For landscape artists, trees are arguably the most important raw material of our craft and art. Their very individual character, their attitude as living beings within the landscape make them a source of endless fascination and challenge for the artist. Artists in the 19th century routinely sketched and painted studies of these sentinels of nature in order to understand their structure as well as their artistic bearing. These drawings and studies were then used to create larger studio works.
John Carlson, author of Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting (the bible of landscape painting) rightly tells us that the way to learn to paint trees is by “much drawing of trees”. Through drawing and observation, we will learn to paint not only their anatomy, but their line, character, and the emotions they can inspire.
Topics covered in the class will include:
- a study of examples of 19th century drawings and painted studies
- materials and techniques for drawing in graphite and charcoal
- the structure of different species of trees, varieties of outlines and shapes against the sky
- making close studies of trees and portions of trees
- making painting studies of individual and groups of trees
- linear and atmospheric perspective of trees
- incorporating studies into studio works; compositional studies with trees