Winter is still wrapping up in our part of the country, but there is no shortage of drawing material thanks to our neighbor’s beautiful, white birch tree.
About a month ago, I went outside to run an errand and found what I thought was a piece of plastic garbage in the driveway. We have had a mild winter and it had been cool, rainy and windy that week. I picked it up and looked closely and realized that I had a beautiful piece of birch bark in my hand!
It was curled up on one side, frayed on the other and had a pretty little lichen on top. The underside was the gorgeous, light peach/tan that you expect from birch wood. I was looking for a subject for my next sketchbook entry and this was it!
I decided to do two views – one from each side – and chose my usual favorite media of ink and colored pencil. I really liked the look of just the pen, so I only used colored pencil on half of each view to give a sense of the coloration without having to detail it too much. I love that with a sketchbook study you can do partials, give an idea of color, shade or shape and move on. Here is how it turned out:
Thanks to an additional windy night, I was able to grab some small birch branches that had blown down. These had a great mix of the papery, white outer bark along with some lichen and hints of the peachy inner bark. I did a quick study in graphite and colored pencil
Finally, thanks to the continuing mild weather and a nice day, I visited one of my favorite small trees at a nearby park. This star magnolia is gorgeous when it blooms, but it also has some wonderful, fuzzy, pale-green buds. I did a quick drawing, just in pen, to capture some of this late-winter/early-spring growth.
What finds have you made this winter? Or are you eagerly awaiting spring with me? Tell me what you are looking forward to!