Exercise – Sketching an individual tree
I chose a tree by the river for this exercise, which was to do four sketches of the same tree:
In pencil, a simple outline drawing with vegetation shaded in
In coloured pencil, including some tonal shading this time
In pen with tonal shading (drawn as a continuous line), but no vegetation drawn in
Pen as with sketch 3, with vegetation in coloured pencil – a bit too luminous in colour and being able to see through the coloured pencil to the pen below looks a bit weird.
I did an additional larger sketch of the same tree in charcoal
Exercise – Larger study of an individual tree
I picked the tree on my patio to draw as I could do this comfortably through the patio windows:
I chose Letraset Tria pens to complete this sketch as I wanted to try them out.
The pens give a uniform colour no matter how much you go over the same spot with them, so I had to add tone through hatching on the trunk. There wasn’t really any way I could add this in the foliage areas though, but I don’t think the image suffers too much from this.
Exercise – Study of several trees
I found a suitable spot not too far from home which I thought might work well:
I decided to tackle this using charcoal:
I then thought I’d try adding some colour:
The chalk made an almighty mess! That and I seemed unable to get any control over them at all. So, covered in green chalk, I decided to try again.
This time I thought I’d try coloured pencil to introduce colour:
This did work better to get colour in, but looking back on these images, they are very childlike images – mainly because they are uniform in tone. The trunks were pretty uniform in tone, but I think maybe I needed to use a smoother paper to get a dense black for the trunks and then rub out the few highlights? However would be the best method, I haven’t achieved it in these drawings!
Check and Log
How many different tree types have you drawn?
- Three. The most interesting ones I find to draw are those which are dead or partially dead as the bare branches give the interest and they are not just a mass of green.
What techniques did you use to distinguish each type?
- I’m not sure I’ve developed a technique for different types of tree, I approached each drawing with a plan to use different media or just to see what worked.
What did you do to convey the mass of foliage?
- As detailed above, I mostly avoided this by drawing bare trees, and the drawings I did of several trees were not very successful.
How did you handle light on the trees? Was it successful?
- Not very well. Some of the hatching I used on the study of the individual tree worked well, but apart from that I haven’t been successful in capturing this.
Did you manage to select and simplify? Look at your drawings and make notes on how you did this, and what could you do better?
- Not really. The tree image which I think has worked best for me was the study of the individual tree in which I drew pretty much everything which was there, only simplifying in the mass of foliage. The only images which were simplified were the studies of several trees and I simplified them to the point of a child drawing! I’m quite disappointed with what I produced for the tree drawings as I was quite keen to get some good results with these. I definitely need to work on my simplification of images and on my tonal work.