On my reader today …things magazine with a cache of books. The met publications are a great resource for free art books and online or offline reading especially on american art, but not only. There are many interesting titles on the site, for example van Gogh in Arles. Not all publication can be read in full, some are only available in limited pre-views.
I have a fancy for romantic landscapes and antiques. As my wallet does not have the right size I have to create the objects of desire myself. This one is a picturesque landscape after Claude-Henri Watelet, an amateur painter who lived in the 18th century. I picked that subject (in fact an etching after Watelet) without knowing who Watelet was, but of course I did see the picturesque in his work. The more I was delighted to find that Watelet was not only a painter and etcher, but also author of books on visual art and the art of gardening. His essay on gardens seems a kind of key text on the French picturesque.
For most people drawing foreshortening is difficult and I am no exception. I remember very well my first exercise from the Bert Dodson book “Keys to drawings” (my favorite drawing books on amazon). He requests the reader to draw the own left or right hand with the fingers pointing to the viewer. That exercise gets the right side of the brain in action. To close one eye helps a lot. It stops the left side of the brain interfering again and again suggesting that those fingers should be drawn longer. I commend to try yourself to get that funny feeling inside your head
Ball pen sketch of the left hand, drawing exercise to learn foreshortening.