Is your portrait unfinished just because you are unable to sketch a simple tree? If yes, read on to learn how to sketch trees in this article.

How To Sketch Trees

Quite ironical, but many painters and artists give up sketching landscapes mid way because they cannot sketch a tree as it should be.  Sketching a tree is actually a simple task, but because of its many features like branches protruding out in different directions, thousands of leaves, fruits and flowers, artists find it difficult to draw the tree appropriately. However, sketching a tree is fairly unproblematic and all it requires is detailed observation, persistence and a little practice. You need to observe the details of the tree you want to draw and study its anatomy. The best time to study a tree is in the autumn season when the tree is without leaves giving you an opportunity to carefully observe the structure of the trunk, the uneven details of the branches and the roots etc. Observing and taking down notes will help you a lot in beautifully putting down the details of the tree. The tips on sketching trees, mentioned below will provide you with a step-by-step explanation from observing to the completion of the sketching.

Sketching Trees

The first step towards mastering the art of sketching a tree is to observe the trees around you. There are so many different types of trees, each with a different structure and form. Therefore, it is essential for you as an artist to carefully notice the difference in the size of the trunks, the way the branches move out of the trunks in different directions etc. The best time to sit and observe different trees is during autumn. This time of the season will be the best time for you to observe the tree’s structure because most of the trees are bald during this time providing a clear picture of their framework. Observe the trunk structure first and then move up to the branches and leaves. Take down a few notes from your observation which will help you later on when you sit down to sketch the tree. 

Draw An Outline
Once you have spent enough time observing the various features of the tree you want to sketch, use your notes to draw the outline of the tree. This is a simple step to execute where you have to draw a rough inverted cone and then on top of the cone draw three rough circles. This outline will help you draw a deciduous tree and sketch a pine tree in which case you can have an inverted cone instead of circles. Make sure that lines are not too dark so that it does not get difficult for you to erase them after the final sketch is over. 

Once you have the outline of the trunk it is time to concentrate on the branches. Draw ragged lines using a dark shade pencil looking similar to the branches that you observed on the tree you wanted to sketch. It is not important for the lines to be straight and of the same size, some random lines will do. One essential trick to sketch the branches is that it is not necessary for two branches to be right opposite to one another. You can sketch one branch higher or lower than the other because uneven placement is what will make your sketch look like the replica of the original tree.

One mistake which every artist makes is to go into the details while sketching or drawing the leaves of the tree. Going into the details of leaves is not required. Lightly sketch an outline just around the edge of the tree that you have sketched. You can carefully rub out some of the branches for it to appear as if these are the branches that you can see the branches through the leaves. Add few more branches here and there to give the tree a rough appearance.

Start Shading
Now when you have the trunk, branches and the leaves outlined, you can start shading your tree keeping in mind the direction from where the sunlight is coming. The part receiving the sunlight has to be lighter than the one in the opposite direction. You might not get the perfect sketch during your first try, but you will have to keep trying and balance the lighter and darker shades wherever applicable.

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