On the Shelf: 20 Ways to Draw a Tree

There has been a lot of discussion of nature journaling in the Facebook group lately, and as someone who doesn’t consider herself an amazing natural artist, I have to admit that I sometimes feel little twinges of intimidation when I see the beautiful drawings some folks are doing in their journals. If you are likewise a bit timid when it comes to putting pencil to paper and sketching nature finds and the like, you might want to check out 20 Ways to Draw a Tree by Eloise Renouf.

20 Ways to Draw a Tree is essentially a collection of sketches of different natural objects, organized according to category. There is a page for birds, for mushrooms, for feathers, for flowers… you get the idea. Each spread shows a variety of ways that a person might go about drawing a pictures of a given item, and makes a lovely point of showing that there is really no right way to draw anything. You can make your drawings as accurate as possible if you like. But you can also, if such ability seems lacking for you, draw quirky, unusual, and imperfect versions of the things that you see and that works just fine too.

Though I wouldn’t exactly label myself a reluctant artist, I certainly lack a certain confidence when it comes to even the most casual of sketches. 20 Ways to Draw a Tree is an excellent reminder that nature makes a very forgiving subject, and that when it comes down to it, you can enjoy sketching a snail just for snail’s sake. It really doesn’t have to be any more complicated than you make it.

Oh, and this book is part of a great series that you can use to try drawing all sorts of things from jellyfish to mustaches. Yes.

— Annie

3 comments… add one

  • amy August 7, 2015, 10:31 pm

    I like these books because they help me loosen up. When I’m drawing from nature I have a tendency to lean towards the type of drawing you might find in a field guide–I think it’s my wildlife biology background–and I can get hung up on trying to get it so right that someone could identify it from the drawing. Which is sometimes great, I guess, but often just gets me hung up on perfectionism. I need some sort of permission to go quirky. Drawing from this book helped. :-)

  • Monique B. August 8, 2015, 7:33 pm

    My oldest daughter just discovered this book and it’s at the top of her wish list. My kids also like the other similarly titled books (different artists/authors) like 20 Ways to Draw a Butterfly and 44 Others Things with Wings. They are lots of fun!

  • Tamara August 12, 2015, 6:52 pm

    I just put this book on hold at the library. Cannot wait to see it! :)

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