I wanted to tackle the subject of downsizing the image of a full size tree into a compact miniature version. Off course Bonsai is not the simple copying of trees from nature, but to understand how it works can help you to realize your own ideas.
After surging the web, I have found a wonderful silhouette image of a tree to use as a example.
The above silhouette gives use enough info we need to recognize what it is. Even with out the wooden bench under need it we can figure out how tall, big and fare away from use this tree is. So if we use these same features that give use all that info in our Bonsai, we will ad least end up with the right proportion in our tree. And that is not a bad start, believe me!
So here is the silhouette of this tree more clearer to see. I have removed the two small branches that were growing low on the trunk, to make things clearer to see. And wile I was at it, I planted the tree into a Bonsai pot. Looks good all ready doesn’t it?
The yellow dots show the outlines of the frame/skeleton of this tree. This design as Bonsai would be about 20 inch/50 cm high and material with a trunk and branches like this can be easily purchased from any Bonsai dealer that imports Acer palmatums or Ulmus.
But the foliage you see here would be hard to archive with the to large foliage of most deciduous species we could use to create this image with as a Bonsai. So we should divide the messy foliage into more compact and well outlined foliage pads. Doing this, we will create more open spaces, that clearly open up the foliage pads from each other.
Here I created some clearer open spaces between the foliage layers. It is the same image, but this time it is doable to shape it as a Bonsai. In principle you only have to fill those outlined foliage pads with the larger leaves of the species you use to creat this image.
Here I filled them with the foliage I borrowed from my own Carpinus betulus with exactly the same size as this imaginary Bonsai. So the the size of this foliage in comparison to the trunk and height are accurate. Would be doable and believable as a Bonsai.
Here I filled them with the foliage of my Acer palmatum. Again the size of the foliage is accurate. So again, doable and believable!
Even though the leaves are monsteresly big in comparison to the tree image we have created, the outlines of the trunk, branches and foliage pads are correct, making it a believable image that remind us of the trees we see in nature. Just like the painter, that only uses a few brush strokes to paint the foliage of a large branch, we some times only use a few leaves to creat all the foliage of a large branch.
More tomorrow, I realy have to get some sleep now! 🙂
Thanks for listening again,
Hans van Meer.