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Uploaded: November 28, 2010
Artist: Catlucker
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 8
Updated: November 28, 2010
P.O.V: Front
Favourited: 22 times
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This is a wonderful Fall scene in the Midwest of a pond surrounded by the beautiful elm trees. A friend asked me to do this picture from a photo he took. And I must say, he was very happy with the results. You too can escape away to Fall days where the leaves cover the ground like a carpet and the ducks play in a nearby pond. I hope your drawing will give you pleasure as much as a beautiful Fall day can.

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how to sketch trees

How To Sketch Trees

how to sketch trees step 1

STEP 1.

Start your guidelines on your paper in horizontal or landscape orientation. Begin about half way down the paper and light sketch two horizontal lines, the land mass from the right that comes out near the center of the page. Another piece of land mass to the right is closer to you. On the left is the pond formed from these landmasses. Sketch lightly and stay close to those shapes as possible for accuracy.
 
how to sketch trees step 2

STEP 2.

Add four shapes to your landmasses. One shape at the left looks like a candy drop, the other a lolly-pop, an upside down ice cream cone, and last a tall cylinder to the right. Yes, those are trees! This helps you to see where they go and their general shape.
 
how to sketch trees step 3

STEP 3.

This is where you start adding recognizable details. Behind the three trees that look like treats are more trees in the background. We can represent those extras by placing stick-like placements for future details. And as you look at the reference picture, there are plenty of limbs on that tree in the foreground. Adding a few limbs helps take away confusion.
 
how to sketch trees step 4

STEP 4.

You may be wondering how in the world can you add all those trees, limbs and leaves. It isn't an impossible task. A little patience and idea on general shapes will help tremendously. Check out those newly added circles around the background trees and foreground tree with added limbs. Also there are spirals around the lolly-pop and cone. That helps with direction, which way are the main tree clusters going and how thick their mass is. Look at yourself, you're becoming the pro! No! Don't throw your picture away. Have fun with it. Keep drawing and you'll see some great results.
 
how to sketch trees step 5

STEP 5.

You've wiped the sweat from your brow. Great job, guys! Keep moving forward, bit by bit. The leaves are added on the background trees, looking like wiggly lines and puff balls. Midway we have our three treats looking like pine trees. See how the strokes fan out from where the spirals were. And with patience you're adding in more limbs to the main foreground tree with amazing leaves. You even added the small house and bridge in the background. Look at that pond! Those lines represent the reflection of the trees and even sky. Oh, you can hardly see the ducks, but they are there. Adding some shapes will enhance the look of nature. For your tutoring pleasure, I've added two more steps that you may like. At least I found it fun to create.
 
how to sketch trees step 6

STEP 6.

Check it out! If you don't know it already, those are the basic shapes in nature -- the ball, cube, cone, and cylinder. You can see a lot of those shapes in the drawing you are doing right now. Then when I speak of tone that is the general lightness or darkness of an object. Shading is the portion of an object away from the light. Shadow or "Casting Shadow" is the shadow form falling on another surface. Texture is the final or "special" effect drawn on the surface of an object. It may seem rudimentary, but these principles will stick after a while, bringing to you more technique as an artist.
 
how to sketch trees step 7

STEP 7.

Special Effects! How in the world do you create those fantastic leaves and pond reflection without shading, in tiny little strokes, your life away. The secret is in how you hold the pencil and the type of pencil's edge. Holding a sharpened pencil in normal writing form with fingers in the middle or near the lead allows for very thin strokes. Holding the pencil at a 45 degrees or near level to the table under hand allows you to stroke from side of pencil of the flat side. Oh, I'm not stopping here because a chiseled pencil is a dream. You can find those in the art store and chisel to your heart's content with sandpaper. Look at the different effects in this step. Practice these strokes and see the difference.
 
how to sketch trees step 8

STEP 8.

Your final result may pleasantly surprise, look exactly like this picture, or turn out to be totally different. Learn, expand, practice, find out which way is the most comfortable with you. In the end, I'm hoping you had fun discovering new things in drawing! Thanks for stopping by and saying Hi! It's been my pleasure!