How to Draw a 5 Minute Landscape

How to Draw a 5 Minute Landscape
How to Draw a 5 Minute Landscape

Drawing Quick Landscape Sketches 

Drawing landscapes is a great exercise in speed and accuracy that allows you to improve your skills in the field or at home. A sketch isn't always the final drawing you intend to create and gives you a rough idea of an outdoors setting. 

If you want to improve your readiness for creating excellent sketches, you'll want to learn these easy-to-follow speed sketching tricks. If you want to learn how to draw a 5-minute landscape, this guide is a perfect example.

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Advantages of Drawing Quickly

One advantage that comes with being a stealthy artist is learning how to work fast. Being an artist is a demanding job; working for an employer is expected to have fast drawing skills. To get to this level, you can learn to cut corners to some extent, but that's not enough. Some drawing tips don't cut any corners and rely on methods that catch all your basic detail that can be filled in later.

Another aspect that is a big part of increasing your speed is a matter of natural light. Shadows change all throughout the day, so sketching any landscape will have different shadow lines at certain times of the day. This is why your sketching skills need to be shortened to the least time possible so you can concentrate on filling shadow lines that are part of the detail.

Sketching Landscapes Super Quick

If you find a landscape that you want to sketch, find a comfortable place to set-up if you're outside. If you are drawing at home, you can pull up a photo image you want to draw on your display screen. Being comfortable also has a lot to do with drawing, so your chair should give you a relaxed sitting position. If you have a sketch pad placed on your lap, it needs to have a stiff backing that allows you to easily hold the pad.

This allows you to see in front of you and have better field vision to draw your landscape. You can then start mapping out your landscape using rough lines that are finished later for finer detail. Some of the fine detail gives a fast representation of where shadows are going. The rest of the detail is completed with smoothing and shading after you've finished the main sketch itself.

Landscapes Super Quick Technique 

You can follow these quick steps that make sketching any landscape outdoors or from a photograph. This technique is better when you are on location so your senses can take in more detail. Here's what you can do:

• Have a primary focus point

Set your sights on what you can see in front of you without any obstructions that block what you can see. If there is something in the foreground, try to place these items off to the side. So you have a better point-of-view of your landscape. This is called composition' and helps set-up what you plan to draw. This cannot be done using a photo and is better suited for drawing on location.

After this, you can begin sketching on your sketchpad. If you have a portable chair to sit on, try to get into a comfortable position. Otherwise, you can use whatever is available to steady yourself and your sketchpad.

• Make only simple lines

Make rough outlines of the horizon line and landscape features that are in the background first. Then start to add details that are closer in the foreground. Don't make details that have any definition just yet. Basic lines are perfect since they can be drawn quickly. Even if they aren't totally perfect, you should just get the basic shape that can be cleaned up later. Don't use a pen to sketch your lines, and use a pencil that can be erased.

All your basic lines should always be sketched lightly to have a visual guide that can be overstepped as you refine the landscape itself. If you have an eraser on hand, quickly erase any lines that aren't part of your semi-finished sketch.

• Use details to finish a sketch

If you have time to get necessary details that include shadow lines and landscape details. These can be added using quick shading by angling the pencil at an angle. This helps fill-in larger areas and shadowed spots within your eyesight. Use a blender stump if you brought that with you. The whole point is to get the basic idea of a landscape that can be completed later. This way, you can practice at several locations from different vantage points.

You can also practice this task all through the day, getting different lighting conditions along the way. When you get back home, you can complete these sketches and clean them up with finer detail as you like.

1-Minute Sketching Landscapes Super Quick

Getting the basic outlines of a landscape can be done in just one minute using a mental photograph of what you can see. Start with the horizon line that defines the overall vantage point. Then add mid-point items such as hills and mountains that marry the horizon line. After this, add quick lines that offer foregrounds such as trees, bushes, bodies of water, or rocks.

Don't focus on any fine detail at all, so it's going to look rough because it's a one-minute sketch. The better you get at this, the better your chances for capturing a genuine mental photograph of a landscape.

2-Minute Sketching Task

This task gives you longer to take in the visuals of what you can see and is suitable for sketching scenes while you are on-the-go. These sketches will look cleaner and more complete since you have an extra minute to add finer details. These can include rough textures, water movement, or objects seen in nature. Once again, these sketches don't have to be completely clean, but they will have better landscape definition.

5-Minute Sketching Landscape Technique

The amount of time you have with 5-minute sketches is going to be the formula for sketching outdoors. You see this technique being taught in art schools for figure drawing, but essentially the same for drawing natural landscapes. The advantage of having 5 minutes to take-in a setting will allow you to absorb as much detail that can be refined later. Try and see how many locations you include when learning how to draw a 5-minute landscape.

Final Words

One recommendation that works great for doing fast sketching exercises is bringing a kitchen timer. These can be set for selected minutes and reminds you that your time is over. Don't go over this time and move onto the next location. Any sketches that include one or two-minute landscapes are great when you are hiking. For more significant and more detailed landscapes, you should practice a 5-minute sketch.

Find locations that appeal to you or are locations that are accessible to the public. Ensure that you aren't walking on private property and/or making sure you have permission to go on private land.


Ian Walsh is the creator and author of and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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How to Draw a 5 Minute Landscape