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Painting a Tree – Study 1

August 11, 2011

here we are going to discuss how to study a sugar maple tree. i found the image in internet.

Sugar Maple

I am from India. Frankly speaking the trees you see around (in US) are not familiar to me. I have studied trees a lot and derived human forms out of them. In this case I have taken a picture as a typical example of sugar maple tree for understanding the form and light and shadow. Please rectify my painting/ study if there is any misconception, after all you know better than me about this kind of trees.

While studying a tree don’t go too close to the tree. We are going to make blocks combining which will give us a shape of a sugar maple tree. First identify how big it is. Then the ratio of the stem par and the leafy part. If you watch carefully you can find that every type of tree has some unique features. Here brunches and sub-brunches with leaves create different bulks what we call here the blocks. First sketch a outline of the contour o the tree, sketch the blocks you identified inside the contour of the tree. You will find you tree is getting a shape. Now there are a few blocks with lighter shade and a few with darker shades. Separate them. There are also some space between the blocks where the branches and the background is visible. Sketch them. If you are too far from the tree you can see only solid shapes of leafy part and stem part. Here are my studies. I have used pencil for the basic shape, then I have tried to simplify it with brown conte – first with slight detail then only the patches of strokes to show how the blocks are arranged. Later I have studied it in watercolor. I did it in monochrome. My little experience says that if you can do it with a single color, it will be much easy to do it in color. It is because in monochrome we have only one color with different grades. Different colors will not help you to distinguish highlight, mid-tone and shadow, and also the depth – a sense of near and far. I have used watercolor lamp black. This is one of my favorite colors. Panyes Gray is another good option for monochrome. You can choose you favorite color.

If you like this tutorial I can demonstrate 9 other common trees found in US. Please be supportive, rate them, like them and recommend them to your friends, also don’t forget t give me feedback. HAPPY PAINTING!!!

Pencil Sketch

Dry Pastel Sketch - 01

Dry Pastel Sketch - 02

Monochrome Watercolor Sketch

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