In the last 18 months of drawing more in nature than I’ve ever drawn before, I’ve come to love drawing trees. In them, I can see the same gesture and energy that I love so much in drawing action-filled scenes.
These oak trees at my local park are thin on leaves just now and you can follow the sense of upward motion through the trunk and branches.
I’m not sure I would have ever chosen to sketch this scene if I were looking at it in a photograph. But I was parked here for a half-hour and the breeze was rustling the leaves. That bit of movement and shimmer made for the higgledy-piggledy line I used to describe their forms.
The birches below are in a friend’s front yard, right by a big picture window, so I can sit inside in the warmth of her home and draw them.
At the end of a hike, my niece and I plonked down on the trail for a sketch of the manzanitas. That’s us and our sketches, two interpretations of the same tree, hers in colored pencil, mine in crayon.
Here’s a closeup of the layers of marks that come together to make that tree.
I know a few artists that have trees they draw over and over.
Shari Blaukopf draws this tree in the fall every year. Even in her ballpoint pen sketch, I recognize that tree and know it is a mad burst of yellow right now.
Tina Koyama has a trees-and-wires series that pops up in her feed regularly.
Liz Steel has been drawing trees everyday lately.
Debbie MacKinnon immortalized this tree in this piece before it got cut down.
Do you have a favorite tree-sketcher whose work I don’t know? Let me know, I love looking at a wide range of ways to express something.