Patrick Connors asked:
Hello Lisaper, Congratulations on the drawing, you have made some good progress, especially in the tonal appreciation of the foreground. This gives the viewer an idea of your intent or interest: the damaged trees. Also, another important point is that you used an artwork, a painting, for your reference image. It is one of Thomas Coles
[1801 1848] most famous works: The View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm . As you noted, it is more commonly known as The Oxbow. This is a large painting, about 4 x 6 feet, so some of the detail in the painting is not apparent in the reproduction. For example, you asked about the foreground. One of details that may be obscured in the print appears on the rocks towards the right in the painting. It is a self-portrait sitting on the rocks with an easel. Maybe you can see the folded umbrella above him. Lets look at the foreground of your drawing. The viewer is immediately drawn to the trees. This is good, but you have flatten much of your modeling or shading on the trees that gives
them their illusionistic volume and their spatial placement [you outlined the rocks as well!]. Be very careful about outlining features of your landscape. You may find skipping to or reviewing Lesson 3: Topic 3 useful. Also, look again how Cole has modeled those trees [and rocks], there are no lines, only tones that give the illusion of a break with the background. Notice where the darkest part of the shadow is: Not on the edge of the tree but within the tree. For centuries artists copied masterworks not only in the hope of improvement but to understand how that artist thought. And the way an artist thinks is revealed in the chiaroscuro, the way we use light, midtone, and shadow masses to give the illusion of form and space. One thing that may be of use for you is to continue to work from this painting. Start with the trees, using your erasing shield to erase the trees outlines. See if you can do them with little to no line only tone. Also, push this drawing a little further, can you do some more tonal expression, a general shading in the sky or in the line mass? NB- The river is not part of the ground plane: it is running up. Sinuous lines like those that represent the river are very difficult to get right. It will take some practice. You chose an ambitious artwork to copy so there may be some frustration as you work on this more; but, you have a very good start. Working through the frustrating moments will reward you with an understanding of pictorial structure.