Saturday, July 10, 2021

Paired Trees


7/5/21 A postcard I made for a friend

The homework for last week’s tree-drawing class was to continue making thumbnails to experiment with compositions. I took a Field Notes Signature and a pencil for a walk around the neighborhood.

At the Arboretum during class, I had made a drawing of the contrast between a Madrone and a few branches of a fir tree next to it. Still thinking about that, I started looking around the neighborhood for more interesting pairings of trees – different shapes, sizes or textures. I started out small in the traditional thumbnail size, but the Signature page size is not much larger, so I decided to make one thumbnail per page (below). The results probably don’t look very different from my usual sketches, but in my mind the intention was different because I was focused only on composition and values, not details.

I had also brought along a pad of Strathmore Watercolor Postcards to make a card for a friend (at left). I chose my favorite from the several thumbnails – a tall, thin, Dr. Seuss-like weeping cypress and the broad Japanese maple below it – and sketched them again with a more finished intention.

(This is the same pad of postcards I carry every time I travel. Although I always have good intentions of making a few to send to friends, I haven’t done it consistently. Since it’s likely I won’t be traveling much again this year, maybe I’ll keep the pad in my bag and sketch a few from home this summer.)

A few compositional thumbnails


  1. The tree drawing class looks like a lot of fun. I need to draw more trees too.

    1. It is fun! And trees are relaxing to draw because they never look "wrong" the way cars and houses can! ;-)


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