Drawing Outside & Never-Ending Landscapes

By Paula Briggs

Drawing in the garden
Drawing in the garden

A beautiful morning spent drawing in the garden was inspired by the notion of Myriorama. I remember being fascinated by myriorama cards (or as I knew them “never-ending landscapes”) as a child. Each card has a slightly different landscape image, but with the starting and end points of each image to the left and the right of each card drawn in such a way that the cards can be arranged in any order to create varied and never-ending landscapes. The word myriorama was invented to mean myriad pictures, following the model of panorama, diorama, cosmorama and other novelties (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myriorama_(cards).

Never-ending landscape cards
Never-ending landscape cards

The garden in June was beginning to really ramp-up for summer, and I wanted to use the idea of myriorama to help children at a mini-art school session of the Friday Club to explore how we could take inspiration from observational drawing and then let these drawings evolve into something more personal and expressive – discovering and creating new landscapes and spaces.

Children worked on A3 sheets of sugar paper and drew with feathers turned into nibs dipped in black ink, and watercolours. I did also intend to encourage children to make their own brushes and pens out of things from the garden, but time was against us in this session. Working outdoors was a great opportunity to use ink, which can of course be messy and stain clothes. The sugar paper has a lovely way of “drinking-up” the ink on the paper.

Ink and nib
Ink and nib

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