"Four Seasons": Winter. Learn Form and Structure by Drawing Trees

Yana Knight, Story of Yana

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7 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Let's take a walk

    • 3. Tree personality, gesture, direction

    • 4. Drawing the contour

    • 5. Drawing ... not tree

    • 6. Let's draw a branch

    • 7. Congrats and project ideas


About This Class


A silence surrounding two bursts of activity, winter offers us a chance to study nature unlike any other season. It is in winter that trees take off their clothes, and we are left with a magnificent array of nude models, a naked forest of forms revealing their personalities. It's as if nature, knowing humans' weakness for the nude form, tricks us into coming to see its deepest secrets, with nothing to hide, no performance to put on, and no need for one. All you have to do is be willing to come and observe, be willing to receive, stay patient, and nature will reveal its secrets.

Think of it as a live drawing class with a nude model.This is not a snowy landscape type of class. Like in all parts of these "Four seasons" series, here we'll be looking at some fundamental elements of art and of life in general: this time at structure. Element as fundamental as the seasons themselves. And as all important things should be approached, we look at our subject in a fun, lighthearted way. 


First, I'll take you on a walk through the forest in search of our models. We'll peer through the naked trunks as far as the eye can see, we'll raise our heads up and look right down beneath our feet, and see just how much life there is in places where we never normally look. We'll look at how to see and capture the personality of a tree, told by its bare spine and bones. Is it humble, majestic, lonely, sad, fragile, powerful? We'll see how parts of the tree tell us its story and how relate to each other.

As we learn by doing, we'll continue our exploration on paper. Here we'll explore some ways to draw trees by looking at its gesture, direction, branches, trunk, contour as well as by drawing what isn't. All with supplies as simple as a pencil and a cheap sketchbook.

The main goal of this class is to observe and train your eye, hand and heart so that you have a better understanding of structures in nature, which will help you when you have bigger pieces to work on. By focusing on those "lower level" (meaning fundamental) skills, you're getting equipped with a new way of seeing, a new way of approaching nature drawing and painting which will show through in your future work. And you might get to know your previously unnoticed trees so well that you'll end up making some life-long friends! 


Sometimes to cross new frontiers you just need to take a walk, it might lead you to places you never knew existed. Curious? Join me in this class and let's find out.


Vivaldi Four Seasons. Winter. Allegro noon motlo.

Other classes in this series: