Thursday, January 28, 2010

More tree behavior

Now there is a great set of trees. They have come here tonight to make a couple of points. The first is to illustrate something from a post I wrote several weeks ago. I spoke about branching habits and how each specie of tree has a particular angle at which it likes to throw its branches. There are a number of places in the trees above, that show this nicely. Several of them can be found at the 1 and 2 o'clock position.

The thing I wanted to point out tonight is this. Trees in groups don't grow the same way as trees alone. The whole architecture of a tree results from its striving to put its leaves efficiently into the light. As you can see looking at this example there are two major pairs of trunks. Each of these have thrown their limbs up and away from the other pair. It is almost as if by agreement they have said to one another, you take that side, I 'll take this side. There are almost no branches on the inside between the two trees. Those branches that did grow in there, found themselves shaded out and quickly withered. A tree won't support a branch that doesn't produce.

Something else worth noticing here is that the largest sky holes are gathered about the middle of the tree, often showing off those forks of which I spoke earlier. Look for the two to occur together and utilize that to show the structure of the tree. The sky holes tend to decrease in size as they move further from the center of the foliage.

I would like you to notice one other thing here also.

Look at the fork of this tree near the arrow. There is more tree above the fork than below. You would think, given the general rule of continual taper, that would never happen. But it is common. You have to watch for that. Putting it in will make the tree seem more natural. There is no substitute for observation. It is good to know the anatomy of trees but in the end that will only let you know what to look for, and what it is when you see it.

First you draw what you know, then you learn to draw what you see, finally you learn to see what you know


Unknown said...

Now that last statement would make a great neck tattoo.

verification word today:
Plamit: n. orbiting concentration of gases composed primarily of swear words.

billspaintingmn said...

Lots of neck tattoos in this one!
My elm tree was like that. More tree above the fork than below.
It looked cool. It was a personality that everyone noticed.
My aim is to recognize or observe
a trees "personality" and paint it
into the scene, respectfully.
Thanks Stape!

willek said...

Are you going to say anything about those winter trees with the snow pasted to their trunks. or how to paint snow laden evergreens for Christmas cards?

CM said...

I find myself looking at trees with a whole new attitude and with much more understanding. Thank you so much Stape.....invaluable.
Corinne McIntyre

Stapleton Kearns said...

You are going to need to be a giraffe to tattoo all of the attractive phrases on your neck. Perhaps you could go with acronyms only.

Stapleton Kearns said...

You are welcome

Stapleton Kearns said...

I guess I could, I didn't think of that.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks. I will try to keep to the standard.