This sketch was done in two sessions starting as usual from the back and painting/sketching towards the foreground. Each state of the sketch could be seen as a kind of under painting for the next stage.
The sequence of images below documents some of the intermediate states of this sketch and the way it developed. Gouache is very suitable to work in colour layers, with a wet brush layers can be connected, with strongly thinned colour subtle colour changes can be achieved,
As the gouache is an opaque medium one can work from light to dark and back.
A piece of beautiful blue sky framed by some beech trees caught my attention, made me stop and do a gouache sketch. I really enjoy the beginning of these sketches when everything is a possibility and the colours can be dropped and splashed around.
During May I have spent a few evenings with some charcoal studies that will be published on Artgraphica.net.
Gavin Banns the owner of that site had contacted me kindly asking for permission to use some of my tree drawing material published on Squidoo. He probably asked at the very right moment as I had plans to do again more charcoal drawings and studies for some charcoal tutorials. So instead of publishing same content a second time I suggested to do a tutorial on pine tree drawing with charcoal.
The material is ready, it includes some short video to demonstrate some “tricks” as appetizer for those who did not try to draw with charcoal yet. charcoal is the fastest and most versatile drawing medium I know.
I will give notice as soon as the tutorial is published, in the meantime I commend to have a look at the many tutorial that are available on Artgraphica.net. It is a source for high quality drawing and painting tutorials in my opinion.
This is a little slide shows a line drawing of a pear and an apple tree in several subsequent steps. The first image is a grey scale photograph edited in photoshop elements to make zones in different tonalities visible. On site one can simulate this effect by squinting. After drawing the outline I continued to describe the foliage more detailed and tried to represent different tonalities with a more or less dense grid of lines. I tried to follow the pattern I saw in the foliage with the gel pen and represented the leaves on the outline of the tree top as little dots. On this occasion I noticed again how much information and insight on a subject is lost in a photograph.
Taking measurements is not a shame :). It helps a lot to train the hand and eye co-ordination for proper proportion estimates.
Spring and spring landscapes are a big temptation and a source of frustration for painters…trouble is spring foliage does drive people to tears! Unless you do not care and just love to dabble happily with your colours as I did on this beautiful sunny morning in the woods. The fresh greens of spring are overwhelming to say the least. I wanted to capture the impression of getting a shower of green from all sides somehow no matter what.
A couple of things went terribly wrong as usual, but, may be not visible for everybody, I was gifted with a number of ideas and inspirations how I could go on further in coming days with putting down thin layers of colour instead of fully opaque brush strokes. Perhaps I should mention that I use ca. 500 ml of water during each session, about 2/3 of that I guess will end up on the paper.
This almost monochrome green hell is nevertheless also a study in contrast. Those amorphous colour splashes contrast with the clear shapes of the two dominating trees, which at the same time are in a quantity contrast too. The second little trick is the contrast between the big trunks in the front and the distant,small ones in the background on the right.
Recently I updated my microsite about drawing deciduous trees. I used the line sketch above to illustrate basic steps that can help beginners to draw such complicated matter as a tree top. As first step I suggest to draw the shape of the tree in order to get familiar with the proportions of trunk and tree top. Then bigger groups of leaves along the branches can be mapped, in a next step a more detailed structure of the foliage can be added and finally shadows in hatches can give some more volume to the drawing. This is a simple “recipe” for beginners. Further studies will train the eye and with more and more knowledge of the subject such “recipes” will be obsolete and drawing will evolve very relaxed.