I was walking back from a sketching session last week and I took a slightly different route. I found a new house I want to sketch and a nifty little restaurant that may become a future sketch. But the real discovery was a small “bouquinerie.” In French, a “bouquinerie” is a bookstore that sells used books and I decided to go in to see if they had any cheap books on Quebec architecture or history.
They did, but what really caught my eye was a small art section. Among the offerings, mostly in French, was a copy of Henry Pitz’s How to Draw Trees. This book was first published in 1956 and redone several times since then. It does appear to be out of print, though you can still buy used copies of it via Amazon, Abebooks and probably elsewhere but the prices run from $30-100. The one I was looking at cost five bucks. I snapped it up and it has launched a new sketching chapter for me, and I haven’t even read the darn thing yet. The sketches are cool, though.
I’m not sure how long that chapter will be or what story it will tell, but right now I’m having fun discovering trees. I’ve drawn trees in many of my sketches but I’ve never featured a tree in a sketch. I still have much to learn from this book as I’m still looking at the pictures, but I thought I’d share some of my meager attempts that have sprung from my new-found interest.
I started by doing some small sketches in a really cheap, blank notebook I picked up at the dollar store. Until Stillman & Birn decide to produce a small sketchbook, I’m stuck with this less than optimal paper as I really don’t like Moleskine sketchbook paper. Anyways, here’s a sample of my efforts.
Plains of Abraham Trees
The Plains of Abraham is a natural place to sketch trees – the park has a lot of them representing many, many species. I went there with the idea of capturing a couple ‘likenesses’ of these tall neighbors on our planet.
I started in a handmade sketchbook, with Canson Mi-Teintes tan paper. I think this sketch may be improved with a splash of color but for now, this is the result. Proud, but lonely, this tree stands in a very open area of the park. Click on this image for a larger image.
I got out my Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook (6×8) and moved to a comfy bench in the shade and I sketched this tree. Again, you can get a larger image by clicking on ths small one.
Some Misc Doodles
I thought that while I had my dollar store notebook out I’d show you a few examples of the doodles I do, often while watching TV. There’s not much to them but I thought some might find them interesting.
Anyone have a recommendation for a decent 3×5 sketchbook that isn’t made by Moleskine and is available (without paying as much for shipping as for the sketchbook) to those of us in Canada?
Cheers — Larry (firstname.lastname@example.org)