If you have been following me for a while, you probably know how much I love drawing trees! When I don’t know what to draw, that’s what I do. Probably because there isn’t a perfect and unique way to draw a tree, I find it really relaxing and satisfying. So, this post is going to be about trees drawing tutorials!
I will be talking about the most important things to know when you want to draw trees, some simple rules that can help you make it easier, with a lot of step by step illustrations and also videos of the drawing process.
As I said for the mountains drawing post, learning how to draw trees is also a great way to learn how to implement lights and shadows into your drawings. You won’t need any ruler, only you, a pencil and a paper! You can download the free PDF about trees drawing tutorials here! Aaaaand.. let’s start!
Important things to know about trees drawing
– The first thing I want you to know is that there isn’t straight lines in nature and there are million of ways to draw trees. Therefore, feel free to draw however you want!
– To get started, learn how to observe the different shapes and structures of trees, as well as the various foliages. Experiment by drawing textures of leaves and trunk of a variety of trees.
– When you begin drawing, start from the top down, connecting smaller branches to larger ones. Observe the angles at which the smaller branches connect to each other and to the major trunk. Additionally, make sure to enlarge the trunk as you descend.
– It’s important to understand the general idea of the structure of a tree. The trunk is always thickening towards the bottom and the roots, and narrowing closer to a point toward the top. Similarly, branches are thicker toward the base and narrower towards the tip. Each one of the main branches gets a few branches of their own, but smaller. Just have a general idea of the structural composition of a tree.
– Since most trees aren’t perfectly symmetrical, alternate some of the branches or leave gaps between them. This will give your tree a more natural, organic look.
– Additionally, it’s unnecessary to draw every single leaf as we see it. This will take forever to draw all of them anyway! Instead, focus on keeping your hand loose and relaxed while working. Remember that you don’t have to make everything detailed. Add details mainly on the areas you want to focus on.
– Lastly, consider taking a sketchbook and going for a walk to observe the trees you pass and try to sketch them quickly. Keep practicing. Alternatively, you can use photo references from the internet if you prefer to stay at home.
Shadings And Highlights
– Shadings is SO important in order to give a sense of believable form and three-dimensionality. Furthermore, contrast between highlights and shadows is crucial for a drawing to stand out. Otherwise, this will lead to a flat drawing with no depth.
With shading, the magical illusion of three-dimensional reality appears on your drawing paper. This is why the placement of the light source affects every aspect of an artwork.
Trees Drawing Tutorials
1 – Firstly, I usually start with the trunk. If you want to make a tall and wide tree like an oak, draw a larger trunk. Then, draw several large branches that extend from the trunk. Position them on both sides of it.
Look at real trees and observe the structures of the branches. You will never find any straight branch and notice that the branches get thinner as they move away from the trunk.
Vary the sizes of the branches so they look more natural. You can make them as straight or curved as you like.
Keep refining the crown until you feel your tree is complete.
3 – Afterwards, shade the trunk and branches of the tree. For this, you can use a darker pencil to create shadings. Moreover, don’t hesitate to add some textures to it. This will make the tree look more realistic.
If you’re drawing a tree from real life, pay attention with where the light and shadows shift.
4 – Keep working on the foliage until you feel it complete.
Remember that the tree has also branches coming towards and going away from you as well as the ones you see either side and in the center as well. Therefore, don’t forget to draw those, if you don’t want to make your drawing look flat.
5 – At this point, make small, gentle movements that represent clusters of leaves instead of drawing individual leaves. Indeed, this will make your tree appear more natural.
Tip: Keep a loose grip on the pencil. Especially because, this will help you relax and not think too much about making perfect lines.
6 – Finally, it’s the shading part!
When shading, keep in mind where the sun is coming from: areas facing the sun should be lighter than the other parts.
Hold your pencil so it’s almost horizontal when the tip touches the paper. Eventually, make some of the leafy areas darker to show depth within the tree.
Pine Trees Drawing Tutorials
1 – Firstly, I start drawing the trunk of the tree. Pine trees have (usually) straighter trunks than other trees.
2 – Then, I draw the shapes of the branches. The upper the branches are, the smaller they are, giving a triangular shape to the overall shape of the tree.
3 – Afterwards, I filled the trunk and branches. I made it a little too dark, But of course, you can also draw it with less shadow.
4 – Finally, to give it a 3d look (more realistic), I draw random branches going up and down, with different level of shadow and brightness.
Trees drawings with different shapes
By following the steps and examples shown here, you can understand the composition of a tree and the drawing process that will help you create natural looking trees. However, the goal is not to simply copy these examples, but to apply the techniques to a variety of tree shapes you encounter in the real world. Therefore, it is recommended that you practice drawing many trees in order to improve your skills. The more you draw, the better you will become at capturing the natural form and structure of trees.
That is all for the trees drawing tutorials! I hope this post will help you make wonderful trees illustrations! You can ask me anything or you can check out my other drawings post here! If you want more art and architecture content, I like to share on my Instagram also!
Do not forget to download the free trees drawing tutorials PDF here!
Thank you for reading and happy drawing!