Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Drawing trees

I've been drawing small groups of trees recently, trying to be selective with detail and points of focus and to push myself to work in a variety of ways.

Here, I've posted three drawings done using different media and a different approach each time - all shown exactly how they occur in my sketch book, uncropped and with contrast as is. Adobe Photoshop is playing me up right now, but I've no time to reload.

For the first, a drawing of pine trees, I used black oil pastel, focusing my attention on distances and negative spaces and exploiting the length of trunk and the dead lower branches so typical of these trees.

For the second, I used my favourite medium - pencil - and drew only the outlines of trunks, branches and leaves, again exploiting negative spaces but this time also working on overlap and pattern.

On the third, I got out my watercolours, always a medium where I lack confidence. It's so easy for everything to become overworked and for the colours to turn to mud. Here, I was concentrating on the relationship between two alder trees beside a stream ... more practice needed, I feel, especially on the foreground, but there is something that appeals to me in the shapes of the trunks.

At the weekend, I'm off to France for a week in a mobile home on a campsite in Brittany with my daughter and her family. I'm taking my drawing things but doubt very much that I'll find a great deal of time to use them. I should however, have lots of opportunity to take photographs. And the trees will be of a very different character to those I see so much of in Scotland.

I wonder what that will provoke ...?


  1. I love your drawings! Have a wonderful trip to Brittany!

    1. Thanks, Connie ... just hope the lovely weather we're having in the UK is finding its way to western France!

  2. Have you ever tried blind drawing trees? That is, stare hard at the subject, but draw without looking, and without lifting the pencil (or whatever tool) from the page. It can take a bit of practice, but can also be revelatory.
    Have fun in France.

    1. Yes, indeed - I often blind draw - trees, plants, people, buildings, whatever happens to be in front of me. With trees and plants, I find it's a great way to cope with getting the feel of dense vegetation and the nature of a particular species. This time though, I was wanting to focus on certain aspects of the tree groups - more control seemed to be needed!

  3. Oh, you've answered my question from your july 4 posting!! Have a lovely holiday! Take lots of photos, even if you've not enough time for drawing. I love the variety of experimenting you've shown here. Drawing is such a valuable tool to have in one's toolbox.....(note to self:: do more!).
    Happy camping!


Hello and thank you very much for taking the time to leave a message on my blog. Every comment is welcome and I will try to answer you as soon I can.