Once you move out into the countryside, all that vegetation will suddenly loom large so it is advisable at this stage to practise your plant drawing. Here are two examples.

First, we have leaves simply outlined in ink, using three colours. Observe how leaves grow in clusters and bunches, so that you begin to see the patterns they make.

The second example is of flowers, based on Emil Nolde's painting of a poppy in 1930. The watercolour I have produced is a fairly rough copy of the brilliant red flower, contrasted with the dark green of the leaves and the yellow blooms beside. A little bit of background colour helps to anchor the blossoms together.

A logical step is taken from plants and flowers to trees, and here are two examples of trees in different locations in the British Isles.

The first, drawn in coloured ink, is from Myles Birkett Foster's Burnham Beeches, painted in 1860. These huge old trees with their wildly spreading branches were painted in the autumn with all the brilliance of yellow, orange, green and brown leaves, filtering the sunlight. The trees themselves appear remarkably dramatic at that time of year; the gnarled, twisted and split trunks, the interweaving branches and the brilliant foliage create a really extraordinary woodland scene.

The second scene, by another Victorian painter, A.F. Garden, is of willows on the River Ouse, painted in1880. I've recreated it in pastels on a beige paper. Again the drama of the twisted and split willow trunks, one of which grows downward into the stream, suggests living beings rather than trees. The wintry or early spring scene sets the bare branches like a network against the sky.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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