Why sketch? There are several reasons to sketch trees because sketches are the most simple reduction of the bonsai tree to art. Good sketches can reduce the tree to its most simple form – its essence. Design: Jack Billet once gave a wonderful demonstration of the power of sketching. At the beginning of a meeting, he was presented with a tree that he was going to style. After inspecting the tree, he moved to the corner of the room where we could not see what he was drawing and he proceeded to sketch something. He then covered the easel and the meeting was called to order. After some discussion, Jack began to style the tree and it was one of those dramatic demonstrations where 80-90% of the tree is removed. When the demo was over, he sat the tree on a table pulled over the easel and uncovered the sketch he had done earlier. It was a remarkable likeness of the styled tree. I have never forgotten the power of that demonstration. Jack could see the product of his styling long before he started – the mark of a true bonsai artist. And he had the artistic talent to sketch the tree that was already styled in his mind. Record of future design Many of us do not have the skill I just described, but once we have done an initial styling of a tree it is possible to take a photograph of the tree and then trace a simple design of the tree onto paper. The sketch can be what others see in the tree. Are you satisfied with what your see? Trace the tree again, but this time be a little more free with your design. In the second sketch, it is possible to remove a branch or let some of the branches fill in with new growth. That becomes a good method for remembering from year to year where you might want a tree to do with respect to design. Learning the art It is quite easy to draw an outline of a formal or informal upright. Draw the trunk. It will always show taper. If it is a formal conifer, the sides will be relatively straight. Then begin to put on branches – left, right, back. If you draw them up, the tree is young. Down is old. Which do you like better? One can quickly pick up the essence of bonsai. Various sketches are available here Pat Morris Steve Ittel Dorie Froning’s mame newsletter. Many of these are by Pat Morris and we are unsure about others.
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Brandywine Bonsai Society is an educational organization and as a result, the material in this site may be copied for educational purposes. If large portions are copied, we would appreciate attribution. We welcome links to this site.
Why sketch? There are several reasons to sketch trees because sketches are the most simple reduction of the bonsai tree to art. Good sketches can reduce the tree to its most simple form – its essence. Design: Jack Billet once gave a wonderful demonstration of the power of sketching. At the beginning of a meeting, he was presented with a tree that he was going to style. After inspecting the tree, he moved to the corner of the room where we could not see what he was drawing and he proceeded to sketch something. He then covered the easel and the meeting was called to order. After some discussion, Jack began to style the tree and it was one of those dramatic demonstrations where 80- 90% of the tree is removed. When the demo was over, he sat the tree on a table pulled over the easel and uncovered the sketch he had done earlier. It was a remarkable likeness of the styled tree. I have never forgotten the power of that demonstration. Jack could see the product of his styling long before he started – the mark of a true bonsai artist. And he had the artistic talent to sketch the tree that was already styled in his mind. Record of future design Many of us do not have the skill I just described, but once we have done an initial styling of a tree it is possible to take a photograph of the tree and then trace a simple design of the tree onto paper. The sketch can be what others see in the tree. Are you satisfied with what your see? Trace the tree again, but this time be a little more free with your design. In the second sketch, it is possible to remove a branch or let some of the branches fill in with new growth. That becomes a good method for remembering from year to year where you might want a tree to do with respect to design. Learning the art It is quite easy to draw an outline of a formal or informal upright. Draw the trunk. It will always show taper. If it is a formal conifer, the sides will be relatively straight. Then begin to put on branches – left, right, back. If you draw them up, the tree is young. Down is old. Which do you like better? One can quickly pick up the essence of bonsai. Various sketches are available here Pat Morris Steve Ittel Dorie Froning’s mame newsletter. Many of these are by Pat Morris and we are unsure about others.
Brandywine Bonsai Society is an educational organization and as a result, the material in this site may be copied for educational purposes. If large portions are copied, we would appreciate attribution. We welcome links to this site.