impressionistic landscape graphite pencil drawing

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De Horsten – 02-07-15

Open Space

An impressionist view from the road next to Royal Estate ‘De Horsten’ near Voorschoten over the meadows towards The Hague. In the direct surroundings of the city open space with a clear view on the cityscape is scarce. This was the one thing that struck me when I was riding down this road. I could see for miles and miles. However, from this vantage point major landmarks are not really visible. On the other hand do flatbuildings in the distance contrast the fields in the front quite nicely. So I thought I should give it a shot.


Initially I focused on the the linear perspective. The vanishing point is situated at the back of the canal and creates an attractive feel of depth. In addition the small bridges and the repetition of fences in the front and back enfore the perspective play. There is nothing more tedious as open fields that lack these qualities. They easily can become ‘green walls’ instead and look naive.

Play of Values

In order to create the desired light shimmering over the water I hatched everyting to a value 8 or less. I kept the highlights (value 10) white though. Moreover, I made the grassy banks considerably darker. It is not the kind of drawing you can create on the spot because of the subtble hatched strokes I had to finetune. Earlier drawings of The Horsten I made (partially or not) at the spot. An example is ‘De Horsten – 06-07-14’ which I made while sketching with some students. Drawings like this are rather sketches that allow to work with balder strokes and moves. This drawing needed more subtlety.

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Graphite pencil drawing (Pentel 0.5 mm, 3B) on Canson Bristol paper (21 x 29.7 x 0.1 cm – A4 format)

Artist: Corné Akkers

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