We returned to the Winter Wednesday tree challenge yesterday (read our first entry here), which is about tree silhouettes. Amie decided to draw the large pine trees in our neighbor’s yard (all the trees in our own yard are too close to see in their entirety from the window). (The picture below was taken a month ago, when there was still snow on/in the trees.)
It was a pleasure and also slightly mystifying to see her draw those trees. You’ll see what I mean when you see the drawing…
First we decided which tree to draw: the large pines in our neighbor’s yard? Yes! I pointed out they’re actually two or even three pines clumped together. Okay.
In the spirit of observational drawing, I made sure we discussed our subjects. First we talked about how they are not leafy but “needle trees” and about how all the leafy trees have lost their leaves, but how the trees she was about to draw were still so green.
We discussed the colors (I suggested we forgo the colors and draw just the shape with a pencil, but Amie insisted on using her brand new color pens – and who could blame her?). The crown, she observed, is dark green. And the trunk? “Dark brown!”
We talked about how the trunks are long and how the green crowns sit on top of them, sort of clustered together into one single, huge triangle in the sky.
After getting all this straight, Amie started drawing.
She drew one very long trunk, all the while commenting: “I really don’t like the color brown. But oh well [sigh] I will have to use brown, because it is brown, after all!” She really talks like that.
I asked if she would draw the other trunks too, and she said no, she’d draw just one.
When the trunk was done, I asked if we should tape an extra page on top for the crown?” She said: “No, there’s enough space, see? Here?” and she pointed at the blank space next to the tree. Then she reached for the light green pen. I reminded her of the dark green color of the needles, but she said “I really don’t like that green, I’ll use the light green instead.”
Then she drew a flattened circular crown on above and next to the trunk. I suggested that its shape is triangular. She said: “There’s no space for that”.
Then she started drawing the leaves, taking special care with the ones squeezed in on top. I said: “But doesn’t our tree have needles?” she said: “I’m drawing leaves instead.”
Mmm. I asked her which tree she was drawing. “That one,” she said, and she pointed at the tree in the foreground of the photo: the oak. I said, bewildered: “But that tree has no leaves. The leaves all fell off in the Fall.”
“But I’m drawing the tree in summer, Mama!”