Study of several trees

This is in pencil colours in a wood with blue bells.

A quick study in ink


This is in soft pastels


A copy of a drawing done by Vincent Van Gogh in charcoal.


Check and log
How many different tree types have you drawn?
Oak, pine, fir, copper beech, silver birch, cherry, ash, horse chestnut tree, Cedar of Lebanon.
What techniques did you use to distinguish each type?
From the leaf, fruit, trunk, bark. I have a book on trees bought from Kew Gardens many years ago.
What did you do to convey the mass of foliage?
Using a grazing stroke with different tonal values and different directional strokes. With ink, I just dabbed in a few leaves.
How did you handle light on trees? Was it successful?
Kept the area where light falls very light. I think so yes. The branches, etc seem to have depth.
Did you manage to select and simplify? Look at your drawings and make notes on how you did this and what could you do better?
I think so. I love trees and enjoy being amongst them. I tried to look for unusual interesting shapes.
I could have added a little more detail, but its very time consuming when using pencil.



Drawing statues





Check and log
How did you use a limited colour palette to create a sense of depth?
I have tried to create a sense of depth by using perspective, cast shadows and stronger colour in the buildings in the foreground.

Did your preliminary sketches give you enough information for your final pieces of work?
Yes I think so. I haven’t used a ruler for straight lines so some of the vertical lines appear at an angle.

Would you approach this task differently another time?
I quite enjoyed this exercise. It’s made me realise how important it is to plan the drawing, to get the best view to make a good ‘picture’ and despite a limited palette, you can depict a variety of buildings and textures. I don’t really like drawing buildings and have never drawn any in the past. I am not sure if I would depict townscapes again. For this exercise, I am fairly happy with the result, except for some wonky lines.

Have you got the scale of buildings right? Make notes on what worked and what didn’t.
They are probably not very accurate. It’s very difficult to draw in a busy street, with cars and pedestrians.
I had to use photographs for some details. The roofs were hard, while trying to also stick to the vanishing line. I like the contrast of the red brick and white in the building in the foreground.

Have you captured the colour and atmosphere in you studies? How did you do this?
I am fairly happy with the colours. There weren’t many colours on the street, maybe some green, ochre, browns and red.
I feel I have managed to capture the overcast day with the clouds.