How to draw roots on a tree

Draw Tree Roots in 10 Easy Steps! - Artsydee

| Dee

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When we think of trees, we often envision the canopy of branches and leaves above. But what about all those roots?

Drawing tree roots can be a great challenge for artists and art students alike, but it’s also an important skill to master if you want to become a more well-rounded artist. In this blog post, I’ll give you 10 easy steps to draw tree roots with just a few marks on paper! 

Draw Tree Roots in 10 Simple Steps

Step 1: Draw the ground line

Does not have to be straight. Add bumps and waves to give it a realistic soil effect.

Step 2: Add a semi-circle beneath the ground line

This semi-circle gives you a guideline for how long to draw your roots. In reality, the roots of a tree do not fit perfectly into a semi-circle. However, using a semi-circle guideline helps you to create a symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing root composition for your drawing.

Step 3: Draw the first set of roots

The shape of the roots I have drawn is basically composed of a solid long root with smaller roots shooting off the center root. The main root starts off thick and tapers to a thinner end.

You can happily leave out the semi-circle shape and use a more natural root pattern (have a look at the end of the article for more examples of tree roots drawings).

Step 4: Add more roots

I observe the position of the roots I already have drawn and start adding more to build up a  network of roots. This helps to create the effect of realistic tree roots drawing.

Step 5: Add final roots

Look at the position of the roots you have drawn and add further roots to balance out the tree root composition.

Step 6: Start shading the first half of the roots

You can now start identifying where the shadow areas of the roots are. I like to sketch shadow on either side of a root, with the mid-section of the root appearing more light. This creates a three-dimensional effect and helps to further increase the realism of the drawing.

Step 7: Shade second half of roots

You can now start identifying where the shadow areas of the roots are. I like to sketch shadow on either side of a root, with the mid-section of the root appearing more light. This creates a three-dimensional effect and helps to further increase the realism of the drawing.

Step 8: Darken your shadows

Continue building up your shading in your shadow areas. This will help to increase the contrast in your drawing. Using adequate contrast in drawing allows a drawing to be more effective and have more impact on the viewer.

I would also like to point out that I tried to create a sense that some roots were embedded further back in the soil than others. To do this, I added darker shading to the roots at the back and left the roots towards the front lighter. 

Pro Tip: You can also use a kneaded eraser to lift pencil shading off areas you want to lighten in your artwork.

Step 9: Shade your tree trunk and add tufts of grass

Add some shading to the trunk of your tree to give it a sense of realism.

To give your drawing more character, you can add a tuft of grass here and there, as well as a flower.

Step 10: Draw simple rocks

Add some simple rock shapes in the soil surrounding your tree roots. These simple shapes will further help the viewer to understand what is happening beneath the surface of the soil. 

I have used simple irregular line drawing to sketch the impression of rock shapes within the ground. 

What art supplies do you need to draw tree roots of your own?

Paper (I recommend this paper because you can use all dry mediums on it, but also it holds alcohol markers, light watercolor washes, and watercolor pencil really well!)

Sketchbook (I always recommended drawing in a sketchbook. This not only protects your drawings, but it also can be a great way to reflect on your artwork and grow!)

Drawing Pencils (It is good to have a range of drawing pencils available so that you can map out your drawing and then go further and deepen your shadows!)

Kneaded Eraser (In my opinion, it is essential to have a good kneadable eraser. It means you can easily mould your eraser to a sharp point for erasing finer details, or you can use it to lift off pencil or charcoal when you have over-shaded an area!

Why are we fascinated by roots beneath the ground?

From my perspective, I think it is partly because roots are a symbol of life. They are the unseen foundation that helps a tree to grow tall and strong.

Additionally, roots can be quite beautiful in their own right, with their intricate patterns and curves.

From a biological and scientific perspective, we cannot see what lies beneath the soil every day. And so it’s fascinating to get a glimpse of what lies beneath.

In my mind, the tree roots drawing represents an inspiration for all artists and creatives everywhere. The hidden patterns and beauty can be found in everything once you start looking deeply enough…

Tips and tricks when drawing your tree roots…
  • Always use good quality pencils. HB, and 2B pencils are a good place to start as you can gradually move up the scale to achieve darker tones in your drawing!
  • Make sure that you do a tonal value study before you begin your artwork. This will help you plan out your drawing and give you a feel for how light and dark you need to go with your shading. This will also help you get a more life-like drawing!
  • Vary the pressure of your pencil on the paper so that some parts of your roots are darker than others. This will create depth in your drawing and add an extra layer of realism!
  • When drawing with graphite or charcoal, use a blending stump to smudge darker areas of your drawing. This will create nice gradients which are more effective for creating shading than using shadows directly next to each other!
  • When you are using pencils on paper, use your kneaded eraser to lighten any areas that you want to be lighter. You can also use a kneaded eraser to lift graphite or charcoal off the page when you have over-done it!
  • When using a blending stump, a cotton bud or a tissue, always press lightly and layer up your darker tones slowly. If you apply too much pressure with these items they actually move the graphite or charcoal on your paper rather than applying it, which means you will get less contrast in your image!
  • You can use an eraser that is used with graphite to mark over pencil marks when you are blending too. If you use a soft charcoal eraser you can also do this, but using an ‘erase-marker’ will get rid of more graphite than the other two options!
  • Don’t forget to protect your artwork with fixative when you are finished drawing so that it doesn’t smudge or rub off! Also, if possible, keep your art out of direct sunlight exposure so that it can last longer.
  • Always start off drawing with a light touch. This will help you plot out your shapes and outlines. Once you have a good sense of this, you can begin to shade more thoroughly.
  • As you shade your roots, try to create a sense of depth within your drawing. The trick to doing this is by deepening the tones in the shadow areas and keeping lighter tones.
  • When drawing your tree trunk, try to use a range of tones to create the illusion of depth and realism.

More Drawings and Pictures of Tree Roots for Reference

What can you do with your drawing?
  • Frame your drawing and gift it to a friend or relative.
  • Print your drawing onto a t-shirt, mug or tote bag.
  • Use your drawing as the inspiration for an art installation at school or in your home!
  • Create a “tree root” journal page in your art journal.
  • Design a set of note cards!
  • Print your drawing onto fabric so you can make cushion covers or curtains for your house.
  • Use your drawing as the inspiration for a bespoke illustration commission.
  • Decoupage and mount your artwork on to a wooden plaque and hang it up in your home or office!
  • Photograph your drawing an digitally edit it to create a unique artwork. Share this artwork on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest!
  • Turn your drawing into a digital art piece by scanning it and adding some digital effects in Photoshop. Save this to create unique wallpapers for your phone or computer!


Drawing a convincing representation of the earthy, tangled network of roots is a great skill for any artist to have. It can be quite difficult at first, but with practice, you’ll develop your own style and technique that will make drawing them much easier than before.

With these 10 steps and some practice, you can easily sketch your own. Now it’s your turn! Draw tree roots and share your work with me in the comments below.

Happy drawing!

Other articles you may enjoy…

[3 Simple Steps to Create an Outline Drawing]

[12 Easy Steps to an Accurate Side Profile Drawing]

[Exquisite Rose Drawing]

[How to ideas for drawing]

[11 Ways to Improve Your Drawing]

What?! It’s That Easy?! Draw A Complex Tree Root With Trunk, Branch, Root Brush Material

The root of a complexly intertwined tree is very difficult, it takes a lots of time and skill to draw.

However, if you use the “trunk, branch, root brush”, you can draw with amazing ease.

This page shows you the making of a complex tree roots using “trunk, branch, root (horizontal line)” brush.


Learn how to correct line width of brush material here

Learn basics of brush materials here






To draw a natural scenery, it will be more realistic when you refer to picture.
Find your favorite photo first and draw a draft with reference to it.




There are four types (+a) of branch root brushes, and these can be use for combinations.




Let’s start drawing the tree.
First of all, draw the trunk which becomes the axis with the trunk brush.




In order to effectively use the trunk, branch, root brush,
make layers above(Front) and below(Bottom) the trunk.




Stroke the “large” and “small” brush
to arrange the silhouette along the draft on the “Bottom of Trunk” layer.




Then draw roots using “large”, “small”, and “smallest” brushes on the “Front of Trunk” layer.




Modify the roots that on the trunk unnaturally and the tips of the broken roots.




Use a tone scrape brush (or spray) and cut the tip with a transparent color.

For drawing on another layer, you can only scrape the unnecessary part without hurting the trunk.
Although omitted here,
drawing small roots (in red circles) with another layer makes it easier to repair the seams.




Now hide the “Ground” layer (transparent part is displayed).
Use this white background of the trunk and roots.




Draw soil and grass as the foundation under the root white background (layer).
※Ground brush (grass black), Black leaves brush (distant view) used




Draw small roots between the root white background and the foundation.
※Using Branch brush (white)




Add fallen leaves between the small roots and the foundation.
※Fallen leaves brush (simple) (decayed) used.




Gradation is pasted on the front and the roots part,
add solid(beta) shadow under the root.




Because the small roots are too bright, shade with hatching from above.




Make a layer at the top,
draw the roots at the front with “trunk, branch, root brush (horizontal line black)”.




paste a gradation tone on the roots surface by follow basics of perspective,
(darker at the front ,thinner at the back).

Furthermore, I fix the seam of the root that look unnaturally with white color.


Make a layer at the top, draw some falling, dancing leaves.
Another layer at the bottom and add fallen leaves behind the tree to complete.




This is the final layer composition.
Separated the layers for each step to make easier to modify this time.
It is up to you how many layers you need (as far as you can figure out).

You can merge the layers after modify.



If you use “Trunk, Branch, Root brush”, the creation time of tree can be overwhelmingly shorten.
And the biggest feature of this brush is possible to design any shape freely.

If you register your tree drawing,
the work efficiency can be improved for next time.

Please give it a try.


How to draw a tree with a crown step by step

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Trees are everywhere. Children often climb these plants in an attempt to pick an apple or cherry. In addition, they are interested in what their street looks like from a height.

The child can be occupied with drawing a tree. In the process, you can tell the baby why trees are so important to our planet, thus educating him to love nature.



We start drawing the tree from the trunk. Draw two vertical lines that are a short distance apart. Expand the lower part smoothly.

Extend the lines from below, depicting the beginning of the roots.
These lines don't have to be straight as the tree roots bend in different directions.


Main branches

Show the main branches of the tree. They start directly from the trunk. To the left of the trunk, draw a line that curves slightly to the side.

In the same way, add the beginning of the branch on the left. The lines can be of different lengths.
Add more to these lines from the inside so that the branches are voluminous. In the center, connect them with a third branch. They bend in different directions and taper upwards.


Basic roots

The main roots of the tree are also large. Such roots grew first and are longer than the rest. Draw them on the left and right with curved lines. In the center, leave room for other roots.


Small branch

From the bottom of the left branch, draw two curved lines upwards, representing a small branch that starts exactly from the other branch.


Small roots

Draw smaller roots between the main roots. One may be longer, the other shorter.


The left part of the crown

Draw the crown of the tree in the form of wavy lines. To make it lush, take it as high as possible.

Draw another part of the crown from above, separating it with the same wavy line.



Close the ends of the branches inside with small clusters of leaves.


Right crown

Right crown can be started a little lower or a little higher. Leaves on both sides are at different heights.

We connect the parts of the crown, on the branches we draw vegetation that looks like small bushes.


Small leaves

Randomly draw small leaves throughout the crown, making the top of the tree even more magnificent.



The bark of the tree is not perfectly smooth. It is covered in cracks. Depict the relief of the bark using curved horizontal and vertical lines.

These lines are all over the tree.



The trunk of the tree is brown and the leaves are green. But if it's autumn, you can paint the crown in reds, yellows and browns. You can also depict a landscape around a tree.


Collage of the stages of drawing a tree


Try to draw a tree on our website:

You can also color the finished drawing. Doing it online is very interesting.

Choose how you want to paint.

Marker Casting Eraser Color

Start over Eraser Download Seal

If you see an error, please select a piece of text and press Ctrl+Enter .

Like the instructions?

16 Yes Not 2

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-tip 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

Above the arcs, draw two cloud-like shapes. 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 they show how to portray cherries:

If you want to draw a realistic tree:

Even a child will cope with this tree:

An unusual tree pattern with roots:

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:

A 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 dine :

Draw a spring, summer, autumn and winter tree 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


  • colored pencils.
  • How to Draw

    Draw 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 sequoia 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: