Carl Mastrangelo

Hi, My name is Carl and I'm a software engineer and aspiring artist.

Drawing a Tree

Next in my march to become a better artist is an attempt at drawing a tree. This was very difficult for me, most notably getting the outline of the tree correct. I spent about four hours getting the outline of the sketch to match real life, an hour focusing on the contours, and an hour on line quality. Making lines of the correct length and placing them in the correct spot is deceivingly difficult. Because each line is dependent on the lines above and below it, messing one up in turn sullies the placement of the others. The angle of each line was easy, and I find myself better able to estimate the angle of things in real life.

I did find some techniques on my own when constructing the piece. For example, when drawing a line, often the implement (an H pencil for me) obscures the line as I am drawing it. The reason to draw this is way is that it allows the pencil to maintain the angle of the line as it marks, but has the down side of missing its intended intersection. When I was drawing such lines, I would erase them and try again. But, upon missing several times, I simply kept drawing parallel lines until I met my desired target. Only after I a line that looked right did I clean up my mistakes. Line drawing is subtle, masterful work.

I have attached a photo of my tree (as I don't have a flatbed scanner large enough. It represents about six and a half hours of patience, mostly spent between the hours of coming home from my job and sunset. The piece was meant for my beginners-level art class, for which I received an A.