Plein Air dans la Voiture



‘Bury farm’ 2-3.5.14 – A rural landscape in spring. With empresses on celebrating the regeneration of life in spring with evidence of human control over landscape.


Feeling a little disheartened by seeing no progress with the figure drawing I decided to have a busman’s holiday from it over the weekend and go and draw something inspiring. My daily dog walk takes in some spectacular rural views which are never the same twice. The clouds where dramatic and brooding on Friday late afternoon. They moved noticeably across the landscape threatening to rain. I took to the car armed with assorted papers and the fave Sennelier soft pastels. I had the perfect spot in mind from which to draw.


Prelim sketch to isolate section to draw from panoramic view.

From the chosen spot on a hill up a farm track the view is panoramic. this quick pencil sketch helped me identify a section I was happy with.



Fist sittings efforts plus loverly pastels.

There was no real plan, just wanted to draw for the joy of it. As I grabbed this bit of paper I thought of making some cloud studies. but liked the sky so much I got all detailed on the under lying ground section. Its a shame there is a big cress down the middle really as I was pleased with final out come.

The first afternoon/early evening I got in the amazing sky. Its a bit lose, not quite finished off. I liked the kinda abstract quality it had and though it had the mood I was after inspired by the sky so I left it as it was.

The next day was sunny and bright of course. Only a few lonely clouds wondering by. But detriment to get this finished I returned to the spot Saturday afternoon to complete.



‘Fin’ against view.

Can you tell the land was put in under sunny conditions? Probably. I added some long shadows to try to tie in with the mood.


  • Its a celebration of the wonder of nature. the lush green spring of this year comes through. The sky has mood
  • The soft pastel easily blurred edges help show the weather as they ad the elusion of moment of grasses and leafs.
  • Lucky to have such a broad colour range. especially greens due to landscape pastel set. Drawing media can limit colour options severely. In this case it pays to pay for quality.
  • Trees I am happy with. Thanks to all the practice in the landscape section of the course.


  • Standing back from this at home the tees and the green fields can get lost and merge together. Something to bare in mind for the next one.
  • I am still quite lazy getting shapes and scale as accurate as I can. Something I am working on refining in life class. The scale is pretty accurate here. Next drawing I must try to be even more conscious of it. Measuring and remeasuring
  • Think before I start. Dose the paper fit the board? No in this case making it trick to fill to the edges. Don’t use creased paper. you never know, you might like the drawing!
  • Try to plan enough time to finish under same weather conditions. when possible. If not just draw. That’s the main thing.
  • Are the sky and land disjointed? I think I just about get away with it. Some of the trees did reach further into the sky that would have helped unite the two sections. A devise I looked at in landscape composition research,Claude Lorrain and Turner
  • Forgot the pylons, Doh!  Some thing integral to my drawing to show mans impact on the landscape along wit the agricultural fields. I think I will add these at home.
  • To elongate or not to elongate? I might spread the drawing to the edges of the paper back at home or crop the image. Undecided.
  • For the next one – Perhaps something to help lead eye across seemingly baron ploughed section? A path a speeding hair going towards green (I did see a few). Or dose the ‘block’ create a distance, inaccessibility that works? Maybe there is no context for that here. May be nice in a drawing where it would make more sense.. Somewhere forbidden.

Drawing is on A2 Murano grey paper.



About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter

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