The weather has been to cold and moist for my taste during these early days of May. The rain did not alow me to continue with the bigger drawing, instead I played on small format paper with ink and pen. The quick notations below, shall serve as preliminary image ideas for monotype printing.
Drawing tree tops is a bit frightening in view of the many details. More than in any other part of a tree drawing the artist is confronted with limits of depiction. In this little form study in India ink on a glossy artprint paper I have chosen a very simple way of escape. There are only two major tonalities in the tree tops, either very dark by ink washes or light with line patters imitating the leaves. In a more detailed drawing I would tree to avoid the strong contrast by using at least one or two more tonalities between the darkets and the lightes parts of the tree tops.
Temperatures are getting more comfortable this week and daylight stays longer. The season for afternoon and evening excursions is near. In coming days I want to do a couple of drawing studies on twigs and branches. The beginning is made with a stack of apple tree timber on a meadow. I started with a slow, controlled hand to draw the outline of some cut twigs. The dark shape was good to see against a bright background. Also the sun helped to see the volume of the twigs too.
After twenty minutes the sun was gone. Tommorrow I want to take this study a little bit further.
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.
Drawing trees means getting involved and interested in their live. Most of us know that trees are good, for the environment. But how good are they? There are numerous attempts to quantify the benefits of trees. All of the calculation models have their weaknesses, but at least one can get a bit of an idea. However calculatiing the benefit of a single tree seems questionable, because the benefit of trees is very complex and depending a lot on the location. The benefit of a group of trees, a grove or an entire forest is not only the sum of single benefits, but a multiple.
If you like to know more “Trees are good” is a great website with loads of informations on trees including the
Tree benefit calculator. US residents can calculate the benefits of a tree in US dollars/per year for various species depending on diameter and location. Perhaps you want to calculate the benefit of your garden ?
Todays tree drawing is a pen study of a group of apple trees. Those some 20 trees would make up for about $ 1600.- per year, if they were located in the Northest of the US.