The Essential Guide to Sketching the Landscape

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£47 GBP / $59 USD / 55 EURO / $79 CAD / $79.75 AUS

(exchange rates may vary slightly)

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Feeling daunted at the thought of drawing outside?

It seems laughable doesn’t it?

To be scared of drawing.

However, with 80% of people scared of public speaking, it’s not surprising that public sketching can cause those same knots in the stomach, butterflies and anxiousness.

Standing outside with your sketchbook, eagle-eyed onlookers behind you can unnerve even the most confident amongst us.

It’s easy to see how your sketchbook can stay firmly closed.

But this perception of what people think is often misplaced.

They’re not judging you, they’re admiring you.

Yeah right, you say, who would admire my sketches?

You’d be surprised.

Many onlookers are looking for inspiration themselves, to turn their interest in sketching into a reality and seeing someone else actually doing it, can be inspiration enough.

Just like you, I used to suffer from a fear of sketching on location.

The insecurities that my sketchbook was being judged held me back.

What if someone looked over my shoulder to see a ‘bad’ drawing? what would they think?

That I was a bad artist, that I couldn’t draw?

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I learned that when I wanted to get something on the page quickly, I had to adapt my methods.

I decided to ‘draw’ with a brush and ink, not a pencil so that the ‘drawing’ could get through that awkward stage and start to resemble the subject.

I felt more confident with a brush, the marks could be bolder, looser.

It could give the impression of a tree, a building, light and shade in easy strokes rather than labouring over a detailed pencil sketch.

It works and I believe it can help with your sketching problems, too.

I moved on from brush and ink to a much more travel-friendly tool that combined them both.

how to sketch outside

The SECRET behind effective landscape sketching.

My ‘secret weapon’ became a Brushpen.

I could be much freer with the marks, create detailed lines alongside broken edges and it forced me to be definite, no more erasing areas and starting again.

Making a mark and leaving it.

The brush pen combined the flow and convenience of a pen with the variety and texture of a paintbrush.

Changing your mindset from pencil to pen, and from long detailed drawings to quick expressionist sketches can revolutionise how you approach your sketching, giving yourself permission to enjoy the process and atmosphere of the sketch as much as the finished piece.

pen sketching landscape

Simple principles that make your landscape sketching 100% more powerful.

However, even with the right tools many students still find they are overwhelmed transferring a vast landscape onto a small sketchpad.

Trying to create realistic perspective and depth, including a focal point and choosing what to draw, when there are so many potential viewpoints in a landscape, can result in frustration for the student.

I see the same compositional mistakes coming up again and again so I want to focus on the theory behind ‘how’ to choose a good composition for your drawings, the thought process I use when deciding what to include (or what to leave out) in a drawing.

I’ve developed a new course to show you exactly how I approach landscape sketching, the materials I use and how you can do the same thing in ‘The Essential Guide to Sketching the Landscape

how to use a sketchbook

On the course, you’ll learn how to quickly capture the atmosphere and mood of a landscape like an artist, and take the next step from sketching at home to sketching outdoors.

This course includes an introduction to the materials you’ll need and establish 7 practical principles for creating successful landscape sketches, combining drawing theory, on-location drawing demonstrations, and studio-based drawing tutorials.

I’ll demonstrate how to capture, compose, and balance the scene in front of you and take your ideas back to the studio for further refinement.

What are the topics the course covers?

plein air drawing

The course is split into 7 downloadable video lessons that can be tackled daily or study one lesson every weekend to give yourself a continuity in your sketching practice

Topics include:

  • Assembling your materials
  • Integrating proportion, scale, and perspective
  • Thinking inside a frame
  • Drawing with light and shade
  • Sketching with a painting in mind
  • Capturing changing conditions
  • Drawing rocks, buildings, trees, and more
  • Creating mood and atmosphere
  • Putting it all together in the studio

How is the Course Delivered?

  • 7 Downloadable Step-by-Step Video Lessons – over 3 hours of video instruction that once downloaded – you have anytime, anywhere access.
  • A  ‘Getting Started and Materials List’ PDF – which includes your materials list.
  • A ‘Your Landscape Drawing Downloads’ PDF guide – which includes all the reference images used throughout the course.

Requirements for the course.

  • A broadband internet connection – the files sizes for the video lessons are quite large (2.5GB in total)
  • Enough free space on your computer – the video files are quite large (2.5GB in total)
  • A colour printer – to print out the reference images
  • 30 min – 1 hour of distraction-free ‘you-time’ – You’ll need to be able to dedicate 30 minutes – 1 hour for each drawing demonstration.
  • Some experience of drawing with pencils.
  • A love of tea & cake (optional)

The Artists Eye

Having studied film and cinematography, I’ve tried to create a video course that will give you the best results, as if I’m in the studio with you.

High-Quality Full HD Video Recording

Recorded in pristine 24/96 kHz audio which has been digitally mastered using the latest audio software, so you can hear me clearly.

Edited by the artist

I filmed it, edited it, and coloured it myself (with a little help from Vanessa!) rather than working with a production company.

Artists have different needs than editors so I wanted to cut the course like an artist, showing you exactly what I wanted to see when I was learning.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is the course for?

An aspiring sketcher who has tried a few drawings indoors but wants to progress to sketching outside.

What if I can’t draw?

If you’re an absolute beginner who hasn’t even picked up a pencil before, I would recommend you take a look at my Absolute Beginners Drawing Course

You will be guided through all the basic materials and learn to really understand how drawing ‘works’ and learn how to ‘see like an artist’.

What results will I achieve at the end of the Sketching the Landscape Course?

  • If you follow the lessons in progression you will have learnt the basics of what works in a landscape sketch, from composition and simple perspective to changing your viewpoint to achieve maximum results.
  • Been introduced to new techniques with different mediums from pencils to watercolour markers slowly and in a progressive sequence.
  • You’ll have covered how to capture changing conditions from clouds to reflections in water and learnt how to create texture with pencils making details the star of the show.
  • You’ll be confident to piece together reference information from sketches and photographs you take on location and develop these into a more finished piece back at home.
  • By the end of the course, you will have developed the habit of thumbnail sketching, gathering reference information and using your sketchbook to its full advantage, without feeling pressured to make every piece a finished work of art.
  • You will have a 7 point checklist, and discover the simple pleasure of sketching outdoors, soaking up the sounds, smells and atmosphere.

Click the add to cart button below to get started on the course – see you on the Lochside!

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Add to Cart

£47 GBP / $59 USD / 55 EURO / $79 CAD / $79.75 AUS
(exchange rates may vary slightly)

So how does it work?

After clicking ‘Add to Cart’ you can pay via Paypal using a credit/ debit card or a Paypal account.

Don’t have a Paypal Account?

In most countries, Paypal offers an option for you to pay using Paypal, without opening a Paypal account.
Here is a screenshot from UK Paypal.


Once you’ve paid, after a few seconds you’ll be redirected to a download page containing all the video links and Information (see image example below)


You will also be emailed your download link as a backup.

How big are the video files?

To download the course you ideally need a broadband connection as the video files are quite large

(Total 2.5 GB) – you do not receive a DVD.

You then have to Download and save the video tutorials onto your home computer.

This can take up to 20 minutes for each file depending on your internet speed.

(Please Note: If you want to watch the videos using an iPad, see below as you need an app called ‘Documents’ this will allow you to download and save the files.)

Do I need a special program to watch the videos on my computer?

No. The video files are MP4 ‘s and 90% of computers/laptops will have a media player on them.

If you have earlier software that doesn’t have a media player, you can download one for free.

Apple Quicktime

or VLC media player (also free) VLC Media Player

To view the PDF you need Adobe Reader (also free to download)

How do I download the videos onto my computer?


Download Page example

On a P.C

Hover the mouse over the orange ‘click here’ link and ‘right-click’ your mouse. There will be an option that says ‘Save Link as’

Click this option and a box should come up saying where do you want to say the files (eg, desktop, whatever your files names are called) decide where to save them and then the file should start to download, it might take 10 minutes before it downloads fully (depending on internet speed.)

On a Mac

Click the ‘click here’ link.
It will give you the option to ‘Open with’ or ‘Save file’
You want to click ‘Save as’ and the file will download into your downloads.

Can I download the videos to my iPad?

Firstly, I would download the files onto a desktop or laptop if you have one, just so you have a copy of the files.

Then you have a couple of options, either to transfer via iTunes or to purchase an app on the iPad.

Use a separate app

If you have an iPad you can use a free app called ‘Documents’ to be able to download the video files onto your iPad.

Here is an article that goes through the process of downloading a video file to the Documents app.

Please note: Without the app, you won’t be able to download and save the videos directly to your iPad.

Transferring files via iTunes

To transfer onto your iPad you have a couple of options:
The first is to transfer via iTunes
If you have a Mac you can:
1. Download the files to your desktop (or find the ones you’ve already saved)
2. Plug in iPad to Mac
3. Open iTunes
4. Drag MP4′s (video files of the course) on the Mac into TV shows or Movies
5. To Play on iPad open the Videos App then look under TV shows or Movies
6. The MP4 video files from the course should play fine.
If you’re on a PC you can download iTunes here and go through the same process.

Can I download onto my Tablet?

Not directly – to download the videos onto your tablet you need to download them to your main computer first and that transfer to your tablet via USB. Here are the instructions from one of my students:

“Here is what I did to get the files onto my Android tablet from a PC.

1. From your link I downloaded the files to my Download folder on my PC. From there I moved them to my Video folder. (which is part of the Libraries folder on Windows 7)
2.I connected my tablet via USB cable to my PC
3.Using Windows Explorer, I copied the files from the PC Video folder, to a folder on my Acer Aconia tablet called Videos.
4. To view the course on my tablet. I click on the App called Multi- media and use the Acer media video app.’

You might want to check with someone you know who has an Android Tablet to see if these instructions are generic enough for all Android Tablets. Windows explorer is a graphical file manager in the Windows operating system that displays the contents of Libraries, folders and files. I do not know if this would affect the routine or not, but my tablet is 2 years old and for newer tablets there might be an easier routine.”

Can I download the video files and put them onto my own DVD to watch on a DVD player?

Yes, you can download the files onto a DVD, however, not all DVD players will playback Mp4 files.

There are a couple of options:

1. DVD playback on another computer:

If you burn the MP4 files onto a DVD and then play the DVD in another computer or laptop it should play without a problem if you have an up to date media player that supports MP4s.

(If you need an up to date Media Player you can download one here: VLC media player (also free) VLC Media Player

2. DVD playback on a DVD player with a file Converter

It depends if your DVD player supports MP4 video files.

Many DVD players will say MP4 on the front tray, for example, ‘DVD/Audio CD/DivX/MP4/MP3/’

Some older DVD player do not support MP4 because MP4 is a format with different decodes.

If you have an older DVD player you will have to convert the files using free software.

The MP4 to DVD converter from is a good choice.