Thursday, March 09, 2006

More Trees

An overcast day with freezing rain edging the branches with ice and reflecting the sky, while the rest of the tree is dark, wet, and broody. I attempted to capture it in the big sketchbook, but I'm not happy with the result.

These trees all look alike to me. The trouble is that they have too many "arms". I mean the real trees, of course, not the drawings, which have too few, because I haven't got the time or patience to put them all in.

Advisers on tree-drawing usually say to just draw the primary, secondary, and tertiary branches (biggest, second-biggest, and third-biggest, to me). After that, they say, you can put in a tone to represent the groups of tiny branches. I've seen this done successfully by other artists, and I always start out with good intentions, but I get seduced first by one branch, then by another, and before I know it I've lost my place. Then it's impossible to give the lines a graceful flow when I'm inching along and following every by-path.

Clearly, there needs to be more science in my method. Tomorrow I'm going to try doing all the primaries in one session, then leaving it and coming back later to do the secondaries, etc.


Cin said...

hi Agnes

oh I like your tree series! I had also intended to follow along with Laura, but am way behind, not even one yet! a few others I've seen are joining in too, I love seeing all the differnt approaches, will check back for more here.

(and many thanks for your comment today)

Laura said...

Agnes, your sense of composition is absolutely superb. And your way with tones is nothing to sneeze at, either. ;D. Have you ever read Frederick Franck's The Zen of Seeing? A beautiful book. The underlying premise might help some in anxiety-reduction in this tree-drawing adventure. Oh, by the way, my blog's url is and not the one you give. I briefly had a Lauralines blogspot blog but switched over to the LaurElines typepad one.

Agnes said...

Thanks, Cind. It's not too late to jump in. Once you get to sketching trees, it's nothing to roll of half a dozen in a session. (Provided you leave out lots of branches, LOL.) Could you tell me who else is participating? I would love to see them.

Laura, you sure know how to say nice, encouraging things. These trees really look better in the photos than in real life, but then seeing them in the photos does tell me what I should do to improve them. Sorry about the wrong blog address; I didn't check my facts. I'll put a correction on.

Linda said...

Agnes, I'm really enjoying your tree drawings! I know what you mean about getting lost drawing all those branches, too. But this one is absolutely wonderful!

KL said...

I really like the dark branches of your this picture - they all look very realistic.

My hobby is also painting and drawing. I found that it's most easy to paint with oil. Even with water-color, one has to be very proficient to bring out the whole feeling.

However, i can't paint with pastel. So, I admire your paintings. I think you have done a very good job.

Agnes said...

Linda, thank you so much. I've been admiring the work on your blog, too. Love the botanical drawings.

KL, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I can see from your blog that you're a very busy person, so I really appreciate your taking the time. Your observations on Englishmen and curry are funny and interesting. If I ever get to UK again (last time was almost thirty years ago), I'm going to look up those places you recommend.

Laura, I forgot to answer your question about Frederick Franck's book. He was actually a mainstay of my youth, when not many art books came my way. My copy was well thumbed, but at some point I passed my it on, so I haven't read him in years. It would be good to read him again from my current perspective.