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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Drawing Trees

In order that my boys could appreciate shapes of tree crowns, I decided to teach them some basic techniques of drawing trees. I used an exercise shown in The Usborne Book of Art Skills. We used oil pastels to draw many possible types of trees from imagination.

Oil pastels allows layering of colours and this makes the trees looks more realistic. The green of the leaves on a tree is seldom one green but made up of many shades of greens and even blues, greys, red or yellows.

Some time ago, I bought a small set of oil pastels (Cray-pas) that were recommended by Artistic Pursuits for each of my boys. Those were a set of 16 colours. We found that the colours were very limited. There were only two greens and they were unnaturally bright :-( We ended up pulling out my antique set of oil pastels that I used when I was seven! That was a pack of 48 pastels. Some were a little hardened but applying pressure revealed the softer pastel within. These worked fine!

We tried using dots, short strokes and squiggles to achieve the effects of leaves seen from afar. Looking out of windows, we talked about which of the different techniques will give a better representation of each of the trees we see.

The next step would be to try these techniques out on one of our nature walks.


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