If you want a comprehensive guide to drawing almost any variety of tree using pencils or pens (including ballpoints), you need look no further than this.
As befits a masterclass, this begins with materials and surfaces and moves to methods, including the use of photographs and measured drawing as well as the all-important line and tone that are the mainstay of the work included. There is then a discussion of the shape of individual trees, both in full leaf and as bare branches in winter. This is a valuable section that explains the way trees vary as much as people in terms of individuality and stresses the importance of observation. The bulk of the book is then taken up by a series of exercises that work through the ideas and techniques previously discussed and introduce further detail and with the depiction of trees in a landscape, which is probably how most people are going to draw them.
The structure and artwork are superb, but there is a strong reservation regarding the reproduction, which I’ve noticed in other titles in this series. The contrast seems too sharp and tends to reduce the illustrations to blacks and whites without the subtle grey scales that are essential, especially in the pencil work. It obscures detail and negates much of the good work done by the author.
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