Project 3 Composition Exercise 2 Foreground, Middleground and Background

The aim of this exercise is to establish a foreground, middleground and background within my drawings.

I started by experimenting with the personal project I have been working on-distorting photographic images that I have been recording and editing. My printer is low on ink which has printed the image interestingly and I love how it this has highlighted/ changed the colours. The image is very atmospheric. I like the simplicity, blurriness but also has evident structure and I have identified the foreground, middle ground and background.



In contrast to above, as per the previous exercise where I experimented with Van Gogh’s marks, I wanted to do the same with Paul Nash’s marks and experimenting with wash as per my tutor recommendations.


Bury Hill A3 Watercolour pen and ink

I have tried to establish a sense of space and depth. I have used more detail in the foreground with the foliage, lessening the detail through the middle ground to the back of the image.

For inspiration with marks I had the images of Paul Nash’s Summer Garden 1913 and Theodore Gericault’s landscape with Country Dance 1641 open on my lap top to examine the marks as I drew. Overall the cross hatching from Paul Nash’s drawings became more predominant within my own marks. Unfortunately I feel some of my marks are a little illustrative.

This drawing is not to my own personal taste as I feel as a composition it is too busy.

What I have learnt

I also spent some time researching advanced water-colour techniques. This was a first again, drawing with pen over a watercolour wash (ask to experiment with wash as per tutor recommendations). I need still more practise.

I need to learn a balance within my drawings,  between detail, atmosphere or sense of place.

I found the Foliage and trees hard to represent however although it isn’t obvious in this drawing I am starting to pick out the negative space between leaves.

This drawing is not to my personal taste but has been useful from a learning point of view. I think I made the error or looking at two different artists from two different points in time/ art movements. Theodore Gericault’s marks, tone, colour are much gentler than Nash’s and his compositional use of F/M/G is also subtler.

I have a concern that the above landscape is cliche or falls into a rolling hill stereotype, very obvious, its not a route I wish to follow or continue exploring.

Interestingly in experimenting  with watercolour I made this image in my sketch book which I love. Using tissue to get texture in the foreground. The problem is I look the below image with memory of the other image. Another viewer may look and just see angular rectangles.


Bury Hill A4 watercolour

Exploring further…

Bury Hill north view A3 Ink
Sunset A3 Diluted Ink

I find the blurred images much more interesting and expressive, I really like how I have lifted out the clouds by blotting and overlapped the ink to build darker areas. I would like to advance my technique of the ink or watercolour bleeding. I feel more in control of the mediums and gaining cofidence.


9 thoughts on “Project 3 Composition Exercise 2 Foreground, Middleground and Background

  1. I think bury hill watercolour/pen and ink is a very good drawing indeed. there is such a sense of depth/place and the variety of line and mark making is terrific.


    1. Thank you Susan appreciate your feedback. It was hard to complete nearly gave up on the idea but glad I perservered.I amstruggling to identify what is working and not working in my drawings… any advice is welcome


  2. I really like your developed landscape… Maybe you’re being too tough on yourself about feeling what you’ve done has been done before… No-one has done it like you… I especially like the suggestion of sunlight across the piece, just beyond the sign.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Sue, I am glad you like the sunlight.. forgot to blog about that. There is so much to learn and trying to form judgements but I am very critical of my work. Thank you for the positive words though as that is a really encourging way to look at my work.


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