Manuka tree

I love sketching trees. They’re challenging because of all the detail, but they’re also fun. There are so many different kinds, they each have a different character. and they really encourage varied mark-making and gestures. I can see why landscape painters love to paint them. This is one from my backyard.

Charcoal pencil on paper

Some helpful guidance on drawing trees

When you tackle trees, don’t try to draw every leaf. Use broad pencil strokes to define areas of leaf rather than individual sprigs. Concentrate on getting the main shape of the tree correct, and the way the leaves clump together in dark masses.

Barrington Barber, The Ultimate Drawing Book

Autumn yellow

7″x9″ acrylic on canvas panel

I painted this from a photo I took of a tree in the Auckland Domain. I was drawn to it not only because of the colour of the leaves (which were actually more of a gold) but also the asymmetrical shape. While I struggled with the colour mixing/matching, and painting a convincing shadow under the tree, I like the overall expressiveness of the painting.


Trees are your friend

Trees are a wonderful gift of nature and actually do provide a unique type of friendship to those that appreciate how special they are.

Karren Case