Check & Log
- How many different tree types have you drawn?
I drew several types of trees: Mulberry (in full leaf but no fruit); an unknown named tree (in full leaf); Bramley apple tree (full leaf, some fruit); Coxes apple tree (full leaf, some fruit) and an old Lilac tree (full leaf, flowers gone over).
- What techniques did you use to distinguish each type?
The apple trees were in full leaf with some fruit forming, so they were quite dense and solid in shape. I tried to concentrate on the tone of the whole leafy area, picking out a few leaves and branches only where they were actually visible. The Mulberry tree had been pruned from the bottom so a lot of trunk and lower branches were showing. the trunk was quite textured so more sharp, scratchy marks were used to show that. the leaves were more individual and a nice broad shape theat curled interestingly. These shapes were drawn more realistically and in the expanded view tree drawing, I tried to show the direction they pointed in and how as a group they “fell” in a certain way, almost as if draped. The “tree with no name”, had a tangle of branches with numerous knobbly twigs which were fun to draw with pen, using stop/start strokes with different thicknesses.
- What did you do to convey the mass of foliage?
I avoided detail and concentrated on lights and darks which help give the illusion of an abundance of foliage. By working pen marks in different directions and hatching into where the darks were, leaving areas for the lights, the leaves seemed to appear without specifically drawing them.
- How did you handle light on the trees? Was it successful?
The way light fell or showed itself on the tree was a little unexpected as it was bounced around within the leaves. It didn’t always follow the pattern of dark away from the sunlight – it was sometimes reflected by the leaves up and/or down and around the edges of the leaf canopy, the sun shone through individual leaves giving them a translucent quality. Using drawing pens for uncoloured work, made it easier to distinguish light and dark. By laying in bold darks at first, I was able to convey some light as well as texture and shape. Once changing to colour it was easier to see whilst working, although using oil pastel there was a limit to the amount of pastel the paper would take, even if scratched off first. Probably the most successful was the lone apple tree – this done in monochrome with differing pen thicknesses and also placing it in a background so darks and lights could be added around it in the negative shapes.
- 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?
- Homed in on interesting part of larger trees to fill the frame
- Simplified foliage by concentrating on tone and adding small amounts of detail close to.
- With the colour oil pastel drawing, I think I could have made the darks darker to help emphasis light. I did try to concentrate on the trees but needed to place it in its setting – maybe the background is a little too distracting?