Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mighty trees small and large

Marilynn did a demonstration on observing and sketching tree shapes.  Even from a distance you should be able to tell different types of trees apart based on their shape.  Trees can convey not only general locality, but also information on the weather, season and time of day.

We practiced sketching different types of trees from photos.  Working on over all shape, grouping foliage and simplifying details without losing the identity of the tree.  When we had finished several pencil and ink sketches we did watercolors of two of our tree sketches.

Trees can also be used as an important element of perspective, leading the viewer into the painting.  Distant trees are smaller, their shapes are simpler, and details of their foliage are less distinct.  They eventually fade into an indistinguishable mass of colors.  The colors of distant trees and hills are paler and shift toward blue. 

For my landscape of trees, I picked a photo of El Capitan,  Yosemite National Park.  I used a variety of techniques to add depth to the sketch.  I used a graded wash for the cloudless sky, and limited palette of Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Crome Yellow and Quinacridone Red.

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