How to draw a live oak tree

How to Draw an Oak Tree


Learn how to draw a great looking Oak Tree with easy, step-by-step drawing instructions, and video tutorial. You can now easily create a beautiful Oak Tree drawing.

Complete Oak Tree drawing

Jump to the step-by-step instructions.

There are about 450 species of oak trees found throughout the world's temperate zones. Oak trees produce acorns, a food source for animals and, in the past, for people.

Corks used as stoppers for wine bottles are produced from the bark of the Mediterranean cork oat, and Aleppo oak is used to make ink.

Since ancient times, this noble plant has appeared in art and symbolism. In Greek mythology, the oak was considered sacred to Zeus, and in Norse mythology to Thor.

Representing strength and endurance, oak leaves and acorns appear in coats of arms, architecture, coins, and seals. In 2004, it became the National Tree of the United States of America.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

Did you know? There are many plants labeled as "oak" that aren't true oak trees. One example is the itchy weed known as "poison oak."

This plant was named such because of the shape of its leaves.

Would you like to draw a cartoon oak tree? This easy, step-by-step cartoon tree drawing tutorial is here to help.

All you will need is a pencil, crayon, or marker and a sheet of paper.

If you'd like to learn to draw a more detailed tree, see this tree branch drawing tutorial.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Fall Tree, Cartoon Forest, and Spruce.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing an Oak Tree

How to Draw a Great Looking Oak Tree for Kids, Beginners, and Adults - Step 1

1. Begin by drawing forked branches. Use curved lines to outline the sides of the trunk. Then, draw “V” shaped lines between and above them to indicate the sides of the branches. Connect the lines at the top.

Easy Oak Tree Drawing - Step 2

2. Draw the base of the trunk and the roots. Extend the lines of the trunk downward. Then, draw a series of inverted “V” shaped lines to connect the sides of the trunk, allowing them to meet at points.

Easy Oak Tree Drawing - Step 3

3. Draw additional branches around and between the first. For each branch, extend two curved lines and connect them at the top.

Easy Oak Tree Drawing - Step 4

4. Texture the trunk. Draw diagonal lines at the roots, vertical lines on the trunk, and horizontal lines across the branches.

Easy Oak Tree Drawing - Step 5

5. Begin drawing the leaves of the crown of the tree. Use a series of “U” shaped lines to begin the cloud like treetop.

Easy Oak Tree Drawing - Step 6

6. Continue drawing the leafy crown across the top of the tree using connected “U” shaped lines.

Easy Oak Tree Drawing - Step 7

7. Complete the outline of the treetop. Don’t forget to draw leaves connecting and between the branches.

Add More Details to Your Oak Tree Picture - Step 8

8. Texture the treetop. Use a series of “U” shaped lines to draw round, cloudlike shapes within the leafy crown. Draw other series of “U” shaped lines as well.

Complete the Outline of Your Oak Tree Drawing - Step 9

9. In addition to the shape of its leaves, the oak tree can be identified by its fruit - a nut known as an acorn. Draw acorns hanging singly or in clusters all over the crown of the tree. For each acorn, first draw a curved shape by doubling a curved line back upon itself. This is the acorn’s cupule, or cap. Then, draw a “U” shaped line to form the nut.

Color Your Oak Tree Drawing

Color your oak tree. In summer, its leaves are a rich green. In fall, they turn vibrant hues of orange and yellow.

Don't stop there! Create an entire cartoon forest and fill it with wildflowers and gentle woodland creatures.

For more great Things to draw tutorials, see the 100 Easy to Draw Things to draw Tutorials post.

Easy, step by step Oak Tree drawing tutorial

Click HERE to save the tutorial to Pinterest!

Oak Tree Drawing Tutorial - Easy & Fun Printable Pages


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How to Draw an Oak Tree Step by Step

About Vincent Whitehead

My life has been influenced over the years by many things. First is my fundamental belief in God and second my family and the rural up-bringing that I have had. These two basic values have guided me and given me a love for nature, history, and the country life style.

I have always loved to draw and paint but, in 1996, I decided that it was more than just a hobby for me. I was not happy with the occasional sketch or quick scribble. I began seriously considering the world around me and then working out the God given talent toward a perfecting of a personal style so that I could render the scenes that I so dearly love. It is that perfecting process that has guided me to where I am now. No, I have not arrived. Nor have I attained perfection. On the contrary, I believe my journey has merely served to push me on toward the mark. It has given me feelings of accomplishment and greatened my respect for God’s creation.

Follow this link to visit Vincent’s Website

How to Draw an Oak Tree (Deciduous) with Pen & Ink

(Click Images for Larger View)

As we have now finished the tutorials based on the Gilbert Home Portrait, it is time to start the one based on a large old Oak, featured in the “Between Two Trees” drawing of the Elwer Family Barn and property.

If you have worked through the tutorials from the “Gilbert Home Portrait” you will have found that the tree bark work is accomplished by using a series of lines, squiggles, dots (called stipple work) and tone work done by a “drag method” I have developed, in a layering process that produces a believable rendering. The layers build depth and tone and can yield values in as many as 7 strengths. The process requires patience and a very light touch but can produce very believable trees.

The main tree in the “Gilbert Home Portrait” was a Maple. This tree, an Oak, has a coarse bark and has wonderful characteristics. The Oak that we will now cover has even more character and depth than the maple. This old Oak has been on the property for ever it seems. I choice to do this drawing originally because of this tree and then heard that the barn was to be taken down. Once I heard that, I decided to take a look at it again and eventually decided I could draw the trees I liked and place the barn in the background as it set in real life. That’s what I did.

Part 1 – Let’s get started…

As with the beginning work on the tree from the Gilbert Home property, I start with a light pencil sketch or outline of the old oak, you can see this from the Layout image compared to the Oak Tree reference:

With the fine point pen, I ensure that I have good ink flow on a scrap piece of paper and then wipe the ball tip clean. Starting as before in the Maple tree tutorial, at the base of the trunk where the roots go into the ground at the viewer’s bottom right of the tree base I define, with light pressure, the direction of the bark growth. This helps to give dimension and shape to the bark and the root base itself. You can see this in the close-up view of WIP image no.1 ?
Take into consideration the three dimensional view of the tree trunk. By thinking of this tree that way and not as a line on a flat piece of paper you will be able to place the line work to help build a more believable three dimensional object. After working this first section of the tree stump or trunk you will end up with an image that should reflect the first layer of tone in the trunk. You should be able to see the bark direction and the basic growth pattern in the tree. Look at WIP Image no.2 to see what I am talking about

I continue my light tone work all the way up the main trunk and then move back down to the bottom of the trunk to start again. I keep working my way around the tree stump until I have the base worked in and then start working up the trunk again. Once the basic layout shapes and lines are in you will end up with a single tone and layer image that is a composite of the main design of the tree trunk. I then take my medium point pen and begin to work in the darker tones along the layout lines that will make up the shadowed areas in the bark work itself. The medium point pen is the best tool for this job as it is a bit broader in line. I still only use light pressure with this pen. If you go too dark at first you will be fighting to try and get the layers of value that are necessary to yield a believable three dimensional tree.

! Remember, with ball point pen it is always easier to add layers of tone than to try to remove them.

After the medium point tone layers are in you can begin to put in the small angled lines to build out the shadowed areas along the bark edges in the trunk.

! Remember, keep a consistent light source in your work.

The next layer of tone that will be used is with the medium point pen again but, is done by stipple work. This helps to build up texture and increase areas of shadow in the bark work.

Start at the bottom of the trunk at where the roots come out of the ground. Keeping in mind the shadow areas that will be cast in reference to the light source, add the quick stipple work to the tree trunk work. You won’t add stipple work to the whole trunk in every area. Once the stipple work is in you will have a pretty good looking work in progress tree trunk. See images no. 3 and 4:

The last layer is done with the medium point pen again. This is where you use the “Drag” method that we discussed earlier in the tutorial on the maple tree from the Gilbert home portrait.Laying the pen tip more on its side begin with a light touch and drag the tip over the area that you want to add tone to. It’s a pretty quick movement and not meant to leave a distinct line rather more to leave a streak or smeared like layer of tone. You can also blend some of the ink with a blending stump or paper towel rolled tightly together and use just the very pointed tip. You don’t want to overly blend any one spot though as you will begin to see a shine on the surface.The last layer of line work is done with the Fine point pen. This is where you go in and define some fine details in the bark. I find points that I want to bring out a bit more and reinforce the line that is already there. I also take this time to add any fine line light strokes that need to be added to help build the density of the object. See image no. 5:

Now that we have a good start on the tree trunk, it’s time to take into considerations the details that have made this Old Oak so interesting to me. The trunk has three large bumps of growth on it just below the first small branches. These are large raised, bark covered objects of growth. They are not that difficult to put in and keep the tree interesting.

Part 2 – moving on…

Let’s start by looking at how they appear in the reference photoNotice that they have a highlighted side and a shadowed side. Also, that the bark is much tighter as it works around the growth. The goal is to work your bark growth lines up to the point just below the bottom of the first growth bump. Then begin to work the lines in a very light tone from the trees left side into the center of the bump.
Next work the right side of the growth bump. Here is where you want to build the darker shadows that will force the highlighted portion of the bump to appear to come forward away from the rest of the trunk and bark work. I switch to the medium point pen now and go back and add the next layer of tone to the shadowed area of the bumps.You should have an image that resembles image # 6

From this point I work toward the first limb and branches with growth lines in the bark that lead you to them. I choose the limbs I want to render and determine which would be drawn first and if there will be any over-lapping limbs or branches. Work out to where the over-lap will be and then stop. Work the next limb or branch to and through the place of the overlap. I keep in mind my light source as I put in my shading and depth lines in each branch and limb.

The farther up the tree you go the farther away from the viewer it will get and you will need to decrease the amount of detail in the bark lines that are seen. Make them closer together and the overall tone of the tree darker as it goes up and the branches and limb go away. Again, light layers at first make up the limbs and branches. As you put the following layers on remember your light source and keep the highlighted side lighter. You can use the drag method in the limbs and branch work to create the shadowed sides. You can see a small example of the branch and limb work in WIP image # 7 ?

The next portion of the drawing work in the oak tree is to finish the limb and branch work. Using the methods that we used in the bark work, continue the line layers in the growth direction. I use light pencil lines to put in the basic direction that I want the limbs and branches to go in keeping with the reference photo. There will be less detail line work in the smaller limbs and even less to none in the smaller branches and twigs that get farther away from the viewer in the scene. This is also true just due to the size of the branches and twigs.

Keep in mind where limbs and larger branches will over-lap and run in front or behind each other. This is also a point that you can add in cast shadows to lower branches from those above or beside. These little details help build the depth and dimension in the tree drawing itself. This is where the darker tones in the branches come in as you work up the tree.

Remember that there are very few to no perfectly straight lines that occur in the growth of a tree in nature especially in this type of Oak tree so, as you work through the limbs and branches keep your lines flowing off the straight and flat path. Gravity and the wind have a lot to do with how a tree grows and looks in nature. Think about the weight that would be in the limbs. Show the stress of that weight in each branch as gravity tugs and pulls each one toward the ground as it struggles to grow Up and Out reaching for the sun light it needs. It’s a living thing that struggles against the elements to survive. Let that struggle show in your rendering of the tree in each branch and limb.

Then as you get to the ends of the limbs and branches notice that the twigs arch slightly upwards. This is that struggle of the tree to constantly keep itself pushing upwards to the suns rays. I love to draw these grand old trees when the foliage is gone. It allows me to show each of the turns and bends that time and the elements have brought the tree through.Each tree has a character all its own. I strive to show that character in each drawing I do.Give them life.

If you notice this last Work In Progress image, you will see that I have already added the oak’s first resident… a bird resting on a branch. There will be many more of these to come before I call the drawing finished.

To finish the tree I work the rest of the limbs and branches to the edge of the page and out into the scene. The diameter of the limbs and branches get smaller as I said before, the farther away from the viewer they get and the more toward the end of the branch that they grow.

I hope that this tutorial has been and will be helpful to you to see how to render the different types of trees out there. This is in no way meant to be an exhaustive study on all trees. It is meant to help guide you as you study to develop your own skills as an artist. If you have any specific questions for me please email me and I will be happy to answer them.

Vincent D. Whitehead
“Keep On Creating!”
May 2010

From the article you will learn everything about oak, and how to draw an "oak leaf" pattern

Surely everyone knows such a tree - oak. It is widespread in fairy tales, customs, myths, legends, rituals. The popularity of this tree is seen not only in Slavic mythology, but also in Jewish, Greek, pagan and Roman mythology. There is a belief that earlier, before the creation of heaven and earth, there was a sea, and an oak tree grew on it. Two doves lived on this oak tree, which dived into salt water and took out stones and stars from there. This is how the earth and sky were born.

The Druids considered this tree sacred , and therefore they blessed it and celebrated holidays. In Christianity, it is believed that if you approach an old oak tree and tie a ribbon, while making a wish, the tree absorbs it, and the wish must come true.


  • The meaning of oak in paganism
  • The algorithm "How to draw an oak leaf"
  • Things to remember
  • Video

The meaning of oak in paganism

During the pagan times of , people sailed to the island of St. George, and made sacrifices near the old, mighty oak. They killed roosters and cattle there. It was believed that this should bring good luck in the coming year and harvest. Perhaps these are all fairy tales and stories of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. But, try to find an old oak, lie under its crown and relax, you can read a book. After a while, you can notice that the state of mind has gained ease, anxiety and fear are gone. It is for this reason that many great writers have spent time under this tree. They believed that it fills them with inspiration and strength.

It is believed that if an oak log is placed at the feet of a sleeping sick child, the child will either recover or begin to recover. There are so many rumors about this tree, although few people think about it. Oak is a symbol of power and wisdom. Most artists paid attention to this tree and included it in their paintings.

Algorithm "How to draw an oak leaf"

But how to draw leaves yourself without artistic skills, oak leaves? Fortunately for you, there is a simple algorithm of actions that will help a novice artist draw an oak leaf.

  1. First of all, you should decide what you are going to depict: paints, colored pencils, felt-tip pens, pastels, pencils, ink, etc.
  2. When the choice of material is made, decide on the style of the image: realism, illustration, etc.
  3. After choosing a style, it remains to select the desired colors for the image. It can be: green, herbal, brown and yellow (if the leaves are autumn).
  4. Now you can start drawing. Make sure your work area and hands are clean so that your drawing is neat and clean, not messy.
  5. What will we need to draw? These are the veins, the frame, the veins and arteries, the core.
  6. We take a brush or a pencil (depending on what you are going to draw with), choose the location of the future leaf on the plane of the paper.
  7. When the place has already been determined, we determine the size of the sheet.
  8. We put a point and take a beam away from it - this will be the core and the core of the leaf.
  9. We remove several short veins from the main rod. Each leaf does not have to have the same number of veins. Leaves are not twins.
  10. After the done manipulations, you need to start drawing the leaf frame. It must be remembered that the corners of the oak leaf are rounded, not sharp. (An oak leaf looks like a maple) The frame can be drawn by looking at the image of a leaf from the Internet or at a natural original.
  11. Next, proceed to the process of painting. What the end result will look like is up to you. Shadows, shades, and whatever you want can be depicted there. Maybe draw a couple more leaves for practice.

After the work done, you can see that is not so difficult to draw , especially if you follow a detailed algorithm. Adhering to these rules, you can draw the leaves of trees: maple, birch, linden, ash, etc. Only the shape and size of the leaves will differ. Now you know how to draw leaves!

Things to remember

  1. Don't worry if your sheet is not the same as others or nature.
  2. Each artist has his own style of drawing, image and presentation of the picture. This is what will distinguish you from other people. And the brighter and more special the style, the more people will be able to recognize it. For example, the style of Pablo Picasso is very easy to distinguish from Leonardo da Vinci.
  3. The more unusual the paintings, the more they stick in our memory!

Perhaps now, after knowing such information, you will begin to look differently at many trees. After all, not only oak has mystical power. And when drawing its leaves, , you should only think about good , and your drawing will be saturated with a positive charge and soon it will begin to radiate it. Never draw animals and plants in a bad mood. In life, it's all living nature. And everything that is alive tends to radiate either a positive or a negative biofield. How you treat my words is up to you.

In conclusion, I would like to wish everyone patience and striving to achieve their goals ! Don't give up what you started. If you are tired, then rest, and again on the road!


how the inhabitants of "Microcity" saved a tree with 12 trunks from cutting down

Residents of the new microdistrict “Microcity “In the Forest”” in Otradnoye near Moscow saved an unusual oak tree with 12 trunks from felling. According to the developer's plans, houses should have stood in its place. It took the neighbors 3 years for the developer to hear their requests to save the unique tree. Let's talk about how they did it.

Multi-stem oak

“Microcity “In the Forest”” appeared in Otradnoye in 2014: then the first stage of the modern microdistrict was commissioned, which, among other things, the future chief architect of Moscow helped to build. For several years, a strong neighborhood community has been created in the residential complex: they discussed how to make life at home better, for example, they organized a separate waste collection point. Once, local residents walking their dogs noticed an unusual oak tree with 13 trunks (one of them is broken) on the edge of the field next to the houses, which are almost equal in thickness and grow in a circle, forming a single crown. Slowly, rumors about the amazing oak began to spread throughout the microdistrict. Residents turned to a local dendrologist, who worked in the residential complex under a contract. She estimated the total age of the oak at about 500-700 years: once upon a time, the tree had one trunk, and for some reason it died. Then dormant buds awakened on its stump, from which new trunks sprouted. The neighbors fell in love with the tree, it became a local landmark, and the children made improvement projects for it at school.

First call

However, the oak grows on the territory of the future fourth stage of the microcity, and according to the plan, which could be found on the Internet, they were going to build a kindergarten in its place. Back in April 2018, residents of the residential complex - graphic designer Anton Stepanenko and architect Katya Shvidchenko - wrote an official letter to the developer, in which they talked about the oak and asked them not to cut it down. They gave examples from world practice, according to which such trees are preserved and included in architectural projects, for which they then receive awards at various competitions. The developer did not officially respond to the letter, but verbally promised to do everything possible to preserve the oak. The residents calmed down: they hoped that the developer was responsible and that the builders would not touch the tree. A year later, Katya Shvidchenko announced an unusual oak in the All-Russian program "Trees - monuments of wildlife." Oak was included in the register of "Amazing Trees" in Russia. And in 2020, the tree was behind the fence of the construction site. That's when the residents got really worried.

Start of struggle

There was an inconvenient passage to the tree: along the shallow part of the pond along the fence. In addition, the fate of the oak was unknown, and then the residents created a working group to save the unique tree. It included six people, each responsible for their own area of ​​activity to protect the oak. For example, Ksenia Zimnitskaya, who has been living in Microcity since 2014, joined the group. She sent the first letter to the Krasnogorsk administration with a request to organize a round table with the developer and discuss the fate of the unique tree. “A week later representatives of the administration and television arrived. Five representatives of the developer came, and none of them knew anything about the oak, although we sent the first letter two years ago. Four represented the construction contractor, they merrily offered to cut down a tree and count by annual rings how old it is ”,” recalls Ksenia. After the round table, the developer replied to the administration that in order to save the tree, the construction project would have to be redone, and this was expensive. Residents were not satisfied with this answer, they continued to write letters to various authorities. This became the main task of Xenia.

Xenia Zimnitskaya Anastasia Savinykh Alexander Sharov

Long Correspondence

Ksenia says that the correspondence with various departments lasted six months. In her opinion, the activists initially made a mistake, relying on the word of the developer. It was necessary to send the first letters by copy to several state authorities: the effect would be different. So they ended up doing it. Letters poured in to the city administration, the regional Ministry of Ecology, the Ministry of Housing Policy, the Krasnogorsk Parks MAUK, Mosoblarchitectura (where all technical documents are endorsed), the Krasnogorsk public chamber and the All-Russian program "Trees - monuments of wildlife. " “An important point: when you sent the letters, you need to call the office of all ministries and departments in a week to find out who was appointed as the executor on your issue. This person should analyze the question and send an answer in a month. You need to contact him and tell in detail about the problem, identify the nuances that are not described in the letter ”, advises Ksenia. As soon as possible, you should find out the status of the land on which the tree grows. In the case of oak, it was building land that was given to the developer back in 2009year. Formally, the city administration cannot demand that a specially protected natural area appear around a tree. Therefore, it is necessary to cause a public outcry as soon as possible. And if the land is municipal, it can be registered as a protected area of ​​local or regional significance, but this requires numerous appeals from local residents. When the initiative group received responses from all ministries, it posted the correspondence on the website of the ZhK residents (if there is none, a Facebook group, chats at home will do). Then the public campaign began.

Instagram, petition and Leonardo DiCaprio

The campaign to protect the oak had a separate Telegram channel. Anyone who cares about the fate of the tree could send links to posts mentioning the oak in the media and social networks, and offer their ideas. The initiative group had a separate chat for more detailed coordination of organizational issues. It was through a common channel that a resident of the residential complex Anastasia Savinykh, a professional journalist, came to the project and offered to start an Instagram oak tree. The girl began to write posts on behalf of the oak and talk about everything that happens to him. In a couple of months, the account gained more than 800 subscribers. Information about the campaign was actively disseminated in various social networks, which also helped to find like-minded people. Through such a post, another activist joined the initiative group, who proposed creating a petition in defense of the oak on the Change. org service. Ksenia admits that she expected to receive at least 3-4 thousand signatures: for their small town, this is already a lot. But suddenly the petition became popular, signatures were very active, journalists became interested in the story. About the oak, stories began to appear on the radio and on television. By the end of the campaign, the petition had nearly 48,000 signatures. Xenia says that one of the secrets of a successful campaign is the freedom to come up with any ideas, even those that may seem strange or funny. So it was with Leonardo DiCaprio. One of the journalists suggested that residents write to him on a fan page on VKontakte. Immediately in the chat, someone drew a photo-toad: how Leo hugs an oak tree. This was picked up by local media and social media groups. The actor did not answer the activists, but it is precisely such unusual actions, according to Ksenia, that are still very important for the campaign, so as not to get stuck in negativity when there is no clear understanding of what will happen next.

Is it possible to transplant a tree?

Before the May holidays of 2021, the developer contacted the proactive residents and offered a meeting. He said that they know about the unique tree and have not yet decided what to do with it. One of the developer's ideas was to replant the tree. Even before this meeting, residents consulted with a well-known dendrologist Dmitry Zvonka about the possibility of replanting an oak tree. "Dmitry said that the successful transplantation of such trees is a rare occurrence even in world practice, and when this happens, publications are published in all world publications on dendrology" , - says Ksenia. Therefore, the residents were able to immediately give a reasoned answer to the developer's proposal, why this option is impossible.

Final meeting

Soon the Ministry of Ecology of the Moscow Region announced that it was gathering a round table with the developer to discuss the fate of the oak. Residents were not invited there, explaining that this was a working preliminary meeting. Nevertheless, already at this meeting, it was finally decided to save the oak. Now there is a sign near the tree that the oak is under protection, but local residents are in no hurry to rejoice: they need to wait for the developer to change the project of the fourth stage. In addition, it is important to continue to monitor the fate of the tree until not only the project plan, but also the plan for the improvement of the surrounding area is approved. If, for example, you do not plan a wooden deck around the tree, the earth will quickly be trampled and the roots of the oak will suffer. “We plan to continue to run Instagram, voice other environmental topics. I would like the developer's attitude to the land he is developing to change. We need to achieve the establishment of a good tradition of caring for nature on the part of contractors,” , Ksenia believes.

Irina Skipor

Is a development park being destroyed in your area? Are there other environmental disturbances? Write to [email protected]

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