How to Tell Your Viewers How Big Are Those Trees

Scale is often difficult to convey to viewers in landscapes.

“MorningJog In the Park” available. Pastel 11x14

This is a plein air painting I did while in Bown County Indiana last week.

The Paintings Evolution

The above is after I blocked in the main shapes from three pencil thumbnail sketches. The selection of the S-curve composition design is pretty evident. I don’t do many S-curves because t think that and the “Z” coumpound curve designs are over used to the point of becoming crutches.

I used the bottom sketch. when a jogger came by is when I made a few carrot style figures in the margin and on another page. It was a quick way to capture different strides I saw in the jogger.

A plein air water colorist told told me it drives him crazy to see city scapes with no cars or people. Adding people, animals buildings or even trash cans in a park to a landscape can help establish scale. But some landscapes don’t have those options and then it becomes more difficult.

What I Learned

  • I am not as afraid of figure drawing as I used to be

  • I need to do more sketches of cars and objects so I will have as equal confidence when I need those tools

  • i still do better in a studio but I enjoy the challenges of plein air

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