image from artrenewal.org, the fabulous online museum and incomparable free resource for artists, art lovers, and historians check it out here.
Above is a Ruisdael that looks like some of the tree photos I have been showing. Here is a landscape painter showing his love for trees. I think there is something very inviting about this picture. I too would like to walk up that road, take the left and visit the little cottage behind the tree. There is a contemporary painter who also paints little cottages. Notice the elegance and restraint of this painting from the mid 1600's. Different trees have different characteristics, like people. Some are strong and enduring and some are lithe and graceful. Just as if you were painting a portrait you need to ask yourself, what is it that makes this tree, THIS TREE?
It is important also to observe the different proportions of one part of the tree as compared to others, a common mistake is to exaggerate the stem, or trunk of the tree. Perhaps because it is at our eye level that we are so obsessed with it, Someone once said the trunk of a tree is about the same size relative to the rest of a tree as the stem is to an apple. While this is not always true, it does point out the great variation from the ordinary unobserved representation of a tree seen in the wall paper borders in restaurant bathrooms.
Look at the altered photo below, I want to show you something else.
With those rudely drawn boxes, I hope to illustrate something else. That tree is not a flat shape, it is a three dimensional object perspected in space. Its forms are subject to the same vanishing points as everything else in the landscape.
One of the ideas of perspective is that everything above your eye level will have perspecting lines that run downwards. So look for those, and show you know em. They are not very obvious but look for their influence. That will get the foliage and body of the tree up into the air, and over your head where it belongs. Unless you observe the perspective indicated by those boxes you will have a straight on view of the entire tree.You look at the lower part of a tree, and up at the higher parts, at least until it is some distance from you. I have seen a lot of landscapes where the top of the tree is seen from the same straight on point of view as its trunk. I have made a few of those myself.
Snowcamp one is filled and I have only two more slots left in Snowcamp W, if you still want to come, click here.