Get me to the church on time!

Why do I say that? Well...… time, time is of the essence when you draw outside. Light changes and moves, the sun appears and goes - creating a difference atmosphere by the minute.

But before you can take in the ambience, you first must observe the shapes and get the structure and proportions right. Without that, you are on a hiding to nothing! Finding the right place to stand is another challenge. You need to stand in the shade but also stand with our easel in line with the view (so you don't spend the whole time peeking around the easel!).

Having found the right spot, set up your easel, you need to stop.... stop and observe. View what attracts you to the scene... this is your point of interest and you need to portray that to the viewer (keeping the rest of the drawing more simple). A big hint is to make sure your feet are comfortable! (sounds silly, but standing for several hours, you don't want them to get cold, hence the socks!).

Your pencil is the most important tool for measuring... don't rely on your eyes as they lie. You'll find that if you draw by eye, everything you hate shrinks e.g. a car and everything you like goes bigger e.g. a person.

As I said, get you shapes/ proportions correct - measure and compare. With regards to perspective drawing - your eye level is the horizon. If you follow the slanting lines to your eye level, the pencil will reach a point (vanishing point) where all the sloping and rising lines will hit this point for one side of the building. Trust the angle of the pencil and not your eyes!

Then comes the fun bit - shadows and highlights. Make sure you do these in one go, if you take hours, the light changes and your artwork is not convincing. Keep to it and stick to it, don't amend and chase the light :)

Details of the drawing (18 x 24 inches) show cross hatching/smudging, well everything I fancy to make a mark which I feel is relevant. I have not been taught art, so have no restrictions in techniques. Step outside of your comfort barrier and explore mark making, because that is the only way you can learn and gain 'natty' ways of moving forward to achieve your goal.

Drawing of Hereford Cathedral on Strathmore Toned grey paper using charcoal.