How to Draw Trees: Oaks

Trees are a ubiquitous part of the landscape. We need to get comfortable drawing them close up, in the middle ground, and distance. This step-by-step demonstration will help you draw a tree in the middle distance. At this range, individual leaves are not clearly seen, rather the shapes of large clumps of leaves dominate what we see. Getting the feel of these masses is the key to drawing trees. I often draw front to back. I start with the elements of a subject that are closest to me and then move back in space adding more parts of the subject in layers behind what I have already drawn. In drawing trees, this means I start with the clumps of leaves that are the closest to me, then add the branches and trunk, and then the shape of the leaf masses at the back of the tree. This helps me depict depth by having a series of intentionally overlapping layers. Search this tutorial for tricks and techniques that you can incorporate into your style. Try copying the demonstration then use the ideas that you like to draw trees in your neighborhood. Working from several real trees will train you to adapt these ideas to the varied life forms you will find. Click on the first image to start a step-by-step tutorial.