This Exercise was about the study of several trees showing my ability to be selective and simplify the scene. It is for me one of the most difficult aspects of drawing. I chose to do a drawing of various trees and bushes from an area near home. First I sat and did a sketch in graphite. I wasn’t sure how to simplify the Rhododendron and the underlying Bramble but settled on drawing a rough version of the large leaves and just suggested the vegetation underneath with hatched shading then used cross hatch and hatch shading for the leaves. The distant trees and vegetation were far more complex than I could draw so I simplified the whole scene by omitting various Brambles and greenery, leaving just the most prominent in view, depicting them with just shape and shading. The holly in the top left was really straight underneath and gave a great frame to the picture, my mark was different here as I found the leaves better scribbled, as I did with the Beech Tree leaves but the scribble was less angular for these as they had less sharp edges. I haven’t used a viewfinder before and found it an absolute boon for selecting a scene and helping perspective. To suggest distance I drew the trees furthest away much smaller than in reality and kept the pencil work much lighter. This was in contrast to the nearest large tree that lost it major branches due to being above the viewfinder area.My highlights across the whole picture were suggested through leaving areas free from mark or making the mark less dense, or lighter in tone.
I then decided to do the whole picture again using Watercolour pencils and a water brush. I bought these pencils ages ago and didn’t like them and had a problem with being able to get the effect I want, often the end picture looking too linear and blotchy. I first did a little studying on how to use them properly and found the lighter their application the better and doing several washes better than using one heavier application. I used a similar technique in drawing the scene as described above. Apart from the light shading the difference was more how I used the material rather than how I portrayed the trees and leaves, although I did omit one tree which I found distracting. The nearer and larger Rhododendron leaves were draw with more form than the beech leaves which were scribbled, as were the holly, where the scribbles were more angular. The simplified bushes and trees to the back were suggested by shape and line as with graphite but I washed them over with the water pen. All in all with both pictures I used the same type of mark making, but with the Watercolour I gently infilled with a light and even application of colour, then followed it up with a water wash.
In this exercise I learned there are many ways in which to use different marks to depict leaves and branches, a viewfinder is a very good tool to have, and how to apply Watercolour pencils.
I was shocked that I managed to simplify the scene, as at first I wasnt sure how to, but whilst sketching I found if I drew in the most prominent, I could see how much of the vegetation to include to balance the picture.
Overall I was pleased with this exercise, probably because it came out better that I thought. It could of looked messy and cluttered but I managed to simplify the scene. In the graphite drawing I omitted some bushes to the front of the evergreen trees, these I added in the Watercolour Pencil sketch as they gave more contrast. I also omitted a tree in the colour sketch as I fount it distracting. The thing that I could do better within these drawings, is to make my mark more uniform and place them more accurate, plus I should have kept my pencils sharper which give a more professional look to the whole drawing. I have copied a few of Leonardo Da Vinci drawings in the past, his mark looks effortless, but after doing the study I realised they were placed very accurately within his subject, to give his shadow and form.