Let’s start on a landscape cartoon on cardboard with artist Stuart Loughridge. The cartoon is the preparatory drawing for the gouache painting that he’ll do on top. He starts out with a medium hardness pencil because he wants to work light and loose to get the general shapes in. He demos how he holds the pencil and his overall bodily stance to get the lines he’s looking for in the lay-in. As he starts blocking in the broad gestural shapes he assesses how the composition looks on the cardboard, adjusting as he sees necessary. Stuart looks for moments that suggest more depth in the landscape.
Moving on to a softer pencil, Stuart finds some more accurate lines to his lay-in, focusing on the drawing and outline instead of value masses. He shows how to make shorelines look more convincing rather than generic and how to make the water make sense within the drawing. With the charcoal pencil he can get even more specific with the drawing, following the lines of depth and concretely setting the drawing on the cardboard. He focuses on the anatomy of the trees, looking forward to the painting and understanding what information will be needed for the trees to be structurally sound. The charcoal won’t erase as easily on the cardboard as the pencil will which is why it is used last. It does, however, allow your lines to be easily visible while you paint.
Now that the cartoon is set it’s time to put out the paints and move on to the next step.