Drawing 1, Part 3: Exercise 1


Sketching Individual Trees

I have never sketched trees before, so this was something new to me.

I found some birch trees in our local park, and decided to use them as subjects for sketching. I sat at the bottom of the trees and looked up for perspective.

I used a pen to sketch, in my A3 sketchbook. I made two different pen sketches.

birch tree trunk and branches from below.
birch tree trunks and branches from below

I noticed how the trunks had varying thicknesses of marks around them, like lines, circumnavigating. The trunks were pale, and the lines and marks were dark. The branches split off into multiple smaller branches at the top.

I then made a rough sketch in charcoal pencil, and used watercolour to map the foliage distribution and patterns. The foliage was mainly at the ends of the branches, in clusters. The leaves were fairly small and the patches were fairly sparse, but that might just be this time of year.

Foliage pattern of the birch tree

I had made some sketches in the park last week, but wasn’t that happy with them. I did make this spontaneous watercolour sketch that was quite interesting though.

spontaneous watercolour sketch.

I found it interesting to observe the trees, but it is difficult to fit a whole tree into one sketch with any kind of detail. I chose to draw with pen. I had previously tried with pencil, but had not been happy with the outcome. Birch trees are very interesting to draw, as their trunks are fairly regular but have the circular markings round them, which I find satisfying to sketch. They are tall, but it is interesting to sketch them from below, looking up, which is what I have done.


  1. The last tree .. the free line one.. looks alive. A spirit of the tree reachingnout ! Great resukt. What interesting observations on textures, form and movement you recorded.

    Liked by 1 person

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