All these past few months, I was doing several things not directly related to drawing and painting. I got back to play music regularly. I play my guitars every then and now but this summer I was playing piano again. I studied piano many years ago so I was refreshing some old songs and pieces that I already played. Music is a lot of fun.
A new attempt with flowers. This time I have returned to my dip pen. I was experimenting how the pressure modifies the stroke width. I have employed the Gillott 404. The lines in the vase could be thinner. For the colors I have used watercolors.
More flowers. It is pen and ink this time. I used the fine liners. I copied the sketch from an instruction book by Giovanni Civardi that I bought months ago. I liked the composition. I have preferred to leave the pencil lines that I usually employ for defining the space in the paper. They give an unfinished aspect to the sketch.
This is the final post about trees. At least for the moment. I think I have been able to integrate the general concepts from books, your advices and other tips found on-line and apply them in my sketches. I have to study and analyze your latest comments. (Nanina, thanks for the link to the Stapleton Kearns’ blog, his tree posts are very interesting.) I have discovered the very basics of tree drawing, now I need some time for internalized it.
Today the drawing shows several tree sketches. I have used other sketches with trees that I found on Flickr as models, by the way, great site to find inspiration. The idea is to experiment with different styles, or species, for creating a catalog for future reference.
Thanks to all of you who follow this series of posts for your encouraging comments.
Today I have combined the ideas exposed in the previous posts. And I must say I am partially happy with the results. The different green tones help to define the volume of the trees. Even the trunks have that volume thanks to the shadows. Perhaps the problem comes from the tree shape. It is not so much realistic, it is more a cartoon-like approach to a tree than a sketch of a tree. It should not be hard to fix…
Second experiment. The drawings I did yesterday really are not my style… if I have a style. I mean, the drawings are only watercolor, usually I use watercolors to give color to my pen and ink sketches. I did not use ink yesterday. I focused on color.
Today I want to isolate the shape so I do not use color. I use my graphite pencils (mainly HB and 2B) but I have tried to apply same rules, obviously, adapting them to graphite techniques. And here are the results.
The first tree is based on a video by the British writer and illustrator Shoo Rayner. The rest are variations on the same idea.
As you know I’d like to improve the trees in my sketches. So I have decided to dedicate some efforts on this task. This is not a tutorial, how-to or whatever you want to call it. It is just a collection of notes with experiments about that topic. Maybe it could be useful for somebody else.
While I was reviewing my drawing and painting books and several websites looking for advices on how to paint trees, I found several curious statements or rules. Although they are so obvious, it is interesting to note them.
- The light falls on the top of the tree, so this area should be lighter and warmer.
- The branches grow out from the trunk, getting thinner until they become twigs.
- The tree’s trunks usually are not brown, it is better to use a variety of gray.
- The trees are three-dimensional structures, they are not flat, and some parts are closer to the observer than others.
For the sketches I used a combination of cadmium yellow pale hue and ultramarine blue for the several green tones and burnt umber and ultramarine blue for trunks and branches. I am using my W&N Cotman watercolors.
The first tree does not follow the first rule: the top of the tree is not lighter than the other areas. And the “holes” in the canopy show thick branches (second rule). The trunk of the second tree is almost brown and it should tend to gray (third rule). However, the lights and shadows are better in this case (although I do not like the ground). The third tree is almost flat (fourth rule): the texture and colors do not work so well here.