My family and I are in the Rocky Mountains, in a cabin overlooking a grand vista of forest and monumental snow-covered peaks. My sister, Linden, and my mother, Jo, asked me to teach them some journaling techniques, and I knew that taking on drawing this entire view would be overwhelming. Even for a veteran journaler, a big view is daunting to record in a small journal.
We sat on the wooden deck in the early afternoon while the sun was bright and the blue sky was cloudless. I had them grid out a journal page in in small rectangles. In each rectangle, they made snapshot drawings of what was around us. Instead of taking on the big picture, we found small details that when put together represented the entire view from our deck.
When drawing a scene like this, where there are layers of scenery on top of each other, there are some hints to add depth and distance.
The foreground, what is closest to you, is:
-brighter in color
-higher in contrast
-an area to use a heavier drawing line.
The background is:
-softer in color and has blue undertones
-lower in detail and contrast
-and area to use thinner drawing lines.
The greater the distance, the more these rules apply.
While we were drawing, a broad tailed hummingbird came down and touched my mother's red slipper. She drew her slipper and I drew the tiny bird.
It was a good day.