The painting above is titled “White Orchard”. It was painted by Vincent Van Gogh in April 1888 at Arles, a city in the south of France.

The perspective chosen by Van Gogh guides your gaze upward into the tangle of branches. Looking at the painting, you feel as if you are in the middle of the flowering trees.

Information provided here and additional information about this painting can be found at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent Van Gogh Foundation).

Shown below are sketches from a letter from Vincent Van Gogh to Theo Van Gogh with sketches of Tree Orchards and a Small Pear Tree in Blossom.

I found these sketches to be encouraging. Sometimes, I’ll attempt a rough drawing of a scene from a reference picture. Other times, I attempt to draw a scene that I have in my head. However, my drawings are more doodling than drawings. Seeing these sketches helps me understand that even Masters like Van Gogh start with very basic visualizations just to capture the thought or observation at the time it occurred rather than attempting to recall it at a later time or recreate it from written notes. Perhaps the saying of “A picture is worth a thousand words” applies here.

I hope the painting and sketches are interesting to you. More so, I hope showing these sketches can be encouraging to you. You don’t have to be an artist to benefit from sketching something. Sketching is a terrific planning tool that can be used in virtually any kind of endeavor. Also, there’s no need to have concern about someone else seeing your sketches. If a critical remark is made, just explain that you are following the practices of Vincent Van Gogh

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