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Uploaded: November 21, 2010
Artist: Finalprodigy
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 11
Updated: November 21, 2010
P.O.V: Front
Favourited: 14 times
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Trees are usually daunting when you first have to draw them realistically but this tutorial should make them a bit more approachable! Note that this tree came from my imagination. It is almost always easier to draw from your imagination than a picture or real life. So, I suggest visually studying trees before you try to create them. See the tree, feel the tree, be the tree! ;)

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how to draw a realistic tree

How to Draw a Realistic Tree, Draw Real Tree

how to draw a realistic tree step 1

STEP 1.

Alright. We start out by outlining the trunk and the main leaf form. Remember that trees ARE NOT flat. Adding the grid lines will guide you and hopefully keep you from flattening the tree.
 
how to draw a realistic tree step 2

STEP 2.

Step two involves darkening the outlines. Notice how the outline is jagged. DO NOT use curves or straight lines! Your hand should NOT be steady when you draw the jagged lines on your tree. The more random and squiggly the lines, the more realistic it looks.
 
how to draw a realistic tree step 3

STEP 3.

Now, start darkly adding in the shadows and "holes" within the tree. Remember to keep it squiggly and random!
 
how to draw a realistic tree step 4

STEP 4.

Keep making your way up the tree. There will be fewer dark spots as you make your way up. Also, remember to refer to your grid!
 
how to draw a realistic tree step 5

STEP 5.

Here is the result. Don't worry about details yet!
 
how to draw a realistic tree step 6

STEP 6.

Oh yeah, I added a little shrub and a bit of ground in the previous step just to liven things up a bit. Darken and thicken the tree's outline. Try to make it jagged and random.
 
how to draw a realistic tree step 7

STEP 7.

Now blur the tree's outline into the background using a tortillion or soft paper. Don't worry too much about losing detail.
 
how to draw a realistic tree step 8

STEP 8.

Now, here is where we start adding detail. Using a fine point pencil or a .5mm mechanical pencil start defining the leaf clusters from the bottom up. Remember to use short jagged lines when doing this.
 
how to draw a realistic tree step 9

STEP 9.

Here is the end result of making my way up the tree. Remember that the top will be lighter than the bottom. Also remember that some clusters overlap others. Generally the leaf clusters in front are in front of the ones towards the sides and the ones in the middle are below the top clusters and above the bottom ones. Again, go out and seriously LOOK at a tree if you are having trouble with this.
 
how to draw a realistic tree step 10

STEP 10.

Now, we can add some "leaves" All you really have to do here is poke dots randomly here and there. There will be more dots towards the bottom than the top.
 
how to draw a realistic tree step 11

STEP 11.

Go through and add a few more details here and there and you should have yourself a decent tree!