I had trouble finding a suitable tree to study the foliage as it is winter, pouring with rain and cold. However I did find an interesting Oak Tree which I decided to draw in Charcoal, I had never used Charcoal until starting this course, but love the tones that can be achieved when using it. As I didn’t have any foliage to draw, or very little I decided to sketch in the tones of the tree starting with the outline of the tree shape as required and building its tone and definition over 4 pictures, indicating all but the main branches with increasingly finer marks. I had never used this method before and found it useful as it gives a good indication where to place the branches. Seeing the negative space between each branch also helped with accuracy of placement. Drawing this reminded me of, The Grey Tree by Piet Mondrian, where he experimented with drawing trees and the negative space between. I started this as a quick sketch in situ, but had to move indoors to finish the drawing, and felt in drawing it I had learnt a new technique.
As this was not exactly as the Exercise had asked, I went out the next day and looked for a tree with at least some leaves. I found one in a neighbours garden but had no idea of its type. I decided this time to draw it in pencil. First I drew the outline and in the second drawing drew hatched areas where the leaves were on the tree. In the third picture I drew the trunk and main branches and followed it up with the forth drawing by representing the leaves with scribble outlines. The third and forth pictures were drawn in the studio. I found this exercise really helped with perspective and highlighting the areas of negative space within the tree. If I was to do it again I would like to try varying my pencil strength to show dark and light tone.
Having enjoyed this exercise I decided to attempt another drawing of a Poplar Tree, well at least I think that is what the tree is. For this drawing given I had no leaves again I could only partially use the technique learned and drew a lollipop tree to capture the shape, then drew the branches in pencil, before returning back home to overlay the pencil with ink, adding some tone. I had sketched some of Leonardo Da Vinci drawings in the past and seen how evenly his lines of shading were placed and tried to be a little more careful in my placement. I am still not as controlled as I want to be, but felt I was heading in the right direction.
What I felt I did well with these exercises was I had begun to loosen up my style helping me experiment a little more with my style. What I didn’t think worked well was applying scribble to my leafy tree as it looked one toned and I would try and use heavier or more dense scribble in the darker areas in future.