|1st, Weird | 2nd, Getting better | 3rd, Better still|
I'm working on birch tree armatures, and I'm finding the biggest hurdle is overcoming my preconceptions about what birch tree trunks look like.
The 1st one I made is not typically birch-like, although I have seen a few in the wild like it. It doesn't have a 'broken ladder' like progression of branches up the trunk, and its foliage looks like a square hat has been placed on top (I temporarily added some poly fibre to get a sense of what it would look like). The bark is made by wrapping the armature with thin strips of duct tape.
The 2nd armature has a few more lower branches in order to take a stab at a broken ladder progression of branches, but it could use even more.
The 3rd one is getting closer to what I'm looking for. I made this trunk by wrapping a bundle of 26 gauge floral wire (the green wire) with some 30 gauge (the steel coloured wire). As I wound the 30 gauge up the trunk I introduced loops, which were later cut open and shaped to make fine branches. This gives a better simulation of the scraggly nature of the branch structure found on many of these trees in the wild, and should give the overall foliage shape a more raggedy, vertically stretched ellipsoid look.