Even after being back sketching for a couple of years now I find I still don’t do much drawing ‘out-of-doors’. I always manage to find some excuse ( . . . it’s too hot . . . or too cold . . . or there are too many people about . . . or OMG the sandflies!!) I dither and dather and although sometimes I do get as far as packing up all my kit and getting myself to the front door, more often than not it’s . . . ‘I don’t know . . . perhaps I won’t do that today . . . maybe I’ll go tomorrow instead . . .’ It’s definitely an issue for me and one I haven’t quite got my head around yet.
So now, before you get all excited and think that I must have actually talked myself into venturing out into the big wide world to complete the sketch below—nope, I copied it from a photograph (I wanted to see if I could replicate some of the detail in the undergrowth)—but I was thinking about going outside to sketch a real tree, so I reckon that’s a step in the right direction . . . isn’t it?
Anyway, now that we are on the subject of trees it seems like a good time to share something I came across recently called the Baum test—also known as the ‘tree’ test. Apparently this test can be used to represent a person’s personality traits (similar to handwriting analysis). Basically, all you need to do is draw a tree—not copy a tree as I did—but actually draw a tree from your own imagination. The idea is to draw quickly and without thinking too much and to include (or not, whatever you prefer) the roots, the trunk, branches, leaves, fruits, flowers, etc.
Then comes the psychology bit.
According to the supreme beings who know these things—if you drew a tree with strong deep roots you are probably a pragmatic and rational person. If you drew shallow roots (or none at all) you are more likely to be quite timid or uncertain in life. The trunk usually symbolizes your personality. If your tree has a large thick trunk, you are more likely to be outspoken, emotional and possess great inner strength. If the trunk of your tree is small or broken it suggests you are rather fragile or withdrawn. Thick branches suggest a communicative personality. No branches or very small branches indicate an inability or reluctance to communicate with others. Drawing leaves and flowers show your attempts to achieve success (or perhaps lack thereof??)
So there you go. Why don’t you give it a go yourself? I’d be interested to hear about your results (although I guess now you’ve already read the possible analyses your final creations could possibly be somewhat compromised. Hmmmm—I didn’t really think that through . . . ) Anyway, I admit I haven’t actually tried the Baum test myself yet. For a start I don’t draw quickly (ever), so given that, and my propensity for detail, if I start right now I’ll probably be just about finishing my own imaginary tree sketch some time next week . . .
Now, I wonder what the psychologists would have to say about that!