Benson bridge, Multnomah falls Oregon

my latest drawing. done just last night.

today’s thoughts have all been about Texture. I have a feeling that I missed it badly in certain places of the drawing; espacially along the cliff faces on the left and right of the falls.

googling on the subject says that texture is a fundamental element to art but that its less important than form, and value.

whats interesting about this image is that previous to last night; certain parts of the image espacially in the upper left looked rather different. as I scrutinized and developed small areas through the picture- last night it became obvious to me; that the value of the upper cliffs were all wrong. I darkened the heck out of it and its appearance (I think) marginally improved.

I think I might still have value problems espacially along the lower part of the cliffs where there was some deep shadows from the cliffs.

alternately; I might have missed or screwed up some of the form of the cliff; getting so lost in the details that i wiped out the all important shape of those cliffs.

Lastly and surely I didn’t copy the textures right either.

so There!

I just proved to myself that the whole drawing doesn’t work. ha!

yeah. thats not quite the way to look at it either. instead I’m working on getting more detail, texture, and contrast into my drawing- and it IS more deeply contrasted than other recent images.

I think its good practice to think about texture; and I can probably further improve by concentrating on texture some without the challenge of a big complicated waterfall picture at the same time.

I also think texture is especially important in landscapes. there’s always so much MORE detail than can be exactly drawn; so the big challenge- to suggest that detail.

your thoughts are appreciated.


I like how you’re analyzing what you did. Just like you, I think this is a learning process we all go through. Perhaps, in a second attempt you could also look at the composition. I have seen many photos of this waterfall and, having such a tall waterfall smack in the middle of the image forces you to have super developed textures and values to give it the depth that you are looking for. I think you picked a great challenge. I believe that you are right in saying that the values at the bottom need to be developed further. It is still a great drawing that you will probably continue working on. And, if you are not totally happy with it, you might apply what you learned here to a redo? Thanks so much for sharing. Patricia.

Like everything else, we learn by our mistakes and errors. Everything is an learning experience. I think you did this well. Yes texture is important, so is how you place things, focal point, and value.

Good job I especially love the bridge.

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Keep going! It just needs more time. I see this as a drawing that’s halfway completed. Maybe try out different techniques for texture on a separate sheet of paper? I agree that it looks better in the areas where your values are darker.

For your composition, the placement of the waterfall in the center makes it a bit static. You could crop out one of the sides to resolve this—that would leave you with a tall, skinny picture plane that emphasizes the length of the waterfall. Just an idea.

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I love the concept of what I think you are trying to get here. What I see is an unfinished drawing. In the center of the waterfall(s) it looks like there should be a little more detail of how the water is flowing over the rocks. There would be a pooling of the water right under where it falls before it falls again with a little splashing there as well. I think maybe putting a little darker pencil under what it would be flowing to the next drop-off. I guess I think the linear perspective has not to be captured. If you live close to this waterfall, take a color picture of it and then copy it in gradations of black and white (gray tones). I am pretty sure that you have a picture of the waterfalls. Any copier place would be able to take it from color to black and white. I did this for my next project (a flying peacock).

[linear perspective]


  1. a type of perspective used by artists in which the relative size, shape, and position of objects are determined by drawn or imagined lines converging at a point on the horizon that is off the top of the drawing.

ArtistLittleNora a/k/a lilnora