Thursday, November 11, 2010

Painting Trees

A while back I did a watercolor of a tree. It was a tree in my neighborhood that caught my attention, (actually I love trees, I think they all have their own character, they are living things and have a history and are almost always interesting to paint- like people). When I finished it I posted it on line and I remember someone remarking that they thought the painting was nice but trees are a boring subject, my wife agreed saying the tree was nice but people want to see scenery and not just a painting of a tree. I understood her comment to reflect what she and some others would enjoy in a painting, but at the same time I felt that maybe I just failed to communicate what made that tree interesting to me.
I continue to draw trees in my sketchbook and I try to show why I think they are interesting, it’s the same approach I use to sketching people in the subway, I consciously search for some hint of character that would make the drawing interesting. Best thing about trees is that they don’t move, don’t need breaks, their the perfect models.

This was the painting that I posted.
It was a lot of fun to paint.


  1. I have been trying to explain to my husband that I see personalities in trees just by their shapes and the gestures of their limbs. I sometimes name them as we drive by, with a title like "Hercules" or "Courage". There is something about the over-all "picture" of a tree. The same goes for a good portrait painting or figurative painting. Sometimes its the outer appearance that can tell you something about what's inside. The wrinkles in skin or twisted, wind-blown outstretched limbs of a tree. These things can tell you what this person or tree has been through...