It is written by Joahan Meeus and translated by Jean Tee
Why draw landscapes?
I don’t make drawings of the landscape because I like to make strokes across a paper. Quite the reverse: through my strokes I try to understand the three-dimensional structure of the space. This forces me to make sharp observations and be very focused for a short amount of time.
My intention with a sketch is to depict the atmosphere of a landscape; to indicate the proportions of buildings and plants to the open space; and finally hint at the materials, all in about ten minutes. In order to do this, I need to confine myself to what I consider to be the essence of the landscape.
I also have to restrain myself from overdoing it. If I take too long and try to put in too much at the same time, I lose sight of what is essential and the drawing gets ruined. My objective is not to depict all the leaves on a tree or all details of a building, but rather to portray these objects in their surroundings, making up the space together.
I primarily make the sketches for myself, to remember a landscape by what made an impression on me. When I’m finished with my observations in the field, I stop working on the sketches, because I’m afraid I would otherwise draw in so many details or jazz them up in such a way that the initial experience is lost. To me, the field-sketch is either finished or a failure. The first drawings of a series always fail. I’m not sure why, but only after some exercise, the sketching is done faster and more effectively. Besides, it turns out that the subsequent drawings of a certain landscape have already set my strokes across the paper, so that later drawings become much sharper.
The aim is to use the smallest amount of lines as possible to still be able to give the impression of a landscape.