Larger observational study of an individual tree

Project 1 Trees

Exercise 2: Larger observational study of an individual tree

For this exercise, I thought I’d try drawing a few trees. I used my A4 sketchbook for this. I tried to work quite quickly for each study, and tried using pencil and pen for this, as I wanted to focus on the lines that I could see in each of the trees.


This tree drawing took just under an hour. I used a 3B pencil, and tried to keep my sketching style loose, followed the lines and shadows that were on the trunk and branches of the tree. The most difficult part I found was adding the leaves into the drawing, as the texture was very different to the sketchy lines that built up the trunk. 

I don’t know what the type of tree was, but the tree had a very distinctive shaped trunk and twisted branches. I have tried to hint at texture but focussed more on shading and building up tone.

I then decided to swap materials and work on some drawing with pen, as I found myself being quite hesitant and erasing a lot with pencil!


For this drawing, I sat at a slightly different vantage point, and looked up at the tree, rather than facing it straight on. This meant I had the issue of foreshortening and an odd perspective for the leaves at the top of the tree! 

Experimenting with viewpoints is something I am trying to do a lot more of now, particularly following on from Assignment Two. I am also trying to find subjects to draw that are a lot more challenging!


Derwent Graphik Line Maker, 0.3 in A4 sketchbook. This tree is one that I have often glanced at when walking past it at work. The branches are bare all year around, yet there is often leaves growing at the bottom, which gives it the impression of being upside down!

I had a go at drawing a more ‘zoomed in’ part of a silver birch tree. This was quite a difficult one to do, as I wasn’t sure how best to capture the texture of the trunk against the shapes and shades of the leaves.

4B and B pencils in A4 sketchbook. This was a little more difficult but I spent just under an hour sketching this with a range of shading and hatching techniques.

This exercise has been very useful when looking at the forms of trees, and has given me a few things to think about when looking at groups of trees in the next exercise.


One thought on “Larger observational study of an individual tree

  1. Pingback: Research point: landscape | Drawing 1: Drawing Skills

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