When I was in college studying botany, I was required to look closely at how trees and other plants grew. Its easy to identify a tree in the summer when it has all its foliage. It’s not so easy in the winter when the tree is naked.
Now that the leaves have dropped, I’m finding that I’m looking closely at the details. This is mainly because I have an unobstructed view with the leaves removed. I’m noticing how the branches grow from the trunk. Do they alternate in growth up the trunk, grow directly across from each other or are they whorled around the trunk? This is important information if you want to render realistic looking trees in your art. You have to observe how they look and grown.
On overcast mornings, like today, I find myself looking at shadows. Most tree trunks have lots of texture or patterns, but there is also shading that produces the 3-dimensional appearance. If trees didn’t have shading they would look flat instead of round.
The another thing I noticed on these stark trees is what remains. The leaves may have fallen, but the dogwoods are hanging on to their beautiful red berries.
I guess you can say I do research in my walks. I’m collecting information for future art quilts. I look for things or more importantly I see things. How about you?