Sketchbook challenge 5: Another awesome art adventure: Leafy landscapes

Sketchbook Challenge, leafy landscapes, leaves, autumn

Hi, I’m Lillian Gray, South African fine artists and I am off to another awesome art adventure with my wonderful daughter, Clara. 

Video: Sketchbook challenge number 5


For this project you guys are going to need glue, and scissors, as well as some paper or your sketchbook. And if you have a nice fine liner pen you can create even more.

Sketchbook challenge, supplies, leaves, leafy landscapes, autumn
Supplies for this sketchbook challenge

Gathering leaves

So, Clara and I have been off to go gather leaves. We’ve got them and we’ve sorted them into  different colours. We’ve got some yellow ones, some orange ones, some green ones. Lovely, lovely textures, some prickly ones, some smooth ones,  and we are going to design and plan our own  landscape using leaves.

sketchbook challenges, leaves, leafy landscapes
Different kinds of leaves

I want you to almost  think of the leaves as a brushstroke on an oil painting.

Good art takes planning: Scamps

So remember, good art takes planning.  So first up we are going to plan our landscapes. How do we actually plan an art piece? In the creative industry, we use a thing called scamps. It’s a very easy word to remember and a scamp is just a little quick sketch of where you formalize your ideas.

Sketchbook challenge, leaves, leafy landscapes
The use of scamps to create different compositions

So my idea right here is, maybe I’m going to make an ocean with the sun reflecting. I’m going to have trees on the one side and low shrubs on the right-hand side, and I’m trying to work out if this is a nice  composition, if this is really what I like. Another thought that came to mind is, maybe making a massive tree, and I can use the different textures of the leaves to show the bark.

And then I also thought, what if I do a little boat on the  horizon and I use some of the hot colours to  capture the sun reflecting on the ocean.  There’s lots of things you can do and a scamp is just to quickly, quickly jot down what’s going on in your mind. Here I can use leaves to maybe make fish and some of these tiny leaves maybe really makes me  think of little seaweeds and a coral reef.

Scamps, leafy landscapes, sketchbook challenge
Creating more ideas using scamps

So maybe an ocean, an under the sea scene could also be great. Now I can look at my scamps and I can decide. Do you know what? I really like my first idea or, I don’t want to go with this one, or I can decide this is more of a challenge for me.  It’s going to be wonderful depicting all these textures with leaves so maybe option number two is the best one. Okay, so now let’s see what Clara has planned. Clara has made two scamps.

Sketchbook ideas, scamps
Clara’s scamps

She’s got one here where she wants to do a landscape, and she’s got one in which she actually wants to do a little fantasy creatures inside trees. So, now Clara has to decide which idea is the strongest and her best planned idea. So guys stay tuned to see how we create our beautiful scenes using all these wonderful leaves. Before you start, I just quickly want to  show you guys, one of the elements of art is called space right? Remember there’s seven elements of art and it’s really important that you  apply all of them. Watch our videos on the 7 elements of art on our YouTube channel .

One of them is space, how to create distance in an art piece. If I have a triangle here and a circle here, which one is in front of the other? The truth is we don’t know. If I draw it like this, I can easily say the triangle is in front of the circle. If I swap it around and I draw it like this, I can say the circle is in the front. How do we achieve this?

space, overlapping, sketchbook challenge
Use of overlapping to create depth

A little trick called overlapping. So, if you want to create depth in your artwork, you need to overlap things. How can you use this technique in your landscapes? I might have Rolling Hills overlapping  each other, going smaller into the distance, and have water here, with a tree overlapping this, and that is going to create a sense of distance and space in my landscape.

When you guys are  planning your landscape, make things overlap and this will help you achieve one of the seven elements of art, which is depth or space.

sketchbook challenge, autumn, back to front
Work from back to front.

Okay, so what I have done here, and just some pro tips, I’ve started with my background so I started sticking everything that’s at the back, and then we only plan and stick what’s on the top, so that we can create depth. I’ve kind of used this colour as the reflection of the sun in the water here, and I’ve got trees now overlapping my hills. So once I’ve stuck my hills. I can now plan my trees.

creating depth, working from big to small
Use objects from big to small to create depth

Three is always a better number, or uneven numbers when we put flowers or trees or any objects like that  in art, because it just keeps our eye intrigued.  What I want to do here is, I want  to put my smallest tree at the back and then my tallest tree at the front, because things  become smaller the further that way they move from your eye. Then I’m going to end off my  beautiful little landscape and trim the edges. There you have it. I hope you make some amazing, beautiful landscapes. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss our next challenge, and please post photos of what you’ve been up to. 

Some more leafy ideas

sketchbook ideas, creative ideas
Clara’s fantasy animal
sketchbook challenge, leaves
Creating animals using leaves
leaves, characters
Use your fine liner to add some detail
sketchbook challenge, leaves, autumn
Animals created out of leaves
leaves, sketchbook challenge
More ideas using leaves

I hope you have enjoyed this sketchbook challenge. Please check out our blog for even more kids art projects.

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