Exercise 2: larger observational drawing

There are some fantastic trees in the courtyard outside my door. This mulberry tree is full of textures of old bark and thick moss; I started with some photography and then frottage to capture shapes and textures. My tutor said my strength is line drawing while my weakness at present is tone/form. So I need to attend to these to redress the balance.

When it came to drawing, I honestly couldn't

concentrate today; nevertheless I pressed on and created two pieces the first using pencil, graphite stick, charcoal, white pastel and some white-spirit to blend and blur the graphite, the second with graphite stick and charcoal on Chinese paper glued to cartridge paper.

Several reasons I think I struggled today: I was simply tired - that never helps; the light was flat, a cloudy day, more so under the tree, I found it more difficult to distinguish the light and dark areas clearly - my weaker area in drawing anyway. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of detail in a subject, but it seems that the detail is what is interesting. My tutor encouraged me just to try different methods, styles and approaches and not worry so much about the success of the outcome... just experiment.


So, here are some of the artists I've been looking at for this project:

David Hockney's charcoal woodlands. Amazing detail, light and shadow; I'm noticing that some areas have lots of detail... lines of bark, outlines of leaves, or areas of light and shadow, but not exactly both in the same areas.

Frank Auerbach landscapes with trees:

Lose lines, building shadow and form. Less detail than Hockney's but incredible energy and movement. Bold forms in paint.

Cezanne landscapes with trees.

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