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Adventure Series 1

Ten Lines

Congratulations! You've finished the course!

Learn how to use a limited number of lines to identify and place major shapes in the landscape. You will use this skill throughout the lifecycle of a painting from initial design to finish.

9min 46sec

"Ten Lines" is about helping you determine exact placement that you like with the fewest lines possible. Concern yourself with interesting lines, allowing for better drawing later. Drawing can be worked out after placement is understood.


There is no magic to the number 10 -- describe the major shapes in as few lines as possible (it could be more or less than 10).

The idea is not to render the scene exactly as you see it. The scene will change based on your location within the landscape and / or the time of day. Imagine these changes and experiment with their impact.

Use "ten lines" to divide your surface into interesting spaces.

Placement first. Drawing second.

Using 5-10 photographs you have gathered, find exact placement that you like with the fewest lines possible.

Do many versions of each photograph, finding diversity in each. The goal is to look for a variety of ways of designing in each scene.

Think of it like a still life and approach it by setting up the elements of your scene.


Evaluate each sketch in terms of the way it divides your painting surface. Make notes about your evaluation of each sketch.

This is an ongoing part of the process. After a few days, try this exercise again with the same 10 photographs and see if you can produce more interesting and diverse designs.

  • 5-10 Photographs
  • Drawing Journal
  • Drawing Utensil
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