James Gurney, over on his blog, always has really interesting art exercises. I just had to try this one.
What you do is, hit up mapcrunch.com, which takes tons of interesting pictures from Google Street view, of 18 different countries. You hit Go and it randomly gives you a picture from a random spot in a random country. It’s a great way to see non-touristy places without getting lost from your tour guide, or ever even leaving your chair.
Anyway, Gurney recommended setting a timer, picking a landscape, and drawing it in 10 minutes or less at the size of a postage stamp.
So here’s mine:
Left to right, top to bottom, it’s Norway, Portugal, Ireland, and New Zealand. I did have to skip a few that it gave me, which were things like Wall O’ Trees or Empty Field. And I did pan each one around to find the most interesting angles.
And I found that I suck really a lot at landscapes. These really forced me to see what I was looking at. As an artist, you really have to train yourself to see and observe, so you can hold it in your mind’s eye and move it to the page. And I’m getting rusty at it. This really showed me how flabby I’ve gotten.
I think I’ll do some more of these. They’re like peanuts. 🙂