Jeff's trees (see previous post) got me thinking about drawing trees. The trees in our mind's eye are like the trees at the Christmas tree farm—perfectly symmetrical and perfectly proportioned, with no odd branches poking out in the wrong places. You know they prune them at the Christmas tree farm so they will look like that, don't you? That's not the way real trees grow!
The weather has been really amazingly beautiful here for the past few days. I had no excuse not to sit out on the front steps and draw a tree. Here is our fledgling apricot tree. It has a few blossoms on it right now. We are crossing our fingers that it will produce some fruit this year. We have been told "you can't grow apricots in Portland."
Trees are great subjects for drawing. Every one is different, but there are some obvious things to observe that a lot of people miss. First of all, I am always surprised to see a drawing of a tree that shows no understanding that the the trunk of a tree is biggest at the ground and tapers as it goes up. Likewise, the individual branches are biggest where they emerge from the trunk or from larger branches and taper out to nothing at their tips. Also, the branches grow upward, reaching for the sky. Here is a nice evergreen in our yard. I always think of it as quite symmetrical, but it is not.
The biggest challenge here was to decide how to render the needles.
Most artists draw trees at one time or another.
Have you tried drawing a tree? Did you learn something about the structure of trees that surprised you? I'd love to see your tree drawings.