Tree Study 13, 8 x 6 in.
Several people have asked about whether the "active" side of the tree is always the lit side of the tree. It makes sense to assume that it would generally be the case, as light draws the eye. However, assume the entire tree is in shadow/silhouetted. One side could nevertheless be more "active" than the other. One side should have more emphasis, the other would be subordinate. Here, I have a tree that is obviously lit from one side, but I intentionally made the shadow side the active side, just as an example.
Even after doing all these studies, it's still difficult for me to restrain myself from "decorating" the entire outline of the tree with activity. One strives for balance, and this exercise is about interest. The balance would come in from the rest of the composition, as these are studies, and not meant to stand alone.