Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Black Poplar Saplings, Trent Park, Enfield.

Now is a good time for studying trees. The Autumn and winter months allow us to get a better understanding of the skeleton of the tree. They are amazing structures really and in some respects they present the painter with similar problems that we can encounter when painting clouds. To look at them you would think that they look very random but they are anything but and need careful consideration. It's not enough to throw in a few random strokes and hope for the best.

It can be very difficult sometimes to shake off childhood habits and study them closer. When at school, a child would draw a green lollipop an a brown stick and teacher would pat the child on the head and heap on the praise. What happens? This memory sticks in the childs head and they don't move on from that position when the next tree has to be drawn. Ask almost any adult to draw a tree and see what you get. (That doesn't mean you dear reader).

I still suffer from that today. I think I know what it should look like and just keep painting without looking up. I have to remind myself that this is wrong and I should really be painting as though I had never seen a tree before and painting it for the first time. Just wish I could listen to my own advice.

Black Poplar Saplings, Trent Park, Enfield. Watercolour 7 x 5 inches.

1 comment:

  1. John, that's interesting what you say about looking at trees more closely. I just saw a program on TV that talked about how trees in the forest can be described mathematically by "fractals." In other words, fractals explain the size and distribution of trees in a forest. Trees do not grow "chaotically." Very interesting stuff.


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