Art Class 2 – Spring 2013, Landscape Sketches

Tonight we were doing landscape sketches.  I was basically wandering off doing my own thing during this producing a few 3×5 sketches and 2 5×7 ones.

Here are the 5×7 ones.

Yes this does have more than a hint of Sterling Edwards about it.    Oh and all these are on Strathmore ‘better’ paper (with the yellow cover).  It was actually pretty good although you can only really use one side of it.

And these are the smaller 3×4 ones.

An attempt at a dark, rainy, sky with distant sunlight.  

And this does indeed owe a little something to John Lovett.

Sterling Edwards Brushes – First Outing

Cumulus clouds.  A lot of wet in wet and shading/blending.  

Sunset sky.   A test of the buffered washes in the sky.   Mr Edwards separates complementary colours that might turn into mud by a third to keep the colours bright.
This is the third scene of this sort that has featured here btw – I should find something different to paint.

This was the first try – not great.   Dull colours, awkward brushstrokes but you can see that the effect of trees and grasses is pretty easy to get.
I should add here that these are all from his ‘Sky’ DVD.   There’s a final painting – foggy sky – that I didn’t get round to.   Even though I’ve done a lot of Sterling’s DVDs (would he mind me being so familiar?), and at first the 4 step process seemed a little gimmicky I have been learning a lot.   Partly this is through gaining control by putting brush to paper.  It’s quite hard at my stage to get worse with practice.   

Sterling Edwards Brushes

After consulting the good people over at

 I took the plunge and ordered a set of these.  They arrived on Thursday and were given their first outing today.  Overall I’m pretty impressed.   The bristles are the right length and thickness to take up paint to give that nice ragged edge for grasses and trees that Mr Edwards is so good at.   The big brush is great at doing washes and is especially good for graded ones.

And they were pretty cheap – I got these, a zoomfinder and a DVD all delivered for 50 bucks. (Yes I am a sucker for a special offer – I think you can get the brushes individually for between 3 and 10 dollars each.  Still good value).

The only negative – the special handle shape frankly doesn’t do anything for me but it’s a small thing all in all.

For anyone who thinks ‘Oh surely you can just pick up any old bristle brush that will do the job just as well?’   I say Ha!  I thought that too and bought a couple of 2 dollar flat bristle brushes from Blicks.  Completely different – the bristles are the wrong length and flop around too much.  The water gets caught in the ferrule and leaks out everywhere over your hand/paining/floor.   They either have too much water in the bristles or not enough.  Nightmare!   If I tried lots of them maybe I’d find one that worked well but for now – give that nice Mr Edwards some money and save time.

Sterling Edwards Paintalong – Evening Winter Landscape

Rather enjoyed this one.    Having done a few of these now I’m getting the hang of substituting in my colors and brushes instead of his.   He has his own line of bristle brushes to give a nice ragged effect for trees and grasses.   I substitute in my synthetic flat brush for this reasonably successfully.  Ditto for colors.  He uses the Maimeri Blu brand and I do various conversions e.g.  brown stil de grain = burnt sienna,  primary blue cyan = cobalt blue.

Intermediate steps are below.

Some foreground trees – stage 2 darks.

Stage 4 – final detail.  Branches on the trees, more snow shadows and some leaf detail.

Trees with Sterling Edwards – number 1

Just a quick warmup painting along with Mr Sterling Edwards.  Hard to watch and paint at the same time.  He goes an awfully lot faster than I do and I think I’m pretty quick.  Got some good practice in with the rigger brush – I’ve learned to steady my hand when I start with my little finger.  Somehow it makes the whole stroke go in the intended direction.

Distant trees are a bit too purple and hardly any of them are vertical which makes things look a bit odd