Using the humble 2B to draw mighty trees

Dr. Vishwanath AS

Baronite since 2012

The words, “Create” and “Art” are etched within the word “Creative”. Creative art goes hand-in-hand, breaks boundaries, thinks outside the box, colors outside the line, and is ultimately free. Free to flow in any direction it wishes and still paint a wonderful masterpiece.

No matter how free, there is a method or “mechanism” to construct art. The right set of tools can turn the artist’s vivid imagination and emotions into awe-inspiring works of art!

My tool is the humble mechanical pencil or the clutch pencil that was invented in 19th century and perfected by the Japanese later on.

The mechanical pencil is great for the following reasons: You never have to sharpen it
One mechanical pencil lasts a couple of years
The lead size-range allows the artist to clearly provide detail to art work
Looks more stylish than your normal wooden pencil

I take inspiration from Indian traditional drawing style like the “Kangra” drawings above. Compared to other traditional styles, Kangra art provides attention to detail, especially in the drawings of the trees. This meticulous detailing has spawned my current interest in drawing trees.

Some of my art work follows.

I used a combination of the Rotring 600, Pentel’s GraphGear 1000, and Uni’s Kuru Toga with 2B lead to make this drawing. This art work mixes contemporary artistic elements (trunk) along with the traditional style (leaves). This drawing illustrates that man is supposed to uphold nature and provide nourishment.

As a school boy, I had to walk through a forest to get to my school. On the way, I would see trees similar to the one in the picture. It fascinated me that roots could grow alongside boulders and sustain itself.
I drew this illustration many years later, from the memory I had of being curious of nature’s wonders as a child.

While making this illustration I was simply inspired by the shape of this tree, which looks like a bottle or a vase.

I used the image on the left and used it to give more life and depth to the tree, through my drawing.

This illustration shows the minute detailing of the branches, much like the Kangra drawings I am so influenced by.

Following are the 16 art pieces I drew in the span of one month. I do not know if trees will ever stop lending themselves as my muse; I hope they never do. I anticipate that these humble, but life-giving aspects of nature stick around long enough to keep inspiring me in the way it does.

Through my drawings I would like to say that human beings and nature are one. We are part of nature, just as much as it is part of us. We are its guardians and we ought to protect it.

Buildings can wait, let’s make room for Mother Nature now.