Big banyan

I sketched this big banyan tree in the last hour of daylight, while sitting on the front steps of the Old Lee County Courthouse in downtown Fort Myers. It’s an impressive specimen but not much can be found about it on Google. The only tidbit I dug up was from a 2016 article by Amy Bennett Williams in the News–Press. “Back in the pre-political correctness days, Lee County wags would string up local politicians in effigy from the banyan and a nearby live oak, then put up a “political graveyard” underneath.”

Knowing I only had a short time to sketch before losing the light, I chose a brush pen for drawing. I quickly drew in the tree and then added some surroundings (buildings, people, etc.) for scale. The effect of the brush pen is a bit cartoony but it allows me to get things done quickly. And since the tree takes up most of the two-page spread, I tried to get as much colour in my washes as possible.

26 Comments on “Big banyan”

  1. D. Abreu says:

    Beautiful tree! Love the colors.


  2. What a gorgeous scene. Magnificent tree.


  3. Alison says:

    I do love banyan trees. You’ve truly captured its solid rootedness and imposing presence. I think the brush pen works well here.


  4. TonyU says:

    Lovely tree, lovely glowing colour washes. And I prefer to think ‘graphic quality’ rather than ‘cartoony’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tina says:

    Love your art. I’m beginning to feel warmer already.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Denise says:

    Perfectly lovely, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Soni says:

    Ok now you’re really making me homesick for my hometown, Vero Beach, FL, which had two or 3 magnificent banyan trees in its downtown park – I would hope they’ve survived “progress” –

    Another masterpiece – I’m so glad you’re enjoying this vacation with such a variety of adventures


    • Thanks Soni. I really did enjoy this vacation. Next time I go I’ll try to paint the even bigger Banyan on the Edison Estate. Although I may have to pay admission to see that one.


  8. Douglas Moylen says:

    Shari, There is another old Banyan, which I think is bigger then this on in Ft Myers at the Thomas Edison Estate. My Grandfather was a landscaper for a short time working for Edison. Family folklore has it that he planted the tree around 1905. My great grandmother wanted them to return to NJ which was something they didn’t want to do. They had to get off the boat at Philly because my mother was coming in1917. Good thing they got off as the boat they were on was blown out of the water by a German u boat. Funny how things work out. My mom passed away a few years ago at the age of 93. She was living in Ft Myers for more then 30 years. We lived in NJ until we all scattered. Two of my sisters still live in Ft Myers. Nice place. Especially Sanibel Island. I’ve been following you for many years and also bought your crafty classes. As a Vietnam vet and 100% disable your art and classes give me tremendous enjoyment. Thank You so much. Douglas Moylen


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Douglas. Thanks so much for writing and sharing a little bit of your family’s interesting history. I did indeed hear about the tree at the Edison Estate. I didn’t manage to get there this time but hopefully next year. Sounds like an amazing tree- maybe the third largest in the world. And so glad that you’re enjoying my classes. It made me so happy to read that. Once again, thanks for writing. Shari


  9. Judy Sopher says:

    Cartoony is good. Nothing wrong with that. It is a fantastic tree. And I agree–the color is great. Ultramarine blue? And?

    When will you be back in Montreal?


    • Judy, it was getting so dark that I don’t know what I used. I was just reaching into the wells with my brush and hoping for the best. I can safely say that there was lots of Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna.


  10. How nice that you are getting so much sketching time– and in warmer weather– on this vacation.


  11. joantav says:

    The brush pen does make it so much faster to get a sketch down when there isn’t a lot of time. Love trees like this (There is one in Key West.) and you emphasized the size of it with the buildings and people. Nicely done!!! I’m jealous since we are up here freezing in snowy NY!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. nikkidowd says:

    I love love love this! You are a master of the darks and lights!

    Liked by 1 person

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