PLANTS AND TREES
DRAWING OF PLANTS AND TREES
ASSIGNMENTS 9.3.1 9.3.2
CLASS ASSIGNMENTS HOME ASSIGNMENTS
POSSIBLE ANSWERS TO SELF-CHECK QUESTIONS
REFERENCES AND SUGGESTED FURTHER READING
9. PLANTS AND TREES As it was mentioned earlier, nature drawing begins and ends with greenery. The major sources of greenery for nature as well as the object for giving green colour to nature drawing are plants and trees. So let us learn how to draw and paint these green elements of nature.
Objectives After going through this lesson you will be able to:-
• Observe, analyze, and understand the composite form made of many simple elements. • Study a subject that are larger and need a longer viewing distance. You will also begin to understand perspective. • Understand light and shade outdoors (vis-a-vis indoors) as with sunlight these are more pronounced.
You have in the past seen and studied nature and its elements, and drawn some of them. In your study, you have learnt to observe, draw in outline and also shade the objects. As with studying and “rediscovering” the elements in Nature through drawing, let us once again see plants and trees outside. This time, you will be better equipped to observe and analyze the form of the plants and the trees, as also the details like density of foliage, branches and tree trunks.
Drawing of Plants and Trees
All plants and trees have a definite character as well as expressive characteristics like shape, sizes, and expanse. They are a composite of the numerous branches, leaves, flowers, as also visual and tactile textures; they together form a plant or a tree. When looking at a plant or tree, it is not so much about the individual details of its elements as a composite of all. The viewing distance is an important aspect too. Whereas leaves and flowers could be viewed at close quarters at an arms length and studied for drawing, plants and trees are viewed from a distance of 2-4m. to be able to see them as a whole. 2
So, the study of plants and trees is essentially about their overall size, expanse, shape and the proportions therein. The details to note are the light and shade as falls on them outdoor, the density of the foliage that you see within the tree and the textures that are there on the stem or bark. Another aspect that you may have become better aware of by now is the Negative space around the object. The main tree form that is the positive space is what is termed as the Silhouette of the object. •
Drawing trees might seem difficult at first, with complex branches and vast number of leaves to be dealt with. However, by first observing the overall form and ignoring small details, trees become much easier to draw.
Begin by sketching quickly different types of plants and trees as skeletal silhouettes only in their outline Form.
If your subject is a small plant, you are possibly closer in your view of it and are able to draw in a lot more detail of the foliage, i.e., more definite and complete forms of the stem and the leaves.
In case of a tree you are viewing at some distance in order to have a full view.
In this case look at the foliage. Loosely outline the main clumps of the foliage. This is mainly to position the denser and less dense groups of the leaves.
Don’t worry about the leaf shapes, but concentrate on the way they are grouped – as bunches or flat sprays.
It will help you to keep your eyes more on the object than on the pencil or the paper. You could try squinting to reduce detail as you look for the forms.
Once you have identified the position of the denser foliage, add in the main areas of tone, shading the dark areas and leaving bright areas clear.
Note that plants and trees taper gradually from the base of the trunk at the ground level up to the delicate outermost branches. Try to draw this accurately.
Most of the times the branches will seem to disappear among the foliage. So, while drawing stem and branches, draw them loosely yet firmly and trail off the line by lifting the pencil.
You are now ready to fill in some details. Depending on the shades and tones that you marked within the outline demarcating the denser foliage, you could add some groups of leaves where the form of the leaf is clearer though not firmly accurate. Simply speaking, it should just be a hint of the leaf forms.
Similarly, add visual and tactile textures seen on the brighter patches of the trunk and branches. The idea is not to cover the whole surface, but to only add value to the illustration.
Self-check Questions 1. In what respects should the plant or trees be studied from the drawing point of view? 2. What do you mean by negative space and positive space? 3. What is called ‘the Silhouette of the object? 4. What is the most common way of drawing of the trees and plants?
Choose 3 different plants and trees that you would like to study and draw them.
Observe the lines of the plant stem or the tree trunk and its branches. There may also be some visible root system.
Now, as with silhouette drawing, draw out the main contour outline form of them.
9.3.1 Class assignments i)
Sketch three different types of plants and trees with pencil and then watercolours composing them on 1/4 Imperial sheets. Submit two sketches.
9.3.2 Home assignments ii)
Sketch a plant and a Tree using watercolours, composing them on 1/4 Imperial sheets.
Trees and plants are supposed to be the easiest drawing objects among the other natural objects, because of their tremendous varieties present all around and all of them being nearly of similar pattern. In this lesson drawing of trees and plants has been discussed thoroughly. A number of tips on shading and adding originality and beauty to the work are also enlisted. Thus with this lesson the subject of nature drawing has been taken cane of.
Possible Answers to Self-check Questions
The study of plants and trees is essentially about their overall size, expanse, shape and the proportions therein. The details to note are the light and shade as falls on them outdoor, the density of the foliage that you see within the tree and the textures that are there on the stem or bark.
The Negative space is around the object and the main tree form is called the positive space.
The overall outline form of the trees, excluding small details is the silhouette drawing.
Common method of drawing trees is to begin by sketching quickly as skeletal silhouettes only in their outline Form.
1. Write an essay on the drawing of plants and trees. 2. What is the role of distance in sketching a tree or a plant? 3. Give some tips on making the drawing of the natural objects more effective and original.
References and Suggested Further Reading
Anonymous. 2006. The Complete Guide to Drawing and Painting. Quantum Publishing Ltd, London.
Dunnigan, D. 1987. Improve Your Painting. Foster Art Service, Inc., California.
Foster, W. 1997. The Art of Pastels. Walter Foster Publishing, Inc., California.
Powell, W.F. 1997. The Art of Drawing Still Life. Walter Foster Publishing, Inc, California.
Of or relating to or proceeding from the sense of touch
One fourth Space
Having eyes half closed in order to see better go
The appearance of things relative to one another as determine by their distance from the viewer
An outline of a solid object (as cost by its shadow; or a drawing of the outline of an object (filled in with some uniform colour)