Thursday, January 15, 2009
The title "Tree School" sounds like it belongs at an arborist's convention, or maybe a logging camp. But, I want to offer my artist's take on rendering trees with pastel.
Trees can be an awful distraction in a painting. Especially if they are present but not the subject, and if they take up too much of your effort.
We all enjoy graphite drawings in detail of a beautiful tree. Great texture, perfect modeling, and wonderful presence are what please us. But, that is the tree drawing where the tree is center stage; the star of the show. What about when the landscape is about things other than how the trees look? What do you do then?
Additionally, you can face a problem when the trees are the main content, but not the subject. I mean by that the painting where a color composition is the subject of the painting, or maybe something like the motion of one's eye through the woods. Trees have a built-in drama to them, and I propose that too much detail can distract from the message.
Return here to attend my short course on trees in pastel, and I leave you with this hint: don't begin with green.