Drawing Course: Landscape Field Sketching (Sydney)

Drawing Course: Landscape Field Sketching

Illustration & Painting courses in Sydney, open to the general public.

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This drawing course will provide you with an understanding of the history of landscape field sketching and will develop your ability to create a landscape field sketch by using a practical technique that blends a traditional method with modern optic technology. During this drawing course you will receive an brief introduction to the history of the field sketch, you will learn of the benefits of exercising one’s powers of observation while developing your design skills and mindfulness. In this drawing course the elements of the immediate response of a field sketch are combined with the practical value of optic technology and applied to an illustration technique suitable for modern travellers.

The landscape field sketch has been a historically important aspect of the phenomenon of visual documentation now dominated by photography and film. Practitioners of this traditional craft were highly skilled draughtsman with excellent powers of observation and a keen sense of design. There is a rich tradition of travellers using the field sketching to record the places they visited. Gaining knowledge about the history of the landscape field sketch and developing your ability to create your own field sketches will deliver a range of benefits for modern travellers.

Presented by an artist with a PhD in Natural History Illustration and over twenty years' experience as a children’s book illustrator, this drawing course covers creative elements of the landscape field sketch genre.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completing this drawing course you will:

  1. Have a clear understanding of the history of the field sketch.
  2. Be able to create a field sketch using a practical technique blending a traditional method and modern optic technology.
  3. Be able to identify, analyse and understand the importance of a number of key design elements.
  4. Be able to evaluate, critically, your field sketch and incorporate key design elements.
  5. Have a clear understanding of the benefits of engaging in the field sketch practice.

Course Content

Introduction to landscape field sketching techniques

(In-class seminar)

  • The history of landscape field sketch.
  • Practical field sketch technique explained using examples of the instructor’s field sketches.
  • Explanation of start-up kit consisting of basic field sketch materials.
  • Key design elements explained.
  • Watercolour sketching demonstration by instructor.
  • Guide participants through a series of creative exercises, inherent in the practical field sketch technique. Exercises include making a pencil drawing from direct observation and painting with watercolours.

Practical landscape field sketching

(Two field trips)

  • Field trip to nearby location.
  • Students make sketches and take photos.
  • Discuss sketches and continue progress by refining drawing and applying water colours in the classroom.

Intended Audience

The intended audience for this drawing course are travellers, aspiring artists and the general public. Anyone with an interest in the field sketch and the natural environment will enjoy this course.

Delivery Style

This drawing course will involve mixed mode delivery consisting of a demonstration workshop and practical, hands-on field trips. Session one will be delivered as a demonstration workshop where participants will observe the instructor as sketching concepts are introduced. Sessions two and three will be conducted as practical sessions ‘in the field’, with the locations to be announced by the instructor during session one.

Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisite requirements for attending this drawing course. Basic drawing and painting skills are useful.

Course Materials

You will need to bring following materials when attending this drawing course:

Dr Lambert Davis is a highly skilled illustrator with three decades of professional experience undertaking freelance work and as a children’s book illustrator. Dr Davis has successfully collaborated on projects with large publishing houses as well as small design teams. He has experience producing and delivering workshops and art instruction on a range of levels from primary to adult education.

Recent Exhibitions

  • 2015 Illuminating Science, Lovett Gallery, Newcastle Region Library - A group exhibition celebrating 30 years of Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle.
  • 2015 Broughton Island: The Art of Adventure, Newcastle Museum - A collective account of six Natural History illustrators from the University of Newcastle’s Natural History Illustration degree program on a five-day sailing expedition to Broughton Island.
  • 2015 Solo PhD Exhibition, Senta Taft-Hendry Museum, University of Newcastle - ‘A Visual Investigation into Images of Land, Sea, Sky and Cloud: History, Science and Travel Applied to a Contemporary Art Practice’.


  • 2013 Paddlepop Press, Sydney, NSW - 'Fun with Water' Playschool Activity Book
  • 2010 Lee and Low Books, New York, NY - 'Seaside Dream' Author: Janet Bates
  • 2006 Blue Sky Press, Scholastic, New York, NY - 'The Journey: Stories of Migration' Author: Cynthia Rylant
  • 2004 Blue Sky Press, Scholastic, New York, NY - 'Swimming with Dolphins' Author & Illustrator
  • 2003 Blue Sky Press, Scholastic, New York, NY - 'Whales Passing' Author: Eve Bunting
  • 2000 Margaret Hamilton Books, Scholastic, Sydney, NSW - 'Snow Bear' Author: Liliana Stafford
  • 2000 Island Heritage Publishing, Honolulu, HI - 'Willie’s Wallabies' Author: Suzanne Kita
  • 1999 Omnibus Books, Scholastic, Adelaide, SA - 'Sunflower!' Author: Joanne Horniman
  • 1994 Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY - 'Baby Whales Drink Milk' Author: Barbara Esbensen
  • 1992 Harcourt Brace and Co. San Diego, CA - 'Rikki-Tikki-Tavi' Author: Rudyard Kipling
  • 1991 Harcourt Brace and Co. San Diego, CA - 'Trouble Dolls' Author: Jimmy Buffett and Savannah Jane Buffett
  • 1990 Harcourt Brace and Co. San Diego, CA - 'The Dark Way' Author: Virginia Hamilton
  • 1989 Harcourt Brace and Co. San Diego, CA - 'The Bells of Christmas' Author: Virginia Hamilton
  • 1989 Harcourt Brace and Co. San Diego, CA - 'The Terrible Hodag' Author: Caroline Arnold
  • 1988 Harcourt Brace and Co. San Diego, CA - 'The Jollymon' Author: Jimmy Buffett and Savannah Jane Buffet

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Course Features

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