There are so many different kinds of trees, can you really use the method I talked about in the last post to draw them all? Well, yes, you can. Now that you know the secret to drawing trees (shape and light source) you can draw anything. So let’s try a different type of tree.
Coniferous trees are generally conical. They’re are still round but most have one trunk going straight up and they end in a point. Their foliage, in this case needles, usually goes around the branches. The basic shape drawing might look something like this:
If we’re drawing a very full Christmas tree, this conical shape works well. We can add a bit of texture for the needles and a few more shadows to show where branches jut out from the trunk. You might be dazzled by the thousands of needles before you, but resist the urge to draw each one. Stay focused on the overall form.
But often coniferous trees are not a solid shape like a well pruned Christmas tree might suggest. Many varieties are quite see-through, with wide spaces between the branches and trunk. How does one draw that? Consider that each needle-covered branch extending from the trunk is a shape unto itself. It has a light side and a dark side. Look carefully to see where entire limbs may be in shadow because a branch above blocks the light. We might see this a two-step process. First, look at the overall form, then at the smaller forms that make up the whole. I left the conical under-drawing to show how the tree shape relates to this tree:
So far I’ve been talking about drawing single trees, but trees rarely grow separately. Next week we’ll tackle a forest!
Peace and love to all at this very special time of year.