Some of the most distinctive characteristics of oak trees are the heavy boughs with twisted, angular branches. These boughs and branches can easily be seen because oak trees have many more sky holes than most trees. Another outstanding feature is the downward thrust of the lower branches, as shown in the graph-ite-pencil drawing at right. The foliage is often heavily branched, and in the fall, it puts out a beautiful scarlet and red-orange leaf. Whereas most trees drop their leaves in the fall, oaks maintain their leaves throughout most of the winter, adding more color to the wondrous winter woods.
The drawing below was executed with charcoal and water on 2-ply Strathmore bristol board. Start with a 2B charcoal pencil and just indicate the foliage. Then take a bristle brush dipped in water, wipe a little off on a rag, and go over the drawing, pushing the charcoal around like paint. When this dries thoroughly, take a 4B charcoal pencil and add the wood to the tree and some darks in the foliage. Then go over the drawing once more with your wet brush. As you can see, the results are interesting. The tree has a nice texture. Try some oaks using various papers.
The large drawing on the opposite page is a charcoal-pencil drawing of a red oak executed on Strathmore bristol board. Notice the abundance of sky holes.
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