Sketching individual trees(Project 1 Trees)

At this time of year at the end of February the deciduous trees are very easy to find without their leaves, and this is basic point/step for me to start learning drawing trees.

I have found a natural tree in Chapeltown park in Sheffield. I am talking about it is a natural one which I mean it is has the appearance of good balance for practice as I am starting.

Preliminary drawings. Divide a page of my A4 sketchbook into four portrait boxes then to draw by 6B pencil. Building up on the basis of previous sketches.

  • Draw a simple outline of the tree’s overall shape. Well I can clearly  see the trunk and the outline with lots of branches around it. So I need to treat it as a whole one to observe its shape likes.
  • Draw basic shapes in outline, or shaded areas that describe how the foliage forms in different masses around the tree. I have drawn the main trunk’s shape then the main skeleton then the shape of the branches.
  • Draw the outlines of the trunk and the main branches of the tree that you can see. As it is still bare winter going to spring now so the new branches are growing out but I can still see the old roughly outline at the moment.
  • Draw with lots of scribbled outlines or shade roughly to try and indicate something of the texture of the foliage. I try fill out the branches as this tree’s foliage.


These four steps studies are really helpful for the observation of this tree’s shape and skeleton/instruction etc so I wouldn’t be put off by the complex branches.

Another practice:


This tree is has no leaves as it is Winter. I have drawn it by charcoal. I can see the tree has the main trunk then divides to two parts then growing up into dense branches. I can think I could draw the branches more in order and not just scribbling them roughly.







Assignment two-Part two-Final piece

I started from the apple but unfortunately the teminator/dividing line in the shade on the top of the apple wasn’t correct so I had to used  white ink to correct it.  Another bad thing which I have done is one time when I used both the black and white ink and crossed the lids over on the two bottles then the white ink got a little bit black in. At the moment I have got a pack of Winsor&Newton ink.  I need to prepare another bottle of white ink or some other stuff  for highlighting or whitening. I would like to try some else brands soon.


I discovered a little bit over drawing it is darker than I want because I want the elements to go from light to dark going towards the right side.

The next element is pomegranate and the same problem down the right hand side corner which has been corrected by white ink.

Half way on the pomelo. The pear has been drawn by cross hatching so I have to do the  same way as the elements before. I also think the cross hatching is stronger effect for 3D than the hatching line.


Half way of pumpkin drawing. Then going to use cross hatching. The pear(big stippling) and the pomelo (small stippling) I have drawn the fixture on skin but I am not confident to draw the pumpkin’s flecks so I only draw its three dimensional effect.


The finished elements of this long postbox style composition. I have taken the photo then put them together with photoshop.



For the background I started from right hand corner by #1 nib of the dip pen which is most thickest/widest lines then going to work torwards the left hand side and the thinnest lines.

The stroke is so strong and wide(I should take a test for this nib before I use it) and I am a bit feeling I have damaged this composition.

When I was drawing every vertical and horizontal  line for building up a three dimensional interior effect I absolutely thourght that this is a job for a robot. I can’t control every line very well this is man made job then some lines wills damage the perspective effects. One of the worst bits is right hand corner on the top counter where I did some lines by mistake that I have to cover the white ink and re-do it.


The next step is connecting the pieces of papers to finish the pineapple’s shadow. Again I overdrawn the pineapple’s background then I used the white ink to cover it.

I used 2.5 hours using scanner(max size A4) from my house to scan and link them in one.

I still could not get rid of the shadow on each piece which I can only scan the area(A4 size) on where the pieces connect.


I couldn’t hold the camera straight and all the way cross this composition.


Through the whole process I should really follow Joanne’s advice which is using half of the A1 paper with masking tape so I can avoid lots of problems.

This finishing size is 168.2 cm * 29.7 cm (66.22 inches * 11.70 inches). When I was using the 0.5 and 0.3 fine line pen then it is very hard to find a single stippling because it is a such a big piece.

This one absolutely taken me a while to complete, about three weekends after preparing and just practicing lines. Well I wanted myself to have the accurate lines to capture the character/element gesture in the future.

For main things, I am doing drawing course not the illustration one at the moment. Is this has partially aesthetic value for which drawing goes torwards fine art?

Assignment two-Part one

I had a preliminary idea of a long postbox style composition for this assignment. As part two is based on still life in the interior  my idea is to set up a still life on the counter in my kitchen so I can practice both these projects.
Before I start to do my plan I emailed the course support Joanne Mulvihill-Allen for more information/idea. Then I got back the reply:
There are a couple of videos of students work who have used concertina sketchbooks to make long postbox style compositions, they are landscape based but the same principles will apply.
A roll of lining paper would work well as a surface, you can cut it as long as you need or use a standard size paper, A1 or A0 perhaps and mask off the desired narrow long composition using a low tack masking tape.  Make your drawing as normal and remove the tape when you have done, I think you will need to ensure you have covered the entire surface of the paper for it to have an effect.
There is a video on photographing art work here which talks about lighting.
The first composition impression my desire is “Along the River During the Qingming Festival”

The entire piece is in a rolled map format. Deploying the method of scatter perspective mapping.

Then I tried different objects in different viewpoints to set up my still life in the beginning.





For the more further material task, I also think of several way to do it..

  1. Simple media(dip pen+ink), fine line/delicate of mark making on white cartridge paper(panoramic long landscape)
  2. A couple of mixed medias painting upon a collage of coloured papers, which is following the last exercise.

I think I am going to experiment for the first attempt for this assignment also I haven’t done this way much before.

This is very useful video which is about dip pen and nibs for drawing techniques.

Bear in my mind the task is every SINGLE LINE should be useful.

I have used more than a half month with the sketchbook for practicing the hatching skill, just for preparing this assignment.  I am not bothered about the mess and mistakes doodling in the sketchbook. Which lets me know how the mistakes can be avoided for the next time.

There are 4 points for my hatching and crosshatching drawing tips

  1. Don’t rush to drawing. Don’t use about 10 minutes to rush to finish a section before you rush out off the door.
  2. Take time. Even my deadline is very close, if I haven’t practice the lines well don’t put the nips down to the papers.
  3. Consistant line. Keep the lines tidy and clean.
  4. Take breaks.

A quick sketch which is about a long landscape still life on the corner in the kitchen. I have to use two lines then the second is as the extension of the right corner bit.


I divided a A1 cartage white paper into two parts then stick on my A1 drawing board. (I really wish I have a A0 board but unfortunately this is my biggest one.)

Step 1: To plan the elements of the still life in this long paper by pencil.


I just realised the left corner of the second paper has too many on it, so I have to cancel the cross section of the onion. Then the final elements will be 18 and as below.


As this is a very complex still life and special layout so I have to take them down from the drawing board to connect them to see the entirety.


Well when I was taken this photo I missed out the last mushroom and the corner.

I realised the right section is higher up than the left, so then I have to correct them. I am going to keep this view and perspective then to add some elements to get right balance. The onion is on the right hand corner then I now have 21 elements.

Step 2: To draw the outline of these elements by mark pen, dip pen with ink and felt tip pen.


I did the outline drawing for each element finishing with the pineapple. The i finished the detail of the pineapple straight after using a felt tip pen on the darker half tone. Then I used an eraser to remove the pencil marks, which smudged a little. This was OK in the dark areas but moved my original lines a little. My first plan was a sort of scatchboard illustration effect but this was not working.

This has actually cost me lots of time for this layout. I have planned for a few days  the lines and tone. How long are they? Which direction(follow the elements’ shape)? As this time the sketching practice is actually helping to capture the elements’ shapes and scramble line even though they are messy and rough.

When the course mates were talking about the techniques for drawing and does the learning students really need the basic techniques? I was really rushing to finish my assignment as I haven’t any time to read very carefully and write any comments because the of the deadline. I really appreciate they are focusing on the points that about the artists future. As my this assignment my work will be real instead of by robot in 50 years?

Should I continue with black and white or change my picture to include colour?