How to draw different types of trees

Learn How to Draw Three Types of Trees: Oak, Pine, and Palm

Photo: Stock Photos from Allen Paul Photography/Shutterstock

For many artists, the outdoors is an unending source of inspiration. While some prefer to fill their canvases with colorful bouquets of flowers, others may prefer the majestic beauty of a tall tree. For those that are just beginning their creative journey, however, learning how to draw a tree can appear to be a daunting task. No need to worry. Like any new subject, the key is to take it one step at a time.

With so many beautiful varieties of trees, it can be hard to choose a good starting off point. Here, we will learn how to draw three basic types of trees: an oak tree, pine tree, and palm tree. Ready to grow your art skills? Then grab your drawing supplies and some paper—it's time to draw some trees!


Learn How to Draw Trees Step by Step

Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met


How to Draw an Oak Tree

Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Oak trees are often considered the “standard tree” in illustration for their classic shape.

  1. To begin, you can draw a horizontal line to demarcate the ground. Then, sketch a thick, rectangular-shaped trunk that flares out at the base. Return your attention to the top of the tree trunk, and use your pencil to create numerous branches that spider in different directions. Continue doing so until you have growth in all directions.
  2. Next, add large circles to the bare branches of the oak tree. This will be the base for how we draw the foliage, so feel free to overlap the shapes.
  3. Once you have added circles all around the oak tree, it is time to transform them into a more organic shape. Simply go over the previous sketch with a loose, squiggly line that indicates lush foliage. Remember to “cut out” a few holes in the oak tree's greenery where the branches can peak through.
  4. In the final step, you can erase any branches that are hidden by leaves until you have a clean outline. Afterward, feel free to add texture to the drawing to give it a sense of dimension. An easy way to do this is to use hatching and stippling. When you've added your last details, you can either leave the drawing in pencil or go over the linework with a favorite pen for a striking black and white illustration.


How to Draw a Pine Tree

Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

No sketch of the mountains is complete without at least one pine tree.

  1. Start by drawing a loose line at an incline to indicate a rugged terrain. From there, draw a tall and thin tree trunk.
  2. Next, add several stick-like branches to the trunk. The ones at the top should angle towards the sky, whereas the ones towards the middle should extend straight out.
  3. Now that we've laid the foundation, use your pencil to draw wiggly shapes around the stick-like branches. The key here is to emulate the fullness of pine needles without having to use too much texture.
  4. Finally, you can erase any initial guidelines. It's up to you whether you leave your sketch as is, or go over it in ink. Filling the drawing in with black will emphasize the pine tree's distinct shape, especially from afar.


How to Draw a Palm Tree

Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Just as pine trees are synonymous with wintertime and mountains, palm trees bring to mind warm climates and relaxing vacations.

  1. To begin, you can draw a straight horizontal line to indicate the ground. From there, sketch a half-circle base and a smaller circle on top of it. Then, draw a long, thin trunk that is topped by a wide rectangle.
  2. Next, you can erase the guidelines within the shape you just created so that it looks somewhat like a lamppost. At the top of the tree trunk, draw a circle and mark the center with an “x.” Use this as a point to begin sketching large diamond-shaped leaves.
  3. Continue adding large leaves to the palm tree until you've achieved a sense of fullness. Remember to layer your leaves to create a sense of dimensionality.
  4. After you've completed your basic palm tree sketch, it is time to add some details. On the thinner part of the tree trunk, use your pencil or pen to draw horizontal lines which are divided like bricks. Then, add stippling and half-circle shapes to the flared base and top of the tree. Lastly, you can return your attention to the leaves by adding a centerline to each one as well as numerous hatch marks. Go over the sketch in pen to emphasize your meticulous linework.



Related Articles:

Learn How to Draw a Horse Head From 3 Different Angles

Learn How to Draw a Monarch Butterfly in Five Easy Steps

Artist Reveals How to Draw Perfect Flowers in 3 Simple Steps

How to Draw a Realistic Tree Easy Guide

Trees are one of nature’s most beautiful resources. From preserving air quality to providing a shady place to rest on a summer afternoon, they’re vitally important to our survival and our happiness.  

With over 60,000 different documented species on planet Earth, trees are also excellent source materials for artists or anyone who’s interested in learning how to draw a tree. In this guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know to create a tree drawing—and hopefully gain new appreciation for our lush, leafy, life-givers along the way!

Quick Links

  • How to Draw a Tree: Basic Shapes
  • How to Draw a Simple Tree
  • How to Draw a Pine Tree
  • How to Draw a Palm Tree

How to Draw a Tree: Basic ShapesSimple trees by Skillshare instructor Jen Aranyi.


Before you begin your drawing of a tree, determine what type of leaves you’d like it to have. With so many varieties of trees, leaf options are just as abundant. 

The good news is that leaves are fairly simple to draw. Most leaves are formed by drawing a straight, center line in the orientation of the leaf’s final placement, and then built upon from there. Here are a few examples of different styles of leaves—all of which will become second nature to draw with a little practice.

Leaves come in all shapes and varieties, much like the trees upon which they grow.

Trunks and Bark

The trunk and bark are great opportunities to add texture and character to your tree sketch. And even if you’re newer to tree art, fear not: Both trunks and bark can be drawn using fairly basic lines and shapes. 

A barren tree trunk by Skillshare instructor Elwira Pawlikowska.

You can form the basis of your tree’s trunk using two vertical lines. Then, fill in the bark, keeping in mind the type of tree you’d like to draw. Oak trees, for example, are tall with rough, thick bark, so be sure to add these characteristics to your tree drawing. If a palm tree drawing is more your style, you’ll add less dimension to reflect the smoother bark. Continue to practice with different styles and you’ll soon find improvement in your tree trunks drawing skills.

Different types of tree bark by Skillshare instructor Sarah Benkin.


Roots are as important to your tree drawing as they are to living trees and nature. The roots of the tree connect it to its life source—to the water and resources in the surrounding soil—and you’ll want to be sure to include them in your work. 

Like tree trunks, roots can be drawn using simple lines—horizontal, curved, and even overlapping to represent the roots’ path from the trunk into the environment where the tree is planted. Roots can be thick and come up from the ground below, like you’d expect to see with an older tree, or they can be more subtle and lie closer to the tree trunk. There’s no right or wrong way to create your tree roots drawing, so enjoy the process and go with what feels best for your tree!

Use perspective to create realistic properties for your tree roots.

How to Draw a Simple Tree

If you’re new to tree art or just want to make tree drawing easy, it’s best to start with a simple drawing. All you need is a piece of paper, a pencil, a pen, and an eraser. Your drawing doesn’t need to be perfect or to have nuanced details—it should simply be your starting point for learning or reacquainting yourself with how to draw a tree. 

Simple, bushy trees by Skillshare student Denise Wolverton.

Step 1: Draw a Base

Begin your simple tree drawing by creating the base for your tree, or the ground upon which it will stand. A basic line will do, and you can experiment with the thickness of your base or add details like grass and flowers. 

The base of your tree drawing can be as simple as a thin, straight line.

Step 2: Draw a Trunk

Moving on with your tree sketch, form the trunk of your tree with two vertical lines. Your lines will stretch from the base to the point at which the leafy and bushy part of your tree will begin. You can make the trunk as tall as you wish, and you can also try different line styles to create character within your tree trunks drawing.  

Start your tree trunk with two simple lines.

Step 3: Draw the Leaves

Now that your tree drawing has a base and a trunk, add volume and make your tree appear bushy by drawing simple shapes to show the tree’s leaves. The shapes can be anything from a plain circle to a scalloped and abstract “blob” atop your tree trunk. 

The addition of billowing, circular shapes helps create volume for your bushy tree.

Step 4: Add Details

Now that you’ve drawn the basis of your simple tree, you can add a few details. To give your tree trunk some life, try drawing a small triangle to make the roots appear as if they are “lifting” the tree off of the ground. You may also want to include small, scalloped lines within the bushy part of your tree sketch to create layers of leaves and foliage. 

By adding a few more lines, you can create a lot of detail within your simple tree drawing.

Step 5: Outline Your Drawing

The final step for completing your simple tree drawing is to outline your pencil design with a pen and to erase any stray pencil marks. Pencil lead can easily be smudged or accidentally erased, so this step helps to preserve your tree art for future reference. 

Outlining your work with a pen is the final step for this simple tree drawing!

How to Draw a Pine Tree

Pine trees are a popular choice for artists who enjoy drawing trees because they’re fairly basic in shape but also easy to individualize. Most pine tree drawings begin with a triangular shape, representing the characteristic growth pattern of pine trees. From there, it’s up to you to decide what kind of details to add to make the pine tree unique 

When it comes to pine tree drawings, options for creative expression abound!

Step 1: Draw a Base and Trunk

First, your pine tree needs a base upon which to stand and grow—a basic, horizontal line will suffice. From there, add a trunk. Pine trees generally have slender trunks, so begin with a thin, vertical line. That line will inform how tall the tree will be and about where it will lie on the page.  

For pine trees, the trunk also determines the height of the tree.

Step 2: Draw the Shape of the Pine Tree

Next, add a triangular shape that is bisected by the trunk line. This will build the guide for maintaining the tree’s shape, which is important when you begin to add branches and leaves. 

The triangular shape helps to mimic the pine tree’s natural growth pattern.

Step 3: Draw Branches

Now that you’ve established the shape of your pine tree, continue your drawing by adding jagged branches in the shape of overlapping capital letter Vs. This technique is a simple way to include detail within your tree sketch and to give your pine tree added character. 

Adding branches brings your pine tree drawing to life.

Step 4: Outline Your Drawing With a Pen 

Again, you’ll want to outline your pencil tree sketch with a pen to preserve your work. This helps make the journey of tree drawing simple: Create and add this tree to a reference catalog to use when you want to draw specific types of trees, or to simply measure and reflect upon your progress.  

Outline your pine tree drawing to complete your work.

How to Draw a Palm Tree

Palm trees, synonymous with tropical locations and warm ocean waters, make fun subjects for a tree drawing. From their tall, curved trunks to their big, bushy leaves, palm tree drawings can be created by using basic shapes and techniques. 

Palm tree drawings by Skillshare instructor Katrin Graff.

Step 1: Draw the Guideline for the Shape of the Palm Tree

The process for creating a palm tree drawing is a bit different than that of other tree sketches. Palm tree trunks typically aren’t perfectly straight, so instead of starting with vertical lines, you’ll draw a long, curved line resembling a stretched-out letter S shape. 

Start with the shape of your palm tree’s trunk.

Step 2: Draw a Trunk

With your guideline in mind, draw the shape of the palm tree’s trunk with a second vertical line, also curved, that meets your guide line at the top in a pinched, almost triangular shape. Once your lines are connected, you have a trunk for your palm tree!

The palm tree’s trunk is now complete!

Step 3: Draw the Centerpoint of the Palm Tree

Now that your palm tree has a trunk, add a small circle above the apex of the trunk to hold space for the centerpoint of its leaves. Your circle does not need to be touching the apex of the trunk, as the leaves will fill in to create distance and height for the palm tree. 

This small circle holds space for the palm tree’s leaves.

Step 4: Draw the Leaves

The next step in your tree drawing is to add the palm tree’s famous leaves! Palm leaves have a lot of character and typically have long and curved spines, with finger-like leaves branching out from the center. 

Beginning at the centerpoint you drew in step three, create your leaf lines—as many as you’d like—and then create a smaller, identical line next to each to show depth and dimension within each leafy branch.  

It’s time to begin drawing your palm tree’s leaves.

Step 5: Add Detail to the Leaves

To fill out each leaf, you’ll add dozens of small, thin lines branching out from each of the center leaf lines. Here, you have the creative freedom to “finish” your palm tree leaves in a variety of ways. You can sketch them with your drawing pencil or colored pencil, you can bring in a pen or marker, or you can even fill them in with watercolor paint, as shown below. 

Be sure to finish your palm tree leaves with pencil, markers, or even paint!

Step 6: Add the Final Details

The last step in your palm tree drawing is to add details. You can do this by including more branches and leaves to your tree, or you can also draw character into the bark of your palm tree. For the latter, draw loose, letter S shaped lines around each part of your tree trunk. 

Add details to your palm tree to make your drawing complete.

Learn to Draw Small Plants

Line Drawing: Cactus & Succulent Edition

Take the Class

How to draw a tree: draw trees forest

I'm sure that almost all of you are interested in creating landscapes. Landscapes can be very different, showing beautiful and interesting views of different parts of our planet, in many of them you come into contact with the task of depicting trees. How to draw a living, beautiful and natural tree is the topic of our today's lesson.

Trees are easy to draw, but sometimes they come out a little too drawn or flat.

Basic mistakes

The main mistakes in drawing trees are:

Lack of volume

Lack of volume in a drawing (in color or black and white) is achieved by using colors of different tone and intensity. Even on a cloudy day, some part of the crown and trunk will be more shaded, and some less. In the thick of foliage, the colors are always darker. Think of a tree as a ball (crown) and a cylinder (trunk) to understand how shadows form on this complex shape.

Here are examples:

Shapes that are too regular and unnatural

To avoid this mistake, trees are easy and quick to draw gently, and if your hand trembles somewhere, it will be more natural than when all the lines are very folding and dewy . In nature, you will not find exactly the same trees, a perfectly symmetrical crown or trunk. There is always something out of the ordinary. Something always gets out of the general system, and this is what gives the tree (plant) and your drawing more liveliness and naturalness.

Naturally, this rule does not apply to trees and bushes, the shapes of which are shaped by gardeners.

Tip: Before you start drawing a forest or a park alley, practice drawing trees and bushes separately on a sheet, so that they start to turn out easily and naturally. It is important that you can mark trunks and branches with quick movements, this will help to avoid "loneliness" in your work. After training, move on to a more serious task.


Drawing step by step

In nature, there are a huge number of trees, each with its own character. Let's try to depict different types of trees in stages in order to better understand the process of creating such a picture and some of the nuances.

Determine the general shape

The main thing is to correctly determine the general shape of the tree, its crown and trunk. If it is somehow tilted or rotated, then at the very first stage it is important to note this direction as well.

The initial sketch may look very primitive, but it is important that you can already guess from it whether it is a tree or a bush. No details are needed or important now.

Refine the silhouette

Clear shape and correct direction (turn, bend or tilt), a good basis for some detailing and refinement.

Now, we can refine the silhouette of the crown, some small protrusions of the branches, show gaps, refine the placement and direction of the branches on the trunk and among the foliage.

Remember that trees that are too even and symmetrical will not look natural.

Adding overall tone and color

The sketch is ready and now we can pick up paint or pencil and give the tree more expressiveness and volume.

If you are working with any paint (except watercolors), then the crown and trunk can be immediately painted with a common color without showing light and shadow.

At this stage, it is important to choose a good shade for the foliage and trunk, characteristic of this particular type of tree and appropriate for the lighting.

Spots of light and shadow

After the base colors have been selected and applied, it is worth giving some volume. To do this, depending on the lighting, you need to show the shadow and light on the entire crown, without highlighting the branches on the trunk.

Also note the shadow on the trunk now, depending on the location of the sun.

In the illustration above, we have assumed that the sun is above and to the right. Accordingly, the shadows on the trunks formed on the left side.

Small shapes and details

When the total volume is shown, individual branches, clusters of branches, depressions and gaps between leaves can be distinguished. If there is a need, you can select some leaves in the foreground, so there will be a feeling of stronger detail.

It is not necessary to draw every leaf, so the picture will look like a child's one. After all, when we look at the forest, we see the big picture, and only looking closely, concentrating our attention, we can look at individual leaves.

Trees without leaves

In the cold season, trees remain without leaves, this is also an interesting topic in fine arts. Drawing dry branches is a good practice for any artist, as here you need to correctly show the volume, direction, shape, angle and perspective.

Each type of tree has a different arrangement of branches, this must be taken into account. In some trees, the branches are small, with many bends, they are located close. In others, on the contrary, the branches are long, straight with a minimum of branches. Also note the shape of the crown without leaves.

Video lesson

Watch the lesson on how to draw a forest, a tree, trees in stages with a pencil:

Examples for inspiration

Claude Monet, Olive trees in the Moreno gardenVincent Van Gogh, landscape with trees, the author is unknown to me, but the work is wonderful story with trees, by Graham Gerken

I really like this triptych, I decided to show it to you. I hope the author is not offended.

modern painting by Apazidis Dimitris

I hope this lesson was interesting and useful for you. Write comments and send photos of your work.

I wish you creative success!

How to draw a tree: 35 options for every taste

May 20, 2021LikbezDo it yourself

Create simple images with markers, paints, pencils and pastels.



How to draw a tree with black marker or felt pen

Frame: DrawinGeek / YouTube

What you need

  • Paper;
  • black marker or felt pen.

How to Draw

Draw a zigzag horizontal line to represent grass. Draw two vertical curved lines. From above, between the parts, make several arcs. Get a trunk with branches. Frame

: DrawinGeek / YouTube

Draw two cloud-like shapes above the arcs. Behind the figures, make three more, but larger. This is a crown.

Frame: DrawinGeek / YouTube

Show the texture of the bark on the trunk. To do this, draw a lot of curved lines. Also mark several arcs nested inside each other.

Frame: DrawinGeek / YouTube

The full version of the master class can be viewed here:

Other options

An easy way for beginners:

here show how to portray cherries:

If you want to draw a realistic tree:

With this tree pattern even a child will cope:

An unusual tree pattern with roots:

If you are going to portray cartoon tree with eyes:

This tutorial shows how to draw two palm trees:

A fun drawing that is easy to repeat:

How to draw a tree with colored markers or felt-tip pens

Frame: Like ART / YouTube

What you need

  • Paper;
  • colored markers or markers;
  • black liner (optional).

How to Draw

Draw two vertical curved lines with a black marker pen or marker. This is a stem. Mark the branches from above with segments. You can use a liner at this stage if you wish.

Frame: Like ART / YouTube

Draw a rounded crown with an uneven outline. Mark wavy segments above the branches.

Frame: Like ART / YouTube

Color the barrel with a light brown marker or felt pen. To show the shadows and texture of the bark, you need a shade slightly darker than the previous one.

Frame: Like ART / YouTube

Make large dark green spots on the crown, leaving some free space. Fill in the empty areas with a light green color.

Frame: Like ART / YouTube

Outline the grass under the tree. With a black liner or felt-tip pen, draw a series of wavy segments on the crown. Emphasize the shadows on the trunk and branches.

Frame: Like ART / YouTube

Details - in the video:

What other options are there

A simple drawing of an apple tree:

Master class for those who want to depict an autumn tree:

What other options are there

A method for those who want to draw a landscape with a tree:

Master class on drawing a realistic tree with detailed comments by the artist:

Here they show how to portray a birch with watercolors:

And here - how to designate flowers with simple spray:

simple drawing of flowering wood with gouache gouache :

Draw a tree in spring, summer, autumn and winter at the same time:

Here they show how to draw a tree using pointillism technique:

Landscape with several realistic trees:

Even a child can do this drawing:

How to draw a tree with crayons

Frame: Rio Art Club / YouTube

Paper 9013;

  • colored pencils.
  • How to Draw

    Mark two vertical curved lines with a brown pencil. Get a palm tree trunk. Make horizontal strokes along the entire length of the part. This is how you define the texture of the bark.

    Frame: Rio Art Club / YouTube

    Shade the trunk so that it is darker on the left than on the right. Draw a few short lines at the base. Draw green fruits of different sizes. They are oval in shape.

    Frame: Rio Art Club / YouTube

    Color in the fruits. To set the direction of growth of the branches, outline curved lines. On the sides of each, make a lot of short dark green strokes. Place them as close to each other as possible. Add a light green tint to the leaves.

    Frame: Rio Art Club / YouTube

    Use green and black lines to represent the ground below the picture. So it will not seem that the palm tree is floating in the air.

    Shot: Rio Art Club / YouTube

    See the entire drawing process here:

    What other options are there

    View of the redwoods from below:

    A fascinating drawing that is not easy to repeat:

    Here the artist shows how to draw a realistic tree in 40 minutes:

    Try drawing a baobab with pencils on black paper:

    How to draw a tree with pastels

    Frame: Tiku Art / YouTube

    What you need

    • Paper;
    • simple pencil;
    • oil pastel.

    How to draw

    With a simple pencil, mark a horizontal line at the bottom of the sheet. From it, release two broken vertical lines upwards. Get a tree trunk.

    Frame: Tiku Art / YouTube

    Draw four massive branches. They are widened at the base, and sharper closer to the tips. In the example, the parts have creases. This makes the drawing realistic. Add small branches directed in different directions.

    Frame: Tiku Art / YouTube

    Shade the trunk and branches on the right with brown pastel - this will show the shadow. Beige chalk is suitable for the left side of the picture.

    Frame: Tiku Art / YouTube

    Make dark green spots on the branches, consisting of many small dots. Add a light shade around the edges.

    Frame: Tiku Art / YouTube

    To indicate the texture of the bark, draw small lines on the trunk and branches with a simple pencil. If desired, you can draw several arcs nested inside each other. Sketch the grass at the base of the tree.

    Frame: Tiku Art / YouTube

    Nuances - in the video:

    What other options are there

    Another easy way to draw a realistic tree:

    Dry pastel is required for this image: