Some time of the last hours in 2009 I have spent sitting in front of a willow tree, which I want to have in the collection of ink drawings made in an indian landscape book,which is in fact a photo album with a cover made from an old sari.
In this sketchbook I work slowly with a very controlled hand, the image shows the initial step of the ink drawing. I worked from the left top to the bottom and then back up on the right side establishing the outline of the big trunk. There was a beautiful atmosphere, the small creek carried a lot of water and was speaking in a thousands voices. Fog was slowly flowing in to the small valley, which I captured as panorama photo with Iphone and the Pano-Application, which I noticed thanks to Doc Searls.
I love to draw the shape of a tree. Usually I start at the top and sketch the outline downwards. In this pen sketch I tried to identify areas with the same tonality and marked them with more or less dense hatches. I have seen works of painters who were able to work with 7-9 different tonalities from very bright to dark on each color. My world is rather flat in comparison, mostly I master only 4-5 tonalities.
Such an exercise on tonalities or values helps to see how the leaves of a tree are grouped due to the trees branch pattern. Also the major volumes become obvious. From there one can break down the tree top into smaller units if desired. The sketch shows the same group of apple trees from two different points of view.
Rainy days can be great for drawing, if the rain is not too heavy. This little study of an apple tree, trunk and and a big branch, was drawn while sitting under an umbrella. The one I have has a little rope at the top which I use to hang it into low branches of a neighbour tree.
Blind contour drawing helped a lot to depict some of the many twigs, for the small openings to the sky in between I concentrated on the negative forms.
The drawing was done with two different pens, broader and thinner nib. The final layer of grey was done with a light grey marker pen.