Styling
Styling
     Styling trees is one of the most important aspects of bonsai after horticulture.  If a tree is dead, it can’t be bonsai, so keeping the trees alive comes first, but if it is alive, then it should look good in a pot.  Styling is also one of the most difficult aspects of bonsai to cover.  The style of any given tree will be a function of several things:           a)  Material Quality - Starting with good material is a definite plus.  It is good to have a good trunk and nebari.  Small leaves, good ramification, maybe good deadwood are all things to consider.            b)  Species - Even the best artists seem to have areas of specialization; some favor wild conifers while other do their best work on deciduous trees.  Some species are easier than others.  Some trees are so modified by their environment that the scream the design at you while others might take years of work before a final design concept becomes apparent.            c)  Your Skill Level - Different people can generate different outcomes on trees.  While it is nice to have good material, it is often expensive, and there is little point in a beginner starting work on a $1000 tree (Yes, you can pay that much and a lot more for good starting material!).   Beginner should hone their skills on inexpensive trees and work up to higher profeciency.            d)  Your Patience - It is possible to start from raw material and have something one would call a boonsai in a single day.  But that cannot be refined bonsai.  Bonsai is a patient art; trees are living and there is always room for refinement of a tree.  Often when making initial cuts in a styling, one should be looking 3-10 years into the future.       The above editorial does not really help one in designing a tree.  Only experience will but that experience does not always have to be one’s own experience.  There are several links below to trees that have been styled one way or another.  The first link is to a series of pictures showing a digital styling of a small tree.  Once open, if you slide your cursoe back and forth across the thumbnails, you will be able to see the series of steps in the styling process.  Link to styling pictures           The next two links are PDF documents that explain the styling of trees from a beginner bonsai class.  The class focussed on procumbens nana junipers because they are generally reliable trees in an introductory class.  There is a bonsai inside almost every one and all one has to do is eliminate the portions that are not needed in the final tree.  The trees are often in 1 gallon nursery containers and are available relatively inexpensively, particularly in the fall when nurseries are eliminating stock for the winter.       The styles that generally result from these beginner classes are either very informal uprights or the easier cascade.  Informal Upright procumbens nana                     Cascade procumbens nana
Contact Home About Us Meetings Trees Creating Bonsai Pots Display Galleries Stones Information Contact Us
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. 
     Styling trees is one of the most important aspects of bonsai after horticulture.  If a tree is dead, it can’t be bonsai, so keeping the trees alive comes first, but if it is alive, then it should look good in a pot.  Styling is also one of the most difficult aspects of bonsai to cover.  The style of any given tree will be a function of several things:           a)  Material Quality - Starting with good material is a definite plus.  It is good to have a good trunk and nebari.  Small leaves, good ramification, maybe good deadwood are all things to consider.            b)  Species - Even the best artists seem to have areas of specialization; some favor wild conifers while other do their best work on deciduous trees.  Some species are easier than others.  Some trees are so modified by their environment that the scream the design at you while others might take years of work before a final design concept becomes apparent.            c)  Your Skill Level - Different people can generate different outcomes on trees.  While it is nice to have good material, it is often expensive, and there is little point in a beginner starting work on a $1000 tree (Yes, you can pay that much and a lot more for good starting material!).   Beginner should hone their skills on inexpensive trees and work up to higher profeciency.            d)  Your Patience - It is possible to start from raw material and have something one would call a boonsai in a single day.  But that cannot be refined bonsai.  Bonsai is a patient art; trees are living and there is always room for refinement of a tree.  Often when making initial cuts in a styling, one should be looking 3-10 years into the future.       The above editorial does not really help one in designing a tree.  Only experience will but that experience does not always have to be one’s own experience.  There are several links below to trees that have been styled one way or another.  The first link is to a series of pictures showing a digital styling of a small tree.  Once open, if you slide your cursoe back and forth across the thumbnails, you will be able to see the series of steps in the styling process.  Link to styling pictures           The next two links are PDF documents that explain the styling of trees from a beginner bonsai class.  The class focussed on procumbens nana junipers because they are generally reliable trees in an introductory class.  There is a bonsai inside almost every one and all one has to do is eliminate the portions that are not needed in the final tree.  The trees are often in 1 gallon nursery containers and are available relatively inexpensively, particularly in the fall when nurseries are eliminating stock for the winter.       The styles that generally result from these beginner classes are either very informal uprights or the easier cascade.  Informal Upright procumbens nana                     Cascade procumbens nana
Home About Us Meetings Trees Creating Bonsai Pots Display Galleries
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.