Sketching from the Neck Up #12

The Good Ol’ Oak Tree


Joyce Kilmer penned in her poem, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.” In my virtual tour of Google Earth, I was exploring the State of South Carolina just near Charleston when I came upon a grand father of an oak tree known as the Angel Oak. A massive oak that is estimated to be 400-500 years old. Wikipedia says that it stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet (1,600 m2). Its longest branch distance is 187 ft in length.

I think way back in the early 70s, I have a vague recollection that my family (while cross-countrying) stopped over once to check it out. I was a kid then. The Angel Oak as I understand is a favorite subject of many artists. With their easyls propped under the heavy branches of the tree, they would sketch and paint away blissfully. I may not have the pleasure of actually be there to sketch my heart away but I do have a slew of pictures.

For my drawing, I really wanted to emphasize the age of this tree. I did the usual practice of outlining the the gnarled ol’ trunk and its many twisted branches. Then I applied Photoshop’s filter function which gave my drawing a basic charcoal look. But the results of the auto-render of the trunk and branches hardly showed any distinguishable features and I was not satisfied. So, I painstakingly erased only the auto-render of the trunk and branches. Then, I redid the trunk and branches using different Photoshop brushes and smudge tools.

I hope you like the results.


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Thank you.

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