Trees have always been an important part of my urban sketching compositions. Although some sketchers treat them like background, I often seen them as equal partners to buildings or other prominent features of the urban landscape. Often I will include trees for scale and composition, but not always in detail. In any case, like cars, they are unavoidable, so I want to learn to sketch them well enough to be part of the story.
The class I’m taking in drawing trees with graphite has made me more aware than ever of the trees in my neighborhood. I have been taking lots of photos during my walks so that they might be used as reference in upcoming classes. On this day, I took several photos of this tree, whose every limb had been cut away (probably to get them out of the way of the utility wires). Unlike the tapered limbs we are learning to draw in class, this poor tree had nothing but abruptly ending stumps. Still, I could see the grace and beauty it must have had back in the day.