Tricky Trees: Observational Sketching

This afternoon we watched some video clips showing different methods that artists use to represent trees on paper. There were some really interesting styles; Bob Ross was one of our favourite artists. He showed us some really simple ways to give the illusion of shade, texture and lots of leaves... without actually drawing or painting any leaves individually! We were mesmerised by his pine tree painting in particular. 

We learnt two main methods: 'chunking' the tree into separate sections then building these with shade and texture, and using a series of straight, horizontal pencil or paint strokes to build up the sense of the shape of the foliage on the end of branches, then using cross-hatching to develop value (shade) and texture.

Although it was so tempting to draw in separate leaves, we got the hang of it and created some lovely sketches.

Submitted by Lauren Copperthwaite on