Twenty One Trees (2018)

Homework set at the Graphic Novels Real Life Stories1 course: make daily two inch square drawings for twenty one days on a theme of my choice. I chose trees.

At first I felt overwhelmed by the amount of information on a tree when drawing from life. The next day I took a photo and drew from that but still felt overwhelmed so I researched how to draw trees on the internet. The third day was much more successful! By day 4 I began abandoning the photo and letting my imagination and sense of necessity take over once I’d gotten the outline of the tree down. I was very pleased with the day 4 drawing.

Day 5 was less successful; I didn’t really like the outcome. On day 6 I was writing in my journal and looked out of my lounge window and had an urge to draw the block of flats across the way. In front of the block was a yew tree so I drew that too then cut 2 inches of the drawing and stuck it in my sketchbook. I liked the immediacy of drawing with whatever I had to hand.

On day 7 I branched out and decided to draw several trees at Preston Park; I liked the drawing but thought it probably ought to have more shadows. Then the acorn on day 8 was a disaster after I painted the background black. Day 9 was okay. On day 10 I drew around a leaf then coloured it in with watercolour pencils. I loved the simplicity of that drawing.

By day 11 I felt bored of drawing real trees so I decided to make one up; I really enjoyed the way the colours flowed into each other. I made up trees on days 13, 14, 15, and 16. For day 17 (which was actually day day 19; I was running behind at this point) I was in London attending the Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga Foundation Workshop2 and, in the morning I went for a walk, then at lunchtime I drew a tree based on various trees I’d seen on my morning walk. I drew day 18 tree that evening, also based on trees I’d seen but not photographed. I did the same thing the next day and drew days 19 and 20 from memory of different trees that caught my eye. Day 21 tree may or may not turn up at some point…

1Here’s a link to the Graphic Novels Real Life Stories course I’m doing.

2Here’s a link to The Yoga Clinic’s website, where you can find information on Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga.

The last four images were made hours after a daily walk around the London area I was staying in for a workshop.

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