Tree of Life
A view of the Tree of Life in Disney’s Animal Kingdom finishes up the Four Parks of Walt Disney World in Watercolor series from Steve’s Sketchbook.
As with the artwork from Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney-MGM Studios (or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, if you prefer), this Animal Kingdom artwork was meant to invoke the feel of the park rather than to present a photo-realistic look at the park. To accomplish that, I chose this view of the Tree of Life as seen across the Discovery River. And this time, instead of going from memory, I used this photo from several years ago as a reference.
While many would recognize the Tree of Life, for others it might just look like a large tree near a river. And I do not have a problem with that at all. In many ways, this is the least Disney-like of the four watercolor paintings. But then in many ways Animal Kingdom is the least Disney-like of all of the Disney parks. That is not a bad thing. It is just very different from everything else.
About the Artwork
As you may have noticed, there was a break in between the first three paintings and this one. I was not exactly sure what I wanted to do for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but I knew I wanted to include the Tree of Life in it. Once I started looking through photos and found the one linked above, I knew what I wanted to do. I like how you can see the Tree of Life from all over the park and how it looks different from almost everywhere you see it. This was my attempt to capture that.
One of the differences between this one and the others is that this one is more simple. There are no outlines of any kind. I did not start with a sketch and then move on to painting. Instead, I just started painting the tree and everything around it. I felt like trying to outline the tree would take away from its “tree-ness” and natural look. I suppose the drawback is that in this version you can’t tell that the trunk is made up of carved animal shapes. But when seeing the actual tree from this distance, you almost can’t tell that, anyway.
Watch for more from Steve’s Sketchbook coming soon!
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. - Psalm 1:1-3