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Drawing Masterclass: Trees
Drawing Masterclass Series
Denis John-Naylor

Search Press
19 May 2016/ ISBN 9781782210931
How-To Books / Art

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Trees are all around us and many of us admire their beauty, but capturing it on paper looks like a difficult task. In this book, the author sets out to show that it is possible, and that you don’t need to possess that elusive gift of “talent” to make a good job of it.

The introduction to this book contains much cheering advice for those with less than perfect drawing skills; being able to write already means that we possess some pen-wielding talent. Following on from a brief look at the history of trees in art, there is a look at what tools you require and why the author rates one item over another. Learning about the reason for the artist’s choice is always a good start, as the examples of pencil marks on various types of paper. Topics covered include sketching and how to observe, recording with a camera and some basic exercises such as building up a branch with more details and working out the proportions of any tree you are going to draw. Personally, I would prefer more examples with plenty of stages and fewer words, and think that the person who would benefit best from this book is somebody who already has art experience and wants to branch out (pardon the pun) into trees. Other chapters contain finished drawings of a variety of different trees with comments about their shape, foliage, etc., and a few staged examples of how to build up several drawings. More stages might be useful for a total beginner, but it is helpful to see each new stage of the drawing is added. Other chapters examine details of trees such as bark, boles, branches, etc., although leaves are not much touched upon. After looking briefly at trees in landscapes, there are three final projects to tackle which draw together what you have learned. I have seen more beginner friendly books, but if you already have some drawing skill and want to add trees to your repertoire, working through this primer ought to be a useful experience.

If you cannot find a good range of drawing materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines.
Reviewed 2016