You want to know how to draw a tree because you are a nature lover. We often forget about how trees are essentially important for our survival on the planet.
If you are learning how to draw landscapes or nature in general, then drawing trees will be an indispensable skill.
I will show you a few simple examples of the process of drawing a tree with a pencil.
If you learn this process, which is deceptively simple, you can draw any tree you like regardless of shape or size.
Before you start to draw a tree, it is good to know a few simple facts about the structure of a tree. I made this simple sketch to understand better the Tree Structure.
Knowing about tree structure will help you while you observe a tree (real or photo) as the object of your drawing.
This is a standard type of leaf tree. You can find similar trees in any forest or park around you.
Draw the ground line first. That will be the starting point from where the trunk is coming out from the ground.
Keep in mind when you draw a tree that branches of (especially) leaf trees tend to grow more upward than to the sides, as it is with coniferous trees.
Begin to draw from the trunk upward. The thickness of the trunk would determine the size of the tree.
Observe how the branches are growing upward and copy them into your sketchbook. This is the initial sketch, so please make only weak and gentle pencil lines.
Draw a contour of the tree crown. Use your creativity here and, decide what shape of crown your tree will have.
It is round but not too even. Often branches are popping out from the crown.
Mind the total balance and proportion with the trunk and branches.
Draw wavy irregular contours of the leaves on the branches. Here also, use your creativity.
You can copy my drawing and make it better. The lower part of the crown is always slightly darker than the top which comes into direct contact with the sunlight. Remember that when you draw a tree.
Darken the lower part of the crown. Do it gradually, make only weak strokes first. Draw shade under the tree.
Time to do some final touches now. Draw the trunk a bit darker. With the tip of your pencil draw a sharper contour outline.
This tree is very similar to the previous one. The crown expands more to the sides.
The process of the tree drawing is the very same as above. Draw the ground line, the trunk, and a couple of branches.
Notice the branches here, as if they would creep up toward the sky. They are so eager to reach high out there. Can you see and feel that?
When you draw plants or animals or any living thing, it is good if you can sense how that living object feels at the moment.
The shape of the crown is a little edgy. Crown expands to both sides. This is one of the examples of how the shape of the crown determines the impression of the whole tree.
When you draw a tree, always watch out for this important feature. It is quite simple in fact; you only have to consciously train yourself to see it.
By irregular (still) weak pencil strokes draw the leaves. It will look like a bundle of shades, but it is OK.
Darken the trunk and the branches. Gradually put more shade irregularly here and there on the parts of the crown.
Finally, draw shade under the tree and make a final contour of the crown.
This is a coniferous tree example. It resembles a huge Cedar Tree. Let’s imagine that this is an old tree.
Draw the ground line. By weak pencil line indicating the center of the trunk and its height. That center line – a kind of axis – will be your guideline.
It is very easy to get “derailed” from the correct proportion balance while you are absorbed into your drawing. Such guideline then helps a lot.
Make an approximate outline contour sketch of the crown. Be creative a little here; draw your shape while keeping the basic conical character.
Now when you have ready the thick trunk – which is also conical – draw a couple of branches here and there. Draw them all by weak pencil lines.
When you draw a tree, especially a coniferous one, notice that many of them usually have one long and high trunk that looks like a flagpole.
Now decide which branches will remain visible and which will be covered inside the crown.
So go ahead and do it.
Hold the pencil loose and tilted and lightly shade the entire crown, all in the same color tone.
Then draw darker spots here and there in the area of the crown.
Darken a bit more the trunk and the branches. Draw a sharper contour outline around the crown. Draw shade under the tree and you’re done.