Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fantasy Forest Spirits coming to Foothills Art Center!
Looking forward to teaching a workshop on
drawing Forest Spirits at Foothills Art Center this month. It'll be a fun experience
for anyone who has ever wanted to draw imaginative
landscape features--with features!

I really like creating faery folk; tree-people and green-men are among my favorites.
From the crabby apple trees in MGM's Wizard of Oz, to the Ents of Tolkien's Middle Earth,
to Arthur Rackham's wizened Pollard Oaks,
tree-types with human characteristics are fascinating.

Hiking--especially in an unfamiliar woodland--allows the sounds of the trees and vegetation
to take on the qualities of human mutterings. No wonder writers and artists have
morphed humans with trees so often! Most times when I'm out walking, I find great tree
personalities to photograph.

This fat old Cottonwood sat down for a rest, not at all ashamed to
put out his knobbly knee--even with the forest eyes surrounding him.

Check out the creepy, sleepy face on this old tree root!

The Scarewood Forest, by Ken Reid

Ken Reid remains one of my prime, all around influences for tree-folk
(as well as lots of other images), but he's by no means the only influence;
I keep a Tree People board on Pinterest for myself and the workshop,
and it's got quite a few wonderful depictions (as well as tree-photos
that beat the heck out of mine).  Feel free to take a look!

The whole apple-throwing tree, pre-color.
A different tree fellow follows:

After a few composition thumbnails, I do a pretty detailed pencil drawing
which I ink in using a crow quill pen.

For Rent (pre-color) strangely tinted by my phone-camera.
The momma crow has lucked out in finding a place for her homeless egg.

For Rent. Final version, mixed media.

If you're in the Denver area, please join me for this woodland workshop.
Class sizes are kept pretty small, so all skill-levels are
welcome. From beginners to veteran artists--everyone will take
new skills with them at the end of the day!

Here's a link to the workshop:

Hope to see you there!


  1. Fantastic, and all best wishes ~! My first thought was the Ents, and then memory of a crabby apple tree in our front yard when I was a wee'un in Pennsylvania. Three cheers ~~>

    1. Thanks for the good wishes and the comment, Erik. I want to be a tree-hugger, but sometimes they'd just as soon kick us. For good reason too I guess :)

  2. I think momma crow found just perfect nest - it's such warm illustration :)

    1. Thanks comakoala--I appreciate the feedback!


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