To do four preliminary drawings of a single tree using soft pencil, charcoal or pen and ink. Build up the drawings 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
- draw with lots of scribbled outlines or shade roughly to try to indicate something of the texture of the foliage
Finding a single tree was quite a challenge, bizarre as I thought this would be easy living in the country side. However most trees form part of the hedging landscape around here. No big parks with single trees in. However found a specimen that was rather pleasing although it still had a lot of bramble hedge around its base. I decided to ignore this as it was only the very bottom that wasn’t visible. I close to sketch in pencil (4B) using 2 pages of an A3 sketch pad for my four drawings.
I had left my instruction sheet at home so I was doing the task from memory and got stages 2 and 3 muddled up, showing the outline of the trunk and main branches before the shading of the foliage masses. I also worked around the double page spread in an anticlockwise direction, meaning no 3 is below no. 4. This was a mistake as I smudge no. 3 a lot whilst working on the last one. Before doing this exercise I was rather fearful of the results I would be able to produce as I have never been able to produce a tree that was vaguely realistic before – so I never drew them, I perceived them to be ‘too hard’. However by following this building up process of observation I am very pleased with the outcome. The muddling up of the order didn’t matter because I still was working in viewing the tree as overall shapes rather than concentrating on individual tiny details. I found that for sketches 3 and 4 I particularly worked around the negative spaces created by light coming though patches of foliage. It is a shame I couldn’t see the base of the trunk (the sketches do look ‘chopped off’. Also the tangle of growth around the trunk (mostly bramble as far as I could make out) has been put in too thickly and darkly in the final sketch. There was a difference between the trunk and this overgrowth in tonal value, but only just.