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Uploaded: May 10, 2013
Artist: Finalprodigy
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 25
Updated: May 10, 2013
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Hey everyone, I'm back with a new nature tutorial for you all. This time I'll show you how to tackle drawing a tree canopy!

Tags
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy

How to Draw a Canopy, Rainforest Canopy

how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 1

STEP 1.

Start out by picking your supplies. I decided to start using Cretacolor graphite instead of the usual Derwent graphite. I used F graphite for sketching and details and 6B graphite for shading. If you have woodless 6B graphite go ahead and use it. It will save you a lot of trouble when shading large areas.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 2

STEP 2.

Start out by sketching in the treeline in the background. Sketch very lightly.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 3

STEP 3.

Start lightly sketching in the foremost tree on the left. Just start with some basic guidelines.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 4

STEP 4.

Lightly build the tree up around the guidelines. You don't need to worry about leaves just yet.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 5

STEP 5.

Build so leaf clusters around the tree. Use a kneaded eraser to clean up your lines. Refine you lines a bit as well.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 6

STEP 6.

Start sketching in the next section of foliage. Basic rounded shapes will do for this. Just keep them light and simple.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 7

STEP 7.

Start lightly sketching in the trees. Work you way from bottom to top. By working this way you are also drawing from foreground to background, which will make drawing overlapping foliage much easier.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 8

STEP 8.

Sketch in the top section of trees. Keep your light sketching rough but natural. Don't just scribble in lines.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 9

STEP 9.

Refine your lines in this section. Erase any extra guidelines.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 10

STEP 10.

Sketching in the rest of the trees in the same manner. Basic rounded shapes and basic lines for branches and tree trunks are the way to go.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 11

STEP 11.

Start building up you sketch from bottom to to top again.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 12

STEP 12.

Sketch in the rest of the foliage on the right side.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 13

STEP 13.

Refine your lines on this section of the drawing. Finish up your sketch. From here you can use just about any technique to add shading. If you find my method too difficult or just inconvenient, then play around with some other ways of shading.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 14

STEP 14.

Using my 6B woodless graphite, I lightly shaded over my drawing. I did this to add a basic layer of texture to add a bit of realism and also to tone down the white of the paper.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 15

STEP 15.

Grab a 6B pencil and start shading. Concentrate on shadows and outlines for your first layer of shading.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 16

STEP 16.

For your next layer of shading shade in the mid-tones and define your forms a bit more. I used my F pencil to define my outlines here but you should be able to create fairly crisp lines with a sharpened 6B pencil.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 17

STEP 17.

Start building your shading for the rest of the left section of foliage. Again, just concentrate of outlines and shadows.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 18

STEP 18.

Add in mid tones and brush up your lines and shading. Don't worry about details/shading balance just yet. It will be much easier to fix your shading and rework your details once you have shaded in the rest of the drawing.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 19

STEP 19.

Start working on the rest of the foliage by working from bottom to top.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 20

STEP 20.

Build up your shading some in the this section. Do your best to make it blend seamlessly into the left section of foliage; in other words, just keep your shading consistent even though you are working in sections.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 21

STEP 21.

Follow the same steps for the rest of the foliage. Don't worry about the sky just yet.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 22

STEP 22.

Build up the rest of your foliage shading. At this point your shading should look a bit unbalanced in places and that's alright. Once you've shaded the sky you can go back and add another layer of shading to tie your drawing together.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 23

STEP 23.

For the sky I used a blending stump to blend in my shading. I then using a kneaded eraser to add some highlights. If you need to darken you sky, lightly shade with a 6B pencil then blend with a blending stump.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 24

STEP 24.

I started refining my shading during this step by working my way from left to right. I used 6B woodless graphite to cover large areas fairly quickly.
 
how to draw a canopy, rainforest canopy step 25

STEP 25.

Here's the finished drawing with refined shading. If you compare this step with step 23 you can see the big difference that this last layer of shading has made for the drawing. You can get into a lot more detail with this drawing if you want to by making your shading perfect and defining every little leaf but this was about as detailed as I wanted to get with this drawing. I hope you all enjoy this tutorial!