Tree and Cloud Practice

As I continue with my struggle to capture landscapes I decided to try practicing two of hardest things I find to render: trees and clouds.  Trees I find particularly overwhelming because of all the branches and twigs that help make up the shape in winter, and of course the shading needed for the leaves in summer.


I found creating a bit of an artificial silhouette around the shape helps for me, it’s not artistically accurate but I like the graphic style it lends.


I have been so fascinated by tree shapes, we are lucky to be surrounded by many beautiful trees here.  When you start drawing them you pick up on all their differences: shapes of trunks, directions that limbs go, how feathered the twigs are at the ends.  I want to do plenty more practice before the trees come into leaf and change character.


Clouds are a great subject, they are (almost) always available, don’t move too quickly and two are never the same.  I was experimenting with rendering them, seeing which shading worked and what didn’t.

We also had gardeners trimming the shrubs so I took the opportunity to do some more gesture drawing.


I wish I got the angle of his neck a bit better, it looks like he’s going to snap it off in his craning!  Sketching people in motion is hard, but a lot of fun.  I used some techniques from Marc Taro Holmes’s Craftsy class. 


4 thoughts on “Tree and Cloud Practice

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