Maples are some of the most admired and beautifully shaped trees. They are usually symmetrical, and the tops are rounded more often than not. They are abundant in foliage with a definite pattern. The graphite-pencil drawing (lower right) shows a mature tree with its symmetrical shape. In the fall, the maples usually put on a color demonstration (reds and yellows) that artists are forever seeking to capture. In the winter forest, one can always pick out the red maple by its twigs, which have a red cast to them.
Another characteristic is the way the tree grows. It has close branches that grow fairly straight up from the main trunk, and then has many limbs and twigs shooting from the sides, as illustrated in the drawing (lower left).
The large drawing on the opposite page shows a close-up of a group of maples sketched in charcoal on Strathmore bristol. In aging maples, the trunk and limbs offer unlimited design opportunities to incorporate great character into your drawings.
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