How to paint a tree trunk easy

Painting Realistic Tree Trunks in 4 Easy Steps –

Today I wanted to spend a few minutes sharing with you an easy how-to tutorial for painting realistic tree trunks with a lot texture.

In this post you will learn one of my favorite techniques for painting realistic tree trunks with oil paints. I will explain step by step along with showing you photos of each step so that the process will be super easy to learn. So go ahead and pull out your paints and paint along with me!

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1 Painting Realistic Tree Trunks

1.1 Step 1:

1.2 Step 2.

1.3 Step 3.

1.4 Step 4.

2 Don’t forget to pin this for later!

Painting Realistic Tree Trunks

All you will need a filbert brush, palette knife, and some moderately thick (dry) oil paints.

My favorite oil painting brand to use is Gamblin. They have great pigment, are nicely thick, and are all around a pleasure to paint with.

Step 1:

First let’s mix up some real dark color. I took a little burnt umber, ivory black, and a brown color I made by pre-mixing sap green and alizarin red in equal parts. The color choice is up to you. I chose these colors because they go well with the overall tone of the painting I painted for this blog post.

Now that we’ve got a good strong dark color mixed, let’s load a filbert brush full of our dark color, like so.

Now that our brush is loaded full of color, let’s drop in a basic tree trunk shape. It’s usually better to make the base of the trunk a little wider than the top. Trees are typically more narrow in nature at the top.

Step 2.

Okay, now that we’ve dropped in our basic shape. Let’s determine where our light source is coming from. In this particular painting, my light source is coming from the right of my tree.

Now let’s mix up a light color. I took a little white, burnt sienna, and a touch of that brown color I made by mixing sap green and alizarin red together. I like to mix my color so that it’s somewhat marbled, not flat and dull.

Now that we’ve got our color mixed, let’s load the long edge of our palette knife with that light color. Okay, now let’s go to the edge of our tree on the side that the light is coming from and give the knife a little pull towards the center of the tree. I like to go about half way to the center of the trunk. We’ll do this all the way up the entire length of the trunk.

Okay, good. Now let’s do the same thing to the other side of the tree except this time we’ll be using that same dark color we made when we used the filbert brush to draw our basic trunk shape.

Step 3.

Alright! So far so good. Now time for the fun part.

With a clean palette knife, use the long edge of the blade and touch the tree trunk on the light side and lift. The edge of the blade should be parallel to the canvas while holding the knife at about a 20 to 30 degree angle. We will do this repeatedly all the way up the entire trunk only in the light area for now.

It’s very important to not allow the knife to slide or turn once it’s made contact with the canvas. Just touch and lift straight off. Basically we are causing the paint to “smush” out away from the edge of the blade when we press on the canvas.

Because we’ve built up a nice layer of paint, the paint will have nice little troughs or grooves where the blade touches the canvas. Here in this photo, you can see what the tree looks like after my first two touches.

Here you can see how it looks after several more touches.

After we are finished on the light side, let’s wipe off the knife and repeat this step on the dark side. Remember to start at the edge of the tree and work towards the center, working up the entire length of the tree.

Now with a clean knife, I’ll start back on the light side and this time I’ll work all the way across the entire width of the trunk. This is so that our two colors will begin to blend in the center of the trunk and give us a very nice mid-tone.

Your tree should look something like this.

Step 4.

Now time for the final highlights and shadows.

For my highlight color, I took mostly titanium white with a touch of our original light color we made for step 2. With our highlight color, load the tiniest little amount of color on the edge of the blade. Now let’s go to our tree trunk. Lightly touch the very edge of the trunk in the areas you’d like to show a little highlight. It’s very easy to over do this part. Notice there’s barely any highlight on my tree. It’s so easy to put too much.

Now let’s do the same for our shadow side. In this particular painting I used straight black. You use whatever color you’d like for your painting though. A light blue color works wonderfully for showing a little bit of reflected light. I chose black because I didn’t want any blue in this painting.

The finished tree trunk should look something like this.

Now all that’s left is to add a few limbs and branches with a liner brush and you’ll have one fantastic tree. Thanks for reading this post. I had a lot of fun sharing my secret way of painting realistic tree trunks. I hope you enjoyed it and had fun painting along with me! Have a great day!

Don’t forget to pin this for later!Painting realistic tree trunks

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How To Paint Tree Branches With Acrylics

by Tracie

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Do you struggle with painting tree branches? It is a technique that many beginner acrylic painters struggle with.

This blog post is part of a mini tutorial series I create to help beginner painters with basic techniques!

The step by step tutorial below will show you a guideline of how to paint basic branches using two different paint brushes and black paint.

A quick note about brushes! In my opinion, there is no one standard brush for branches. You can use a round brush, a flat brush or an angle brush. You can also use a tiny liner brush for thinner branches. It really comes down to your preferences.

In this tutorial, I will be showing you how to paint branches using a #4 round brush and a 1/4″ angle brush. I am using Royal & Langnickel Moderna brushes.

Materials Needed

Active Time 10 minutes

Total Time 10 minutes

Difficulty Easy


  • #4 Round Brush
  • 1/4" Angle Brush
  • Mars Black Acrylic Paint
  • Water In Jar
  • Palette (I use a paper plate or plastic palette)
  • Watercolor Paper, Acrylic Paper or any Practice Type of Canvas Sheet


Step By Step Instructions

1. Load your palette with some mars black & slightly water it down

When you water down the black slightly, it will allow the paint to flow better. Swirl you brush in some water and then apply it into the paint on your palette.

2. Start with the base of the branch and paint a thick/ triangular shape

Use your #4 round brush to paint this base of the trunk. It should start out thick and then get thinner (like a triangle).

3. Split your branch off into two sections

Use the tip of your brush and “light pressure” to split your branch into two sections. These lines should be thinner than the base branch you first painted.

4. Switch to an angle brush for really thin branch lines

The nice thing about the angle brush is that you can utilize it to create both thick and thin lines. When you use the full width and apply hard pressure, it will create a thick line.

If you hold it so the bristles at the very top of the angle of the brush touch the canvas, it will create thin lines.

Load your angle brush in the slightly watered down black. Then paint a thin line on your branch. Use the very tip part of the angle to make the thin line.

Hold your brush so the top pointed part is on the left and paint the branch. Use just the tip of the brush to create the thin line.

Tip: remember that if your black is not “flowing” slightly add water into it.

5. Paint more thinner branches stemming off from the main ones

Continue to use the angle brush to paint more thin branch lines. Have your branches go off in different “forked” directions.

6. Make some of the branches thicker

I like to do this to my branches to make them look more natural. Go back and make some of your base branches thicker/ a little “wobbly” on the sides.


Paint more thinner branches

Then simply take the angle brush and paint more branches. You can even have some overlap each other.

The lighter you hold the angle brush, the thinner your branch will be.

Practice, practice, practice!

Mixed media pads & water color pads are great for practicing techniques such as branches! Keep practicing and you will get the hang of those branches!

Ready to learn more?

You can check out similar blog posts for beginner painters such as:

  • How To Paint A Tree With A Fan Brush
  • How To Paint Mountains
  • How To Paint Simple Roses

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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 a 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:

if you are going to draw a 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:

9008 902 paints Frame: PENCILS AND PAINTS / YouTube

What you need

  • Paper;
  • simple pencil;
  • wide brush;
  • gouache;
  • palette;
  • water jar;
  • fine brush.

How to draw

Draw a long line to show the horizon. Mark the trunk with two vertical lines. It should be narrower at the top than at the bottom.


Draw a V-shaped branch with sharp tips. Add small branches of different sizes. Draw the roots going into the ground - they resemble curved triangles.


On a palette, mix white gouache with a small amount of blue paint. Paint over the background with a wide brush, being careful not to touch the tree. Add white and pale yellow spots to the leaf. So the drawing will look more interesting.


Using a thin brush, cover the wood with brown paint. Then add some black to it and apply the resulting color to the branches on the left. Make light brown and yellow strokes on the trunk and roots.


Use broad strokes to mark the green leaves. Try not to overlap the entire branches: then the image will look more realistic. Mix gouache with some yellow and white paint. This shade should also be placed on the crown.


Draw thin brown branches on top of the leaves. Make the space below the horizon line light green. Use a more saturated shade to draw individual blades of grass. Outline a black shadow on the trunk on the right.


The full version of the lesson with artist's comments can be viewed here:

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


  • 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 painting 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:

    This instruction will help to portray baobabs:

    Master class on drawing autumn wood with oil pastel:

    This drawing will be easily repeated by experienced artists:

    Read also 🧐 9000

  • How to draw spaces: 19 of the option: 19 of the option , which everyone can repeat
  • How to draw snowdrops: 17 options for every taste
  • 14 ways to draw a beautiful cone
  • How to draw an elephant for a child and an adult
  • How to draw an owl: 21 easy ways
  • How to draw a tree with a crown step by step

    16 24 201 0

    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.

    Add the beginning of the branch on the left in the same way. 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.


    Main roots

    The main roots of the tree are also large. Such roots grew first and are longer than the others. 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.


    Fine 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 side of crown

    Right side of 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.

    Learn more