2h 44min intermediate Resources

Capture the beauty of any natural scene you choose! Learn foundational techniques for drawing landscapes with lifelike dimension, texture and detail.

Episode descriptions

1 . Episode: Composition

Meet your instructor, Nancy Ellen Thompson, who will guides you through the easiest techniques to make your landscape drawings pop. Start with the basic ideas behind composition and explore techniques such as light against dark, the rule of thirds, and line perspective. Pick a photo and start your sketch!

Reference Material & Rough Sketch
2 . Episode: Reference Material & Rough Sketch

Nancy helps you decide the best position for your focal point and demonstrates materials you can use, such as a rubylith, to help differentiate the light and dark values. She will also explain the difference between sketching and drawing and help you begin to create a rough sketch of your photo drawing.

Creating Value
3 . Episode: Creating Value

Start your crosshatches! Nancy demonstrates how to understand value differences in a drawing and shows how to test variations in pencil hardness to achieve the effects you want. Be sure to test your own pencil set before beginning, then start to add texture and tone to a tree sketch.

Depth & Distance
4 . Episode: Depth & Distance

Use your light and dark values to create depth and distance in your drawing. Nancy demonstrates how to properly place objects in your drawing to create a sense of distance. Then she shows you how to use both soft and hard edges with details or no details to provide perspective.

Trees, Shrubs, Grass & Mountains
5 . Episode: Trees, Shrubs, Grass & Mountains

Add life to your landscape with realistic trees, shrubs, grass and mountains. Follow Nancy's directions to make your trees and grasses come to life. She'll also show you how to create a background of mountains without using harsh lines.

Rocks & Water
6 . Episode: Rocks & Water

Expand your landscape details by drawing unique rocks and water reflections. Follow Nancy's simple demonstration to draw convincing water reflections. For a more advanced technique, sketch out a waterfall or rapids area that pairs rocks and water together in one drawing.

Man-Made Elements
7 . Episode: Man-Made Elements

Add the final details to your drawing with man-made elements. Nancy helps you place fences, houses and sidewalks to add life to your drawing. Add more texture and shading for visual appeal, but ultimately the drawing is yours! Let your creative juices flow.

About the Teacher

Nancy Ellen Thompson
Curiously Similar
Matt Brehm
Matt Brehm
Whether you're walking through a neighborhood or wandering in nature, build foundational skills for sketching what you see more quickly and easily.
Kathleen  McKeehen
Kathleen McKeehen
Improve your drawing skills as you capture the beauty of nature.
Patrick Connors
Patrick Connors
Master linear perspective and learn to draw landscapes accurately using simple tools and classic techniques.


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Simple Techniques for Better Landscapes

Nancy Ellen Thompson

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Simple Techniques for Better Landscapes