One of the concepts that was discussed was the focal point of the painting, and how certain elements lead the viewer's eye to different areas of the paintings. A close look at the painting reveals two arches formed by the heavy foliage of the trees, and gives the viewer a choice of which path to take (although lighting of the right side arch probably has more pull that the left side).
So we went through a couple of exercises to play with focal points in our own designs. The last exercise was to compose a picture that uses the two arch elements, and also has the landscape as part of the theme (though some artists chose to not incorporate the landscape).
Here is my sketch that I did in the JLI studio. We had the option to work with other media and colors, but because I wasn't sure what to do, I chose to simply work with pencil. I eventually chose to draw a face because that is often a subject that I use to experiment with new ideas and concepts. By the time I finished the drawing, there wasn't really enough time to take it a step further, so I decided to take it home and make a more refined version of it, using my illustrative approach.
So here is the sequence of the process. 1) Use monochromatic watercolor washes in the first stages, with the exception of minimal color in the lenses of the binoculars; 2) Use pen and ink hatches to render form, light and shadow; 3) Use pen, brush and ink to refine the imagery and add linear techniques to further develop the forms.
Illustrated with watercolor, pen, brush and India ink