Find a tree that interests you in a park, garden or anywhere where you feel comfortable sitting or standing. Look out from a ground floor window if that suits you better. You’ll need to be at some distance from a big tree.
Do around four preliminary drawings – it may help to divide your paper up into four landscape or portrait boxes. Use a soft pencil (2B–6B), charcoal or pen and ink. Keep building up on the basis of previous sketches.
• Draw a simple outline of the tree’s overall shape.
• Draw basic shapes in outline, or shaded areas that describe how the foliage forms in different masses around the tree.
• Draw the outlines of the trunk and the main branches of the tree that you can see.
• Draw with lots of scribbled outlines or shade roughly to try and indicate something of the texture of the foliage.
These simple studies will help you get to grips with the structure of the tree.
These are studies of a tree from the garden. I used pencil for them all to try and capture the individuality of this weeping cherry that we rescued a few years ago. It has some good years with lovely pink bloom and some bad ones with no bloom at all. But it survives through Highland winters and is cared for and much loved. These two sketches show its outline and a detail of one branch with indicative foliage.
The trunk outline is shown on the left along with a close up drawing of the trunk where it starts to branch off. The sketch on the right hand page tries to capture bloom, small sections of twig and an end branch with leaves. I used fineliner ink and felt-tip pens to add some colour. Scribbled lines and shading attempts to suggest texture.
Stuart Brownlee – 512319
5 September 2015