How to Draw a Tree - Draw Central

How to Draw a Tree

When you see a landscape, the first thought that may come to your mind is how difficult it must be to replicate a detailed tree with a pencil. All those branches, leaves, and bark… It must be a real pain in the @$$, huh? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. Once you’ve got a basic knowledge of how to draw a tree, you can be on your way to creating beautiful landscapes in no time at all.

What you’ll need:


To start with, we are going to have to draw the basic outline of our tree. First start by drawing the trunk of the tree. The tree trunk is going to dictate how the rest of the tree is going to look. Is the trunk tall? Short? Skinny? Wide? All these factors are going to determine the end result of your tree.

Once you’ve got the trunk of your tree drawn, you can start adding branches. If you’re trying to replicate a specific tree from a reference photo, or one from outdoors, draw the branches as you see them. You don’t need to focus on each branch, because they’re going to get covered with leaves anyway. Instead, pretend the branches are like the bones of a tree. They are pretty much there just to give it shape and volume.

Add texture and shading to the trunk to give it a more realistic, voluminous appearance. You can add texture that looks like tree bark by filling in the trunk with very short, thin, vertical lines. Draw these lines quickly, and with varying degrees of pressure on the pencil to create a more natural look.

Now that you’ve got the skeleton of your tree finished, you can either choose to leave it as-is, (if you’re drawing a fall scene, or the tree is meant to be dead), or you can now begin to add leaves. DON’T EVEN THINK about drawing each and every little leaf on each branch of your tree. Unless you’re specifically going for a hyper-realistic look, this is unneccessary, and a waste of time. Instead, fill in the basic shape that the leaves create by moving your pencil back and forth in different directions while varying the pressure at which you push down on the pencil.  Don’t think too much about this process, as you want the end result to look organic and imperfect. Just let your hand do what it may…

Once the basic volume of the leaves is drawn in, decide where your light source is, and go back over the leaves with darker strokes to shade and give your tree a more realistic appearance.

That’s it! Be sure to comment, like, and share this tutorial! Thanks everyone!

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