“Creativity takes courage” - Henri Matisse

Artistic pursuits are the most popular hobbies being taken up by people. Creative hobbies are becoming an increasing part of people’s lives in the UK.

So why not combine them with another popular pastime?

Gardening! 27 million people in the UK partake in gardening!

So why not draw the fruits of your labour?

Trees, plants, etc. when it comes to art, there are few things better to draw than beautiful gardens. Just ask Monet! Whether you use markers, pencils, or paints, here’s everything you need to know about painting and drawing gardens and parks.

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Why Draw Gardens and Parks?

Whether it’s for the fun of it or out of necessity, drawing gardens and parks can be enriching and fun for artists. Perspective, light and shadow, proportions, etc. things can get quite technical. It all depends on why you’re drawing.

Why should you draw gardens?
Gardens are useful for testing several important drawing techniques. (Source: JillWellington)

Some artists draw their garden or the garden of their dreams to give them an idea of what to do with their real garden. A bit like the way an architect designs a building, these drawing can help you to imagine how your garden should look.

In some cases, these drawings will be technical. You need to respect the proportions but also ensure that the design and layout are also good. You may want to draw a garden from multiple angles to give you a better idea of it. In these cases, the perspective will play an important role in your drawings. However, a drawing of a garden can also be a good artistic representation of yours or a friend’s garden.

What’s better than sitting down in front of a beautiful garden and drawing?

It’s a great opportunity to enjoy some open green spaces. In this case, you won’t need to worry about the exact dimensions of a garden gnome and you can capture the feel of the garden. After all, to create beautiful artwork, you sometimes have to free yourself from the constraints of the real world and draw according to feel.

Whether you’re designing a garden or creating a pretty picture, you have to enjoy yourself when making art.

Where to Begin when Drawing Gardens and Parks

To get started with drawing gardens and parks, you have to start by finding a good model. You have a few choices:

  • Draw your garden
  • Draw a public garden or park
  • Draw a garden or park you find online
How can you start drawing gardens?
If you want to draw gardens, you'll need to be pretty good at drawing plants and flowers. (Source: ennelise)

Not everyone has a garden and it might be more practical to find a picture of a nice garden online or in a book. It’s very common in drawing classes for the teacher to get their students to reproduce something from an image or a postcard, for example. This allows the students to draw something they mightn’t have ever seen before.

For inspiration, you should head to social networks like Pinterest and Instagram. These networks are full of inspirational images. You should be able to find something that looks great.

Similarly, there are magazines and books with great images in them. If you’re lucky enough to have your garden, find a comfortable place to sit where you have a good view of it. Once you’re sitting comfortably, you can start by doing a sketch. This allows you to work out where everything goes and draw some of the most important lines onto the page with a graphite pencil. This is essential when you first start drawing. However, more experienced artists can skip this step.

As a beginner, don’t skip any of the steps!

Learn more about drawing nature.

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Perspective: The Key to Drawing a Good Garden

Perspective is essential if you want your garden to look realistic.

How do you draw perspective?
In bigger gardens, the perspective will play an important role. (Source: Tama66)

How can you understand the layout of a garden if a flower looks like it’s the same size as a tree?

Perspective is a technique that can help the observer understand the relative sizes of objects and their position within an image.

According to Wikipedia, graphical perspective is:

“an approximate representation, generally on a flat surface (such as paper), of an image as it is seen by the eye. The two most characteristic features of perspective are that objects appear smaller as their distance from the observer increases; and that they are subject to foreshortening, meaning that an object's dimensions along the line of sight appear shorter than its dimensions across the line of sight.”

Thus, the perspective will help you add depth to your image be it on a sheet of paper or canvas. After all, you’re trying to represent something three-dimensional on a two-dimensional medium.

The first examples are perspective in art appeared with one of the world’s greatest artists: Leonardo da Vinci. Similarly, you can enjoy his “sfumato” technique in the “Mona Lisa”. This softening of colours between transitions helps add depth to them.

When drawing a garden, you need to place objects in the foreground and the background. To do this, you’ll need to observe your garden from a specific point. As a beginner, you might want to draw some construction lines to the vanishing point. From your vanishing point, you’ll want several straight lines radiating outwards.

These lines will help you with perspective, such as on the tops of trees, for example. You can use these lines to help you place objects at different distances, too.

Find out more about drawing mountains.

The Steps to Follow when Drawing a Garden

You should start with your perspective lines. Don’t worry too much about them as you’ll end up erasing them later. Do them lightly with a grey pencil.

The sketch will act as the basis for your drawing; a bit like a skeleton. Sketching is a liberating process as it allows the artist to draw without any fear of making a mistake. This is important when learning how to draw as you can learn a lot form your mistakes. A fear of making mistakes will only inhibit your creativity. With just a pencil and a rubber, anything is possible!

Once you’ve finished your sketch, you’ll want to move onto inking. Inking is a term commonly used in the world of comics and illustration as it allows you to go back over the important lines that you want to keep.

Whether you do this with Indian ink, charcoal, pen, or another medium, you want to go back over the lines you got right and erase your other mistakes.

Beware! Make sure that your ink is dry before you try to rub out the other lines. You don’t want to smudge the ink.

Once you’ve inked your drawing, you can move onto colouring it. You can use gouache, oil paints, coloured pencils, watercolours, acrylics, or markers. It’s up to you!

Don’t hesitate to bring some life into your garden by adding animals like hedgehogs, birds, or flowers.

Learn how to draw a beach.

Which Techniques Should You Use for Drawing Gardens and Parks?

No single technique is better than another when it comes to drawing gardens and parks. You can pick whichever you like according to your style and preference.

Which techniques should you use for drawing gardens?
To draw gardens and parks, you'll need to use several drawing techniques. (Source: JillWellington)

A lot of landscape artists and architects use special markers to add colours to their work. These allow them to colour without leaving marks like tradition felt tips do. Copic and Promarker are some of the brands to look out for.

If you’d like your work to be more artistic than architectural, you might want to opt for gouache, acrylics, or even oil paints. Maybe you want to do it on a canvas and easel.

The advantage of drawing or painting your garden is that it’s easier to set up your equipment.

We recommend that you start with a pad of paper, some pencils, and a rubber.

Discover how to draw houses.

How Can You Learn to Draw a Garden?

You can learn to draw a garden by teaching yourself or in an art class. There are art courses to help people learn the basics of drawing and painting. If you want to progress quickly, you’ll need to learn how to draw basic shapes, people, the human body, animals, etc.

To get better, there are art workshops that focus on particular techniques, styles, and projects. In private tutorials, workshops, or group tutorials, you can find a good teacher or tutor and learn specific techniques and styles.

With a private tutor, you can ask them to teach you exactly what you want to learn, such as how to draw a garden, without wasting time on other techniques that you mightn’t be interested in using.

You can also learn how to draw video tutorials and guides. Don’t hesitate to watch what other artists are doing, too!

If you'd like to learn more about printmaking, oil painting, figure drawing, or sculpture, consider getting in touch with a private tutor on Superprof. Many offer the first hour of art classes for free so you can discuss the drawing skills you'd like to focus on and what you'd like to paint or draw...

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Daniel