Category Archives: Project 1: Trees Ex. 2: Larger observational study of an individual tree.

Part 3: Project 1: Trees Ex. 2: Larger observational study of an individual tree.

Multi medi: 3B pencil, black marker pen, charcoal, black byro, grey fine point marker pen and fixative. I used the fixative to fix the charcoal but it also reacted with the marker pens so I used it as a drawing tool too.


Sitting on a high bank among flowers with my back to a stream. The hedge was around a large country playing field, tightly mown, three football pitches in a country village in Cambridge with a hedge running round the edge dotted with big trees.

There was a light breeze and clouds scudding across the sky.

I set my alarm for 1 hour 20 minutes and improvised with all my mark making tools… starting with an outline and main areas in pencil. Then I added layers… each adding more detail contantly looking at the tree but also drawing from memory.

The hardest part was differentiating the foliage that came towards me and the split branches; branches coming off at all angles and overlapping leaves but also individual leaves against the sky. Far too complicated to get it all in ‘realistically’… and it was blowing in the wind… so went for an impression.

When I sprayed with fixative it made the marker men transluscent and also altered the relationship of it to the pencil and charcoal – so I could then mark on top of it. A lucky happenstance!

Then, of course, working outside you have the smell of the air, sounds, wind, rustling leaves and whole ambience of the day!!!!

It’s probably dangerous to say this but I quite like this – it’s probably my favorite drawing so far. Not quite sure why but it has a sprinkle of… life????