how to draw a tree

How to Draw a Tree [FREE TUTORIAL]

Landscape drawing is an immersive and rewarding experience, but sometimes it’s the little things that prevent our drawings from looking as good as we know they can be. This step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to draw a tree using a timely and systematic process.

What you’ll learn:

  • Learn how to draw a tree 
  • How to draw foliage
  • Line drawing techniques

What you need:

  • Pencil – 2B softness works best
  • Blank paper – Doesn’t need to be fancy


Step 1: Measure twice, cut once

A little early planning will help you draw a tree with the correct proportions. Begin by establishing the height and width of your tree using four dots. Think of these as measurement markers. 

how to draw a tree - step 1

Step 2: Draw Your Tree From Top to Bottom

Next, consider the shape or profile of the tree as a whole. Plot the profile of your tree by using more dots. This will help guide you on your next step.

how to draw a tree - step 2

Step 3: How to Draw Foliage

It’s tempting to start adding foliage after drawing the most dominant visual element first, like the trunk and branches. Despite this, you’ll actually want to start drawing foliage first. Begin from the very top of the tree first and work your way down. Be sure to leave a lot of blank space around where the trunk and branches will be, since you’ll be drawing those last. Consider also how the branches are arranged on the trunk and how some are visible while others are not.

how to draw a tree - step 3

Step 4: How to Draw a Tree Trunk and Branches

Now that all of your foliage is accounted for, it’s time to add the trunk and branches. Be sure to let some branches show through the foliage. Also, note that most trees have roots above the ground for stability against strong winds (think of them like guy-lines on a tent). Rather than having your trunk disappear into the ground, show some roots just like in real life.

how to draw a tree - step 4

Step 5: Shade in the Trunk and Branches

Start by considering the light source. Where are the darkest shadows and lightest highlights on your tree? Create shadows by gently shading in the darker areas without pressing too hard on the paper.

how to draw a tree - step 5

How to Draw a Tree Video Tutorial

It’s time to draw along with this video tutorial. By the time you’re finished you will have learned how to draw a tree!

Play Video

Now you know how to draw a tree using the Hike And Draw method! If you found this helpful, consider sharing this article with a friend, or even better – show them what you’ve learned by teaching them yourself 🙂

Enjoy the Tutorial? Try my FREE Nature Drawing Lesson!

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