Backyard Tree, the making of a painting

Backyard Tree, pencil on grey Sennelier paper, 6x9.5", Jeffrey Smith
Backyard Tree, pencil on grey Sennelier paper, 6x9.5", Jeffrey Smith

We just moved into a new house in a fantastic neighborhood. Every morning, when I eat breakfast, I have a great view of this tree across the alley from us.  I think this tree and its crossing branches has such a wonderful shape. I really want to try and complete a painting of  it before the leaves come out for the spring.

The above image is a plein air preparatory drawing for an upcoming painting.  I used a simple pencil and a white pastel pencil to sketch it out in my spiral bound, grey Sennelier pad.