Thumbnail Sketching in the Landscape

Thumbnail Sketching Outdoor Drawing Session_CJ Shelton

Event Date:

July 14, 2024

Event Time:

1:00 pm

Event Location:

The Alton Mill Arts Centre

Learn to do quick expressive drawings of the summer landscape

In-Person and OUTDOORS

This is the first of three plein air (outdoor) drawing sessions I am offering this summer where you can immerse yourself in nature while learning some essential aspects of working both with – and within – the natural landscape. Take all three or only the ones that interest you. Check out my UPCOMING WORKSHOP PAGE for more information on the other two dates.


DATE:  Sunday, July 14, 2024
LOCATION:  The Alton Mill Arts Centre (meet outside the main doors)
TIME:  1pm to 3pm (you have the option to stay longer and enjoy the property)
FEE:  $55+HST

Hills and valleys, hardwood and pine trees, clouds and ripples on water … these elements are the basics of every landscape drawing or painting.

Creating “thumbnails” or small simplified drawings is a quick “sketchy” approach that allows you to quickly record the essence of a scene plein air (outdoors) or experiment with different viewpoints and compositions that can later be developed into more detailed drawings or paintings.

This workshop will answer the question “where do I start” as you learn some of the fundamentals of what makes a good landscape composition and how to focus your efforts on creating a visual story. Skills covered will include simplifying things into basic shapes, value mapping, and some easy tricks for creating a sense of depth and realism.

This session is suitable for beginners looking for tips on how to get started recording the landscape and for more experienced artists looking to add new life to their practice.


Recording the world around us through an artistic process invites us into observing the landscape, trees, flowers and rivers, and even ourselves in new ways. The beautiful natural environment of the Alton Mill has an ample variety of subject matter for us to work from, including maples, cedars, a pine forest, the millpond and the rapids-filled Shaw’s Creek that flows through the property. If we are lucky, we may even see the pond’s resident Great Blue Heron or a snapping turtle!

During this session you will have me beside you, demonstrating tips and tricks for how to draw the natural elements we observe and giving you the benefit of my 40+ years experience drawing.

All three of my outdoor drawing sessions this summer complement the weekly drawing classes I run throughout the year and are a great “try-it” opportunity if you haven’t taken a class with me before but are thinking about joining one.

BRING YOUR OWN MATERIALS:  a small sketchbook, pencils, eraser, water bottle and sunscreen as well as a stool, blanket or chair. If it rains, the session will move indoors or under the annex tent.

Any questions can be emailed to

Be sure to check out my UPCOMING WORKSHOP PAGE for more information on the other two dates and subject matter in this special summer outdoor drawing series!

CANCELLATION POLICY. Please note that all classes are non-refundable if you are a no-show, cancel or change your mind at the last minute. A raincheck to take another class as a substitute may be offered if there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from attending but this will be solely at the discretion of the instructor. In the event a class needs to be cancelled due to unforeseen reasons it will be rescheduled or fully refunded.

Register Now:

Ticket Type: Ticket Qty: Per Ticket Price:


6 Left:
Quantity: Total

Event Location:

Total Seats: 12 (6 Left:)
  • The Alton Mill Arts Centre
  • 1402 Queen St. W., Studio #206
  • Alton
  • ON
  • L7K 0C4
  • Canada

Event Schedule Details

  • July 14, 2024 1:00 pm   -   3:00 pm
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