Drawing time 2

Part 2 of the tree  drawing exercise Hope you are drawing too…..

Creative Scribbling  or how scruffy can be best.


This is how we left it,  a very stringy spider with an amazing hair do.


Now it needs to be more than an outline. The methods I use tend to be scruffy, adaptable and without anxiety. They also can translate directly into machine stitching which is where I go  after drawing.

First – the solid bits. Trunk and major branches. Do not try to be too careful – get the feel of the tree rather than try to count the branches. (no one will ever know). Handy hint and tip – don’t draw solid lines all the way along the edges.

P1160762I ‘ve just zigzagged along the lines, leaving the edges open and uneven. On the main trunks a bit more of an outline is added, but not heavily. Leave it rough and tidy up later if need be.P1160763

This will look bad close to, so set it at least twice arm’s length away from you before crying ‘Disaster!’


And then the canopy – I use  a rough cross hatching technique, sometimes with  scribbling or washes.  What is cross hatching ?  This is……

cross hatching

Layers of parallel(ish) lines set across each other. Scribble hatching at the end.

Benefits – simple idea, versatile, can be rough or very  controlled.

Second stage – Don’t bother being worried – you can add to it at any time. P1160764 Single layer done in blocks and not sticking within the outlines either!

Third stage –  Just keep going. Look for  denser and darker areas on your tree. All you do is put in more layers of hatching. Let the blocks overlap and merge.

You will end up with a  convincing tree – no outlines to make it look static and stuffy.  If it is too regular then add on more, or  if working in pencil then rub some away.



And here is my  finished beastie. Can you see that  the top has grown a bit to give a bit more height and some rough  grass has grown to suggest the ground level.  I’ve worked in pen  so that you can see clearly so the frame lines are still there. Usually I would just put dots at the key points, or  of course do the frame-work  in pencil and rub it out.


P1160766 P1160767

Easy?  A quick sketch that could be tidied up to make a more polished study,  scribbled over to change the textures, or left exactly as it is.. Most time is usually taken up by looking and worrying, just practice not worrying and practice looking more instead.

Handy hints and tips.

Work from real whenever possible – don’t rely on photos.

Relax about things –  don’t fret at things,  stages look really bad as you build them,  sort the whole image not focus on single bits.

Something like a tree is a mass not an outline. Get away from lines round things.

Do this for fun. Don’t torture yourself over minor errors. Every time the wind blows the tree will change.

In extreme cases, just blame the squirrels…..






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s