Usually at this time of year I’m painting landscapes filled with autumn colors. This year is an exception, however. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but the paintings I’m currently working on include cherry trees in the spring, a summery North Carolina beach sunrise, and a snowy Colorado winter scene.
What happened to autumn?
Somehow I seem to have missed out on all the glorious reds, and oranges, and yellows that are part of the season, especially here in the midwest. True indeed, the leaves of our trees are changing colors, and — much to my husband’s dismay — falling to the ground.
Instead of painting leaves, I’m drawing them. In graphite. No colors. Just black and white. And you know what? I’m loving it. Drawing becomes more enjoyable day by day, and I’m happy that I’ve finally reached a point where I can draw the trees I love so much and actually draw their leaves, as well.
Here’s a recent page from my sketchbook, with drawings based on illustrations in William F. Powell’s Landscape drawing book.
For me, nothing in art means more than drawing and painting trees. I love trees of all sorts — tall trees, short trees, evergreen trees, flowering trees. For such a long, long time, I struggled to create realistic-looking trees, and I’m delighted that all my practice time is finally paying off. While far from perfect, my trees are definitely much better now than in the past, and I’m especially pleased at having learned to create foliage. My illusions are beginning to look like leaves. At least, I think they do. What do you think?
One thing I know for sure is that practicing does make us better artists, and as we become better at art, we enjoy it more. I absolutely love to sit down with my sketchbook and draw landscape scenes — or anything else, for that matter. I know I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again. Drawing is a skill that anyone can learn, and learning to draw opens up so many wondrous new possibilities.
Maybe you’re growing tired of hearing me go on and on about how much fun drawing is. You’ve probably known that fact for a long time. But for me, this is an exciting new discovery. Seeing my art improve day by day brings me so much joy and happiness. And now, being able to draw convincing trees — with convincing leaves — makes my heart sing.
It’s probably a simple thing to many of you, but to me, it’s special, so thanks for letting me share my drawings with you.