Drawing trees

I’ve been busy since the holidays so haven’t spent much time in the studio. I have a show which opens later this week so much of my time has been spent sorting and rounding up artwork for the show. We’ve also had some pretty chilly weather with temps in the single digits but only a couple of inches of snow.

So I decided to take a break from new painting work to practicing drawing some trees. Winter is a great time to capture the skeletons of the trees as the leaves are long gone. I didn’t have to go far, actually just my own front yard.

The sketch of the hackberry tree is charcoal on pastel paper. Approximately 13.5 inches by 11.5. Winter is a great time to draw tree skeletons.

The first tree is a large hackberry. I had never heard of this tree before we moved here but it’s a very nicely shaped tree, tall with up-reaching branches, medium-size leaves (so no raking) and small dark berries which are popular with the birds. It also is distinguished by its incredibly knobby bark.

The hackberry has a striking limb structure with large limbs reaching for the sky.

The other tree that I recently drew is a giant sugar maple near our woodshed. It has been home to several treehouses over the years, supported by it’s wide-spreading branches. I just love the beautiful scarlet foliage in the autumn. We don’t sugar the tree but there is/was a whole double row of them when we moved here. Unfortunately, they tend to die off at about eighty years. This one has a large hollow on the other side but I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

Sugar Maple charcoal sketch, approximately 13.5 inches by 11.5. The late afternoon shadows emphasize the limb structure.
Sugar maple, detail. This poor old maple by the wood shed is huge and has been host to many tree houses. I’m not certain how many more years it has in it as there is a hollow on the other side, but we still enjoy the brilliant orangey-red foliage in autumn.

It’s nice to challenge myself with some drawing. I think drawing is great for building that important eye-hand coordination. I should do more of it, but brandishing a brush is even more alluring.

2 responses to “Drawing trees

  1. Reblogged this on Whipped Owl and commented:
    Awesome work!

    Like

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