So let’s look at another design option for Irene’s Yew. Again I start with the same drawing of the frame of the tree, without the branches.
So now I want to try and see if I can get any movement in this straight tree. I plane to use the right branch, it grows at a nice angle from the trunk and has a nice secondary branch growing on an interesting place. So now I will virtual tilt the tree to the left to create some movement and angles to the tree trunk.
It’s a start, but still not enough movement for my liking!
Now we are talking! I like to create angles in my designs, and I like to have branches, foliage or Jin’s emphasising the movement these angles create. Let me try to explain: the arrow on the left points at the future corner in my trunk design. This is a point were your eye, when you follow the line of the trunk upwards, turns from going left, to going right. If you emphasize this important point with a branch, foliage or Jin, you will create a place for the eye to stop at, before it travels further upwards. (second arrow)
Those two thick trunks on the left are too straight and without any interest (in this design!). So they must be converted into deadwood, so they are used to benefit the design.
Here you can see how I might shape the Shari and Jins to emphasize that part where the tree changes direction. I also converted the back branches into Jins. Now I’m going to place the foliage in such a way that brings balance to the overall design. But also in a way that again enhances the movements of the tree!
It is not easy to draw a picture with my mouse, but something like this is what I mean. Now the same tree is transformed in a typical bonsai style. That evokes a completely different feeling than the early-er formal broom style I made.
First, the movement of the tree goes to the left and then where it changes to the right, I created an eye catcher in the form of that Jin. A place for the eyes to stop on there way up the tree and to enhance the change in trunk direction. It also divides the, otherwise to big, empty space on the left side of the tree, preventing that the tree is being pushed too much to the right and looking unbalanced.
The first branch on the right leans nicely on the empty space that is trapped under-need it (dotted line). Supporting the tree imaginary, holding it up, and therefore keeping the tree in balance. Empty spaces are one of the most important features for a successful design but are often neglected or misunderstood.
So there you have it, another vision and possibility for “Mom’s Yew”. I will have another idea ready in a few days. We have a lot to think about and a lot of decisions to make! But that is the fun in designing a bonsai.
Hans van Meer.