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Direct-to-Ink Exercises: Part Three: Post and Rail Panorama

April 24, 2015

This is the one of three exercises from the Richmond workshop : 01 Single Line | 02 Tone Shapes | 03 Post and Rail Panoramas

Ok, I’ll admit this last exercise is less about your pen work – but it’s a good application of the previous two exercises. Plus, this is a very common situation when you’re travelling with a sketchbook. Don’t you always go to those tourist spots with an amazing view? And of course you want to get it all in. (Note: In fact, we did not do this exercise in Richmond. I wanted to do it, but I think I’d put too much on the timeline. Everyone got a worksheet with these notes, so they can try it when they get home. ~m)

Here’s one way to tackle a panorama without getting lost in the details. (And without spending all day at it).

Direct to Ink Exercise: Post and Rail Panorama

12Apr2Post and Rail Panorama (0)

  • Decide how wide you want to go. The wider the field of view, the ‘shorter’ your drawing will be compared to its length.
  • In a small book, this can make your drawing little more than bumps-on-a-horizon-line.
  • Choose how many pages in your drawing. Will you work across a double page spread? Or keep going as you flip the page? There are also accordion fold sketchbooks that offer plenty of length.
  • I prefer loose sheets as I like to start in the center, and work outward in both directions.

12Apr2Post and Rail Panorama (1)

  • To begin, choose a landmark that is the most important thing in your view. Something highly distinctive, a recognizable part of the skyline.
  • This is your first ‘post’.
  • The idea is to build your drawing like a fence. Placing posts, and joining them with rails.

12Apr2Post and Rail Panorama (2)

  • Each ‘rail’ is  a Single Line Sketch (see Exercise One).
  • If you want to make it a little easier, roughly sketch a few key posts in pencil first, and you have a chance to do some sight measuring before the ink.
  • Personally, I try not to be obsessive about accuracy, and often enjoy going straight to ink (or watercolor).
  • Then it’s simply a matter of squinting at the values and scribbling in Tone Shapes (Exercise Two), and adding color if you want.

12Apr2Post and Rail Panorama (3)

12Apr2Post and Rail Panorama (4)

12 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2015 10:16 AM

    Lovely drawing. Thank you very much for sharing. How long it took from start to finish?

    • April 24, 2015 1:33 PM

      I did this one in an odd way, to make the steps of the demonstration as clear as possible – so I was stopping to scan copies along the way. I would guess in a real situation it might take 45 minutes or so? I can do it faster if I’m in a rush :) But usually the idea is to relax and enjoy the day.

  2. April 24, 2015 2:57 PM

    This is great! Thanks for sharing the helpful tips and ideas!

  3. kitschuetze permalink
    April 24, 2015 7:16 PM

    Reblogged this on Kit Schuetze – Art.

  4. April 24, 2015 8:06 PM

    What a beautiful city. I like

  5. Elaine permalink
    October 10, 2017 4:45 PM

    This three part series is a great reference. Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing!


  1. Direct-to-Ink Exercises: Part Two: Tone Shapes | Citizen Sketcher
  2. Direct-to-Ink Exercises: Part One: Single Line Sketching | Citizen Sketcher
  3. One Day : One Sketchbook : The Plateau Panoramas | Citizen Sketcher
  4. Make you own Accordion Fold Travel Journals for watercolor sketching | Citizen Sketcher
  5. Sketching Interiors or: Breaking the Tyranny of Perspective | Citizen Sketcher
  6. Sketching Interiors or: Breaking the Tyranny of Perspective – | Cygnus

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