Pencil drawing - bonsai tree

Bonsai tree in front of music pavilion in Golden Gate Park
Pencil sketch
11" x 14"

This turned out to be quite an interesting subject to draw, but was a bit challenging due to the foliage on the tree. I eventually realized that it needed at least 3 values (highlights, midtones and shadows) to show the correct thickness. To do the tree justice, I think I would need to use a larger sheet of paper to get in all the detail.

I also needed to adjust the values amoung the various items: columns, background, tree trunk and foliage to get a good balance and to make overlapping items appear distinct.
Pencil sketch - bonsai tree
In progress
Pencil sketch - bonsai tree
In progress

I'll continue working on this pencil sketch over the next few days. I am not certain how to go about drawing the needles on the branches since they are so light but at this point I plan to try just leaving the area white (paper showing) and start adding the darker branch values and see what happens. I also and not certain how to draw the lichen on the tree trunk.

Pencil sketch of bonsai tree Initial sketch
Initial sketch

This is the initial sketch with the major elements in place. I used a ruler to draw the straight lines of the columns but did placement of them by sight. I am certain there is a way to calculate this mathematically but because of the fact that the columns are getting slightly smaller going right (as they are getting further away), and the space between them also gets smaller, it seemed easier to just place them by sight. This seems to have worked out relatively well.

I also hope to experiment this week a bit with water color to get a bit more experience with this medium and then try another painting. I have some ideas for sketches that I am excited to try and hope to show improvement over my first try with the poppy watercolor.
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Click to see larger image
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