Here's a painting of a tree I made this fall for a show at Old Lyme. This is a studio version of one I made outside. It is an 18 by 24. I thought as long as I was blogging about trees I should show a few of my own paintings of trees. Tonight I want to talk a little more about constant taper. Although trees have constant taper on a macro scale, on a micro scale there is another thing going on, telescoping. Here is another tree below and then a detail of the same tree.
Below is the detail.
Notice that the branch doesn't actually decrease much in size until it hits a joint where another branch leaves it, it THEN continues on, a little reduced in diameter. So it is like a telescope, formed of cylinders of decreasing size not an extremely elongated cone. In other words the branch grows along as a nearly uniformly diametered section almost like a section of pipe, until another branch leaves it, then it continues on in a reduced diameter like a second piece of pipe.
This is part of the reason why most trees have an angularity to their construction, this, section, joint, section construction effects the look of some species more than others, but most have some degree of it.
Tomorrow I will begin to describe branching behavior.There is a lot to this so I am paying it out one concept at a time. Its a little like math, each of these concepts is built upon the back of the last one. So if you don't understand it, read it again before you go on. If I haven't explained it well enough let me know in the comments.