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How to Draw a Tree and Importance of Initial Study Sketches


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Abraham Lincoln

Well, I have never chopped a tree in my life, and I don’t intend to, but I know one thing.

First Make Study Sketch of The Tree

Before I draw a tree, I know I have to spend a good amount of time, getting to know the tree.
This is by walking around and doing fast sketches from various different angles. This is how I learn it’s form, anatomy, thanks to those initial sketches is how I study the light, and all the different values of the tree and the place and how it affects the subject

The same I apply to architecture or any large object that cannot be moved. For buildings or structures, I do this to find the most intriguing angle and lighting. I do this also to find an unusual sight that will be memorable to even someone who’s familiar with the subject.

Contrary to still life, which you can move around and have full control of the scene, the lighting, the background…

If you want to sketch or paint better trees, buildings or large structures, I suggest that you spend more time selecting the point of view, the angle from which you want to show the world a new interpretation of what you capture.

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