When I first started to learn how to draw, I started off with trees. They are simple to learn, easy to draw and the steps are straightforward to follow. Understanding the techniques of drawing different kinds of trees is the basis for learning how to draw.
Learning how to draw trees can help you in making landscapes and can even be a great addition to you bullet journals. I have created a step-by-step guide to draw trees. Do let me know how you like it and where did you use these techniques.
But before we begin let us get familiar with the types of shading pencils, what are they used for and how can you use them.
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The Shading Pencils
Shading pencils come in different grades. They range from 9H to 9xxB. I have used pencils in the range of HB to 7B. Starting from the lowest grade, the lead of the pencils becomes smoother as we progress from HB to 7B with HB being the hard graphite and 7B being soft.
Most of the pencils that you find in the market are HB and are used for writing. I have used HB to make the base drawing. The benefit of using HB is that it is light when low pressure is applied to the paper. This makes erasing mistakes easier without leaving any residue.
To show how these pencils behave and the darkness of each with the same applied pressure look at this picture.
The Staedtler Lumograph Graphite Drawing and Sketching Pencils that I used comprises of pencils with HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 7B, 8B. As you can see, the impression of HB is the lightest and the impression of 8B is the darkest.
This will help us as we progress through the article and look at the different kinds of trees. Now that we have seen what to use and let us see how to use it.
1. Scribble It Up
This type of a tree is quite simple to make and is not at all time-consuming. It can be created within minutes and can be added even to calligraphy writings if you want to make your front page of your bullet journals. I have used this technique of drawing trees when drawing a house.
This is how you make this tree.
You have to start with the trunk of the tree. You should draw the outline lightly so that you can erase it for mistakes. After making the trunk draw some branches as shown in the picture.
After drawing the branches start making some scribbles in a random manner. This tree is quite abstract. Scribble such as the ‘leaves’ branch out in the shape of a tree as shown on the picture on the right.
The outlines made are quite light. Now, darken the trunk and some of the scribbled leaves as shown in the picture using a 2B pencil. You can also draw some twigs at the lower end.
Now let us move on to the shading. For the trunk and branches, we go from dark to light to dark as shown in the drawing below. I used 4B for this purpose. If you want you can add some grass to the mix.
After you are done with the fourth step, you should move to the blending part. This provides a smooth texture. To blend you will need a piece of tissue. With a light hand blend the tree trunk as shown. The picture should come out as it has done on the right.
This is the final step. As you are done with the trunk it is time to move on to the branches and leaves. For this, you have to use the previously used tissue (for shading) which has the residue of the graphite on it. With that, softly blend it in the leaves of the tree and you are done.
How I used it:
Use it for your bullet journals, or just a piece to the landscape as I have made in this drawing below!(It was a long time ago, so please excuse me for the extra smudged house)
2. The Branched Tree
You will find such trees in eerie atmospheres. They can be used for a winter setting or even autumn. In this section, I teach you how to draw a well-branched tree. But you can shorten the brances and make it less so.
This is how to draw it
Start by drawing the trunk and moving on to drawing a fork to separate the branches as shown. Make sure you make the base light so that the impression erases if you make a mistake. HB pencil was used to draw the base.
Now branch out the fork in a similar manner as shown.
Start darkening the outline with changing pressure on the pencil. I used 2B to darken the outline. You can add some extra stones in the background.
For this kind of a tree, we take a different approach to shading. Instead of the method used for the scribbled tree, we make shavings out of a 4B pencil and use the residue to shade the branches and trunk.
- Start by taking a sharpener and just sharpening the tip of the pencil as shown.
- Then take this residue and lightly tap on it with a tissue to transfer it onto the tissue paper.
Once you are done with this, just lightly start shading the tree, erase the ones which go out of line and you have it ready!
How I used it:
I used this tree for my bullet journal to show the winter season and also in a drawing I had done in 8th grade in school.
3. The Generic Tree
Now, this is a tree we all have drawn. It existed in the first drawings we made as a kid; you know the two mountains with a sun in the middle and a disproportionate house? Well, here I will teach you how to make it in a little more artistic sense.
This is how you make this tree.
You have to start with the trunk as usual and then the bushes of the trees using an HB pencil.
Once you are done with step 2, darken the outline as shown using a 2B pencil.
For this tree, we will be using the technique of shading called hatching where lines are used to show dark and light patterns. For hatching start with the base of the tree and draw lines close by. As we move towards the centre of the trunk (vertical centre) start making widely spaced lines. I used 4B for the hatching technique.
Repeat it for the entire length of the tree. And make some verticle lines to show darker areas; sort of a cross hatching process.
The next step is to go towards the leaves of the tree and selectively apply the technique. Once you are done with the hatching technique, use a tissue to slightly smoothen the artistic technique.
And you have it, your final simple tree. I used this particular tree in a landscape art of a temple that I drew.
How I used it:
This tree is a perfect representation of spring, you can use it in your bullet journal in that context or the way I used it. The picture I drew on the left uses the method of hatching is used on the roof of the trees. The drawing on the right is similar to the tree drawn on the right.
4. The Coconut Tree
The coconut tree is the one which can be found in a variety of landscapes, usually portraying a scene of a beach. Here I instruct you how to go about drawing one. Have fun!
You have to start with the skeleton of the tree, which includes the branches and the trunk. HB pencil was used to make the outline.
Once you are done with drawing the skeleton of the tree, start by making the leaves. To make the leaves, you need short strokes which go from high to low pressure (dark to light). The 2B pencil was used for the leves and 4B for shading.
Just shade the trunk as done in the case of the previous trees, draw some coconuts if you want and you have your coconut tree. Drawing a palm tree is similar without the coconuts.
How I used it:
As said in the description, I used this form of a tree to draw a scene of a beach. You can use the same to show the summer time in a bullet journal.
5. The Dot Tree
You must be wondering what a ‘dot’ tree is. It is more of a technique than it is a form of a tree. You can use it to draw the trees we had drawn before as well. But the technique here is used for drawing the Copernicus trees.
This is how you can draw it.
You as always have to start with the trunk and make the skeleton of the tree which you will fill out with dots.
Now as in the case of the hatching technique the dot technique is similar; the most the number of dots in a small area, the darker the patch looks like and the farther away the dots from each other, the lighter it looks. This is the same technique that we will use (although it might be a little time consuming).
You can use a tissue with a light hand to smudge out some of the dots. I used 2B, 4B and 8B to make the dots.
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To get these awesome pencils I used to create the trees go click here Staedtler Lumograph Graphite Drawing and Sketching Pencils 100G6, Set of 6 Degrees in an Attractive Storage Tin (100G6). Do subscribe to join me on my adventure and get some great goodies every Sunday and Thursday!
Have a great day!