Friday, May 30, 2014

Trost Richards pencil landscapes

The practice of drawing landscapes in graphite pencil was probably more common in the 19th century than it is now, as most people nowadays think of plein-air work in terms of full-on painting.

 William Trost Richards painted in oil, watercolor, and gouache, but he also did many graphite drawings, often in very small pocket-sized books. Trying to represent such things as complex tree silhouettes faithfully with pencil is good practice for painting them later.

Here he sorts out the light and dark puzzle of the plank railing on a log bridge.

The Metropolitan Museum has a large sampling of William Trost Richards' pencil, watercolor, and oil landscapes in their collection, which is available online.

Here's a well-illustrated survey of his work, based on a recent museum show: William Trost Richards: True To Nature: Drawings, Watercolors and Oil Sketches

8 comments:

Tom Hart said...

Thanks for this James. I love collecting, reading and talking about "gear". But it's nice to be reminded that only a pencil and some paper is all that's needed to have a satisfying plein air experience.

Amang Berangas said...

Thank you very much my friend.

Icatama Saja said...

great picture. awesome, great job. there should be more here. i would like to see any other pictures submitted here.

jytte said...

I followed your link to the Metropolitan museum and the first drawing comming up was Spring. I wonder how long it took the artist to do such a marvelous drawing. :o)

Sachin said...

very nice post, really enjoyed here...


NOORMAHAL

Karen Robinson said...

This has inspired me to give landscapes en plein air another go. I have tried with paint and the results were super disappointing. I just nearly drowned in the complexity of it all, trees, foliage, grasses, shrubs - one big mess on the canvas. If I switch to graphite then maybe I might be able to focus more on bigger shapes and the key values?

David King said...

I draw the landscape "en plein air" fairly often, either in pen or graphite. It's a very good exercise to practice your drawing skills and learn to sort out values in life. However, you won't be creating marketable work so don't do it for that reason, the public just doesn't appreciate colorless artwork unless it's super detailed and took 100+ hours to make.

robertaD said...

I'm in awe of Trost Richards' talent. followed your link to the MET collection. love the little 5"x7" detailed drawing of log cabin scene in the Pacific Northwest sketchbook. he was a superb draftsman. also curious to know how long it took him to draw it. thank you for posting your blog.