Hengifoss waterfall environment drawing by Xavier Wendling
Hengifoss waterfall environment drawing by Xavier Wendling

Environment drawing challenge


Today's post lifts the veil on my latest learning and creative project.

Lately I have been working on improving my drawing skills, both on paper and on screen. I have set a goal to learn and perfect techniques that will make me a better designer and content creator, a more confident digital artist.

My daily creative routine has been further refined to incorporates drawing opportunities, with a particular focus on two genres: portraits and characters and environments.

So this week has been step one of a new personal project I am taking, challenging myself to draw and paint various environments. The framework is the popular environment drawing challenge on Tumblr. Each brief prompts for a particular background to be produced.

The very first brief called for the creation of a waterfall scene. The waterfalls of Iceland naturally came to mind, for the stunning beauty of these landscapes, for their particular topological configuration but also for the typical color palettes in this part of the World.

Researching references, I was quickly drawn to the majesty of the Hengifoss waterfall and decided to create my own cleaned and stylized version of this beauty, looking at it at a distance from the bottom of the riverbed.

In addition to challenging myself creatively on a daily basis, the exercise proved a fantastic opportunity to develop and refine my craft on various fronts, including making better use of Photoshop brushes, practicing my pen tool and selection skills, improving my line art technique, better leveraging the potential of blending modes and clipping masks, exploring various painting and coloring techniques.

As I continue the challenge, I really want to develop a confident and efficient workflow from start to finish, mastering every aspect of the journey including initial rough sketching, refined inking, focal points and composition, light sources and shading, tonal painting, color key creation and digital painting and texturing.

Through this delightful learning experience, I welcome the opportunity to develop and improve skills that I'll be able to leverage, whether for simply sketching ideas, developing visual concepts or carrying on full-fledged illustration or visual development projects.

To follow the project and more on this topic, visit the dedicated environment drawing page.

You are also very welcome to explore this website at will to get a sense of the full spectrum of my creative activities, including my work in photography, video, graphic design, illustration and motion graphic.