One thumbnail at a time, should not take more than 15 minutes per series of 3 sketches.
Starting at the top of the composition chart on page 116 draw a frame
to compose within the frame. Without it there is no composition.
Judge approximately where the main masses are, starting with the darks.
Draw the outlines, sketching with a light and lively line (do not engrave), this is just positioning. Do not measure. The purpose of this is to train you to approximate. By this, we mean get a reasonably good sense of the locations, tilts and proportions of your masses. It has to be a direct impression.
Pay particular attention to the positive / negative space. When you have the main masses and the space is divided in a fashion somewhat similar to your example, it is time to attribute values.
Try to figure out which direction the plane or planes are going in your mass. Using a regular hatching, lines close and regular, you can modify the value of hatching by modifying the pressure on your color pencil. A tree for example would most likely have different planes , consequently different hatching directions close to each other. Each hatching will indicate a different plane, the mass is indicated by the value attributed to the object.
Do this systematically, look at E. P. example for clues but you can
also take liberties as long as you understand where you are going.
This part of the exercise, designed to make you aware of planes, is a
preparation for brushstrokes.
Try to attribute a value to every mass at the exception of the sky which is paper color if there are no clouds. If there are clouds, try to work them in the same technique, just lighter. Each day you should do one sketch. Do it at least twice, do not think too much, it is an observation /action procedure. After you have done it at least twice, make another one for the creative approach.
Make one change, one small change only. Nothing that would disturb the character of the composition. Ask yourself “what if?” What if the mountain is higher, the tree a little more to the left, the path going in another direction, etc...
This is, of course, what we are doing in the field. Observing and making changes for compositional purposes.
This exercise, if practiced regularly, will do miracles for you. It will improve at the same time your drawing skills, your composition skills, your brushstrokes and sensitivity to planes and the fluency to freely sketch what you see. Not bad for 15 minutes a day. “A day” being the operative word. When you are done with the 4 pages of the main chart, you can go back starting page 69 and take them one by one. If boats are not inspiring for you, take the next one, there is plenty for you to work with. Once you are done with this book you will have accumulated enough experience to be able to sketch from more complex material.
Meanwhile, please start reading from the beginning, it will enlighten your thinking about your own painting as you go along.
A word of caution: sometimes the printing is somewhat jammed. It is a composition book after all , and we are stretching the exercise. If you cannot distinguish the hatching in the thumbnail, try to visualize the direction of the plane. Each plane, on a flat surface, has 2 directions possible for you to choose from. Each plane is distinguished from its neighbor by a difference in the hatching angle.