I taught drawing to inspire styling your bonsai trees workshop to the Susquehanna Bonsai Club and to my club in Centre County, the Happy Valley Bonsai Club, over the last few months.
The images above show the progression of the drawing of the front and then the back of a ficus tree planted over rock.
We used squinting to see negative space, gesture drawing with charcoal, geometric drawing with light pencil and contour drawing with dark pencil, all combined to truly become keenly aware of our tree and to plan where to go next. This type of drawing can help a novice to truly listen to their tree before and during styling.
I am getting ready to teach a gesture drawing workshop for the Central Pennsylvania Art Alliance in October. This is one of my posters useful in talking to a class about the concepts involved.
Gesture is the Tai Chi of Drawing –
Sensing the energy in the scene and incorporating that movement, emotion, vibrance to a piece of art that contour or geometric drawing techniques can never do. I love to begin a drawing using a smudged gesture drawing and then build the remainder on that sculptural form, giving the piece so much liveliness. Smudging first takes away that awful blank page fear, too. Try it; you’ll like it.