a tremendous draftsman.


 The secrets of landscape drawing in pencil that J.D. Harding emphasizes are:

Learning from nature. 
Nature is the best teacher and contains the answer to all the problems that we, artists, would face. Harding's specifically wanted artists to engage in sketching to acquire the power of minute observation. This would allow us to decode the secrets of nature hidden in plain sight.

  Practice.
After observing nature's vast resources, an artist cannot possess the skill without practice. Learning by practicing by sitting amid the environment is the best way to gain mastery over a subject.


  Not being mechanical. 
Harding, especially urges the student about the importance and superiority of those mental imitations in nature. This would allow an artist to express what he perceives instead of merely replicating what he witnesses.




Suffice to say that Harding's lesson is genuinely the gems that we all crave in learning to be extraordinary sketchers. His secrets, if followed correctly, will eventually benefit a person who loves to gain the skill of drawing. This would transport him to an unprecedented level in today's world filled with innumerable copycats.