How to paint a tree trunk


Tree Trunk Tutorial

Tree Trunk Tutorial

This quick tutorial will show the steps on how to paint tree trunk, bark and branches.

Tree Shapes

Tree trunk and branches define the silhouette and shape of trees. Sometime it is a good idea to draw them first before painting the leaves, so we would know how our trees will look like.


Image above show different shapes of trees. For painting, we can further simplify the painting by reducing number of branches splitting.

Drawing Tree Trunk and Branches

  1. Draw the base tree trunk
  2. Scale down brush size and draw smaller branches.
  3. Split the branches into another level.
  4. Lock layer transparency and start shading the tree branches with a brighther shade of colour.

Tree Branches

Tree branch can be seen as a fractal pattern. Another quick way to draw tree branch is to draw a simple shape, then duplicate and merge them to form a complex branch. Repeat the steps to form a bigger tree branch.

  1. Draw tree branch with a hard edge brush.
  2. Duplicate the layer then scale transform (CTRL-T) it and merge them.
  3. Repeat previous step.
  4. A complete tree branch.

Tree Trunk Shading

When painting tree trunk and branches, we are mainly painting cylinder shapes with rough and irregular surface.


  1. Draw the contour of tree trunk/branches with a hard edge brush.
  2. Lock layer transparency and paint the bright area of the tree. Area between the light and dark area is known as terminator.
  3. Paint the shadow terminator area with vertical shapes to mimic tree bark pattern.
  4. Continue to paint different area of the tree with different shades of colour.


  1. Draw the contour of tree trunk/branches with a hard edge brush.
  2. Pay attention to light and dark area of the tree. Lock layer transparency, then paint the light and dark area of the tree.
  3. Paint vertical shapes to mimic tree bark pattern.

As we can see from the two examples above, the important steps on painting tree trunk and branches are determining the light and dark area. Then, adding in the smaller details of tree barks.

Tree Trunk Colour

There are many types of trees in nature. Birch tree have white colour bark, while other trees such as rainbow eucalyptus can have colourful tree bark. If we are painting an anime style landscape art, feel free to use a more vibrance colour palette for the trees.


A quick way to add more colours to tree is by painting the area which receive direct (or specular) and indirect light.


There are two more common tree shading we can apply into our painting. Alot of trees with smoother bark will have these horizontal lines on them. Some trees also will have patches and spot on the trunk.

More details

Aside from the main tree trunk, we can add in extra details for the tree. Climbing plants like Pothus or vine, moss and fern are some examples.

Sun light on Tree Trunk

To add sunlight that fall on tree trunk. We just need to paint on another layer with additive blend mode such as Colour Dodge.


  1. Add a new layer using clipping mask.
  2. Set layer blending mode to Colour Dodge.
  3. Paint the light area.

Painting Video

Below is a tree bark painting timelapse video using Photoshop.

To learn more about painting tree leaves, read my anime tree painting tutorial.

10 Amazing and Easy Tutorials!

10 Amazing (and Easy!) Tutorials

Introduction

The trunk is a crucial part of the tree, not only structurally, but visually as well. While painting trees, we often focus on the leaves, and forget about the trunk. But, in order to get the perfect tree, we need the perfect trunk to go with it; meaning that our painting should give equal importance to both parts. I learnt this the hard way, when I noticed how dull some of my tree paintings looked. I then got to work, studied a few tutorials, and tried to do justice to my tree paintings.

To paint a tree trunk, you follow a top to bottom, or side to side approach, depending on how you’re shading the tree, or where your light source is. Decide this first, and then start painting the trunk. The best way to paint tree trunks is with acrylics. Although watercolors are good too, I like the vivid colors that acrylic paints can give you.

Step by Step Tree Trunk Painting Tutorial

In this step by step video tutorial, you’ll get to see how to paint a tree trunk using acrylics. The steps start on a beginner’s level, and end on a more advanced level. You can work your way up to the step that suits you the best. It’s an elaborate lesson, and you’ll get to learn a lot. Pay attention, and watch the video at least two times to get a good grip on the content.

Medium:

Acrylics on Canvas

Link:

Go to Tutorial

Things You'll Need:

Acrylic Paint

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Acrylic Canvas

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Painting Brush Set

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White Chalk

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Simple Tree Trunk Painting Tutorial

This video tutorial will teach you how to paint a simple tree trunk using acrylics. There’s this simplicity to this painting that makes it so easy to work on. The overall approach for this painting is very simple and straightforward. Despite the simplicity, it’s still a magnificent piece of art when you consider the way it’s been colored. Truly amazing!

Medium:

Acrylics on Canvas

Link:

Go to Tutorial

Things You'll Need:

Acrylic Paint

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Acrylic Canvas

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Painting Brush Set

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White Chalk

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Easy Approach to Painting the Perfect Tree Trunk

Much like the tutorial we’ve just seen, and in fact done by the same artist, we look at another simple version of the same approach to painting tree trunks with acrylics. It’s a simple process, and the work revolves around some simple shading techniques. Beginners will easily be able to understand the approach. They’ll also enjoy working on something so beautiful yet so simple.

Medium:

Acrylics on Canvas

Link:

Go to Tutorial

Things You'll Need:

Acrylic Paint

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Acrylic Canvas

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Painting Brush Set

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White Chalk

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Detailed Tree Trunk Painting Tutorial

In this video tutorial, the artist will provide you with a comprehensive, and step by step lesson on painting tree trunks. Here, the artist uses acrylics for painting the trunk. The coloring is phenomenal, and the way the artist uses the shades and lighting effects to their advantage is also noteworthy. This painting is a bit difficult to work on. I recommend you give this painting a try only if you’re more or less experienced with acrylic painting.

Medium:

Acrylics on Canvas

Link:

Go to Tutorial

Things You'll Need:

Acrylic Paint

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Acrylic Canvas

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Painting Brush Set

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White Chalk

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Realistic Tree Trunk Painting Tutorial

For our next video tutorial, we’ll be looking at the process of painting a realistic tree trunk with acrylics. It’s a magnificent piece of art. The painting is very detailed, and the shades are perfectly done as well. It’s also quite a difficult painting to work on. I think it’s best if you try this piece only if you’re experienced or have enough confidence in your painting skills.

Medium:

Acrylics on Canvas

Link:

Go to Tutorial

Things You'll Need:

Acrylic Paint

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Acrylic Canvas

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Painting Brush Set

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White Chalk

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Easy Tree Trunk Painting Tutorial

This beginner’s level tutorial will show you a simple, and easy process of painting tree trunks. The process here is very easy, and as you can tell by looking at the painting below, you won’t need to bother much with the details, nor with the light and shadow effects. The color shades are also not that accurately done. Hence, it’s a perfect painting tutorial for new learners.

Medium:

Acrylics on Canvas

Link:

Go to Tutorial

Things You'll Need:

Acrylic Paint

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Acrylic Canvas

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Painting Brush Set

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White Chalk

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Beautiful Painting of a Tree Trunk

This acrylic painting demonstration focuses on detailed painting of a tree trunk. This painting has everything you can expect from a top class artwork. From the details, to the coloring, everything’s perfect here. You can’t find any fault in this artwork. All this makes it a difficult painting to work on, which is why you should approach this painting only if you’re skilled with acrylics.

Medium:

Acrylics on Canvas

Link:

Go to Tutorial

Things You'll Need:

Acrylic Paint

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Acrylic Canvas

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Painting Brush Set

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White Chalk

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Simple Painting of a Tree Trunk in Watercolor

This simple painting of a tree trunk is the perfect place for you to start working on your watercolor painting skills if you’re an absolute beginner. It’s a short and simple demonstration, and involves some of the easiest painting techniques. It’s best if you study the tutorial for a couple of times before jumping into the painting. Work your way through the blends, and see how the artist starts and ends the painting.

Medium:

Watercolor Painting

Link:

Go to Tutorial

Things You'll Need:

Watercolor Paint

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Empty Pan

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Painting Brush Set

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Watercolor Paper

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Quick Tree Trunk Digital Painting Demonstration

In this demonstration, we’ll look at a digital approach to painting tree trunks. The artist uses Adobe Illustrator here, but you can use any other tool or software that you’re comfortable with. It’s an easy process, but you’ll need to be somewhat familiar with these digital tools. Otherwise you can’t fully understand what the artist is doing, since the demonstration is a bit fast paced.

Medium:

Digital Painting

Link:

Go to Tutorial

Things You'll Need:

Beginner Tablet

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Intermediate Tablet

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Advanced Tablet

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Quick and Easy Tree Trunk Painting Tutorial

This is an absolute basic tree trunk painting tutorial for beginners. It’s simple, and lacks details and accurate shades. This is a painting that you can experiment with if you want. The colors are placed properly, but I find the transition to be a bit off. See if you can work your magic and get the shades done properly. The tutorial itself will explain to you the details of the process. You just need to observe, and see if you can improve it in any way.

Medium:

Acrylics on Canvas

Link:

Go to Tutorial

Things You'll Need:

Acrylic Paint

Check Price

Acrylic Canvas

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Painting Brush Set

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White Chalk

Check Price

By Jimena & Iñigo

The Navarro-Rubios

My husband and I are learning how to draw and paint. We wanted to share this learning process with the world and have fun! That's why we created this blog. We'll have drawing contests every week and you'll decide who won that week! Follow along and learn with us!

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Jimena & Iñigo

The Navarro-Rubios

My husband and I are learning how to draw and paint. We wanted to share this learning process with the world and have fun! That's why we created this blog. We'll have drawing contests every week and you'll decide who won that week! Follow along and learn with us!

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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.

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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.

Frame: PENCILS AND PAINTS / YouTube

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.

Frame: PENCILS AND PAINTS / YouTube

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.

Frame: PENCILS AND PAINTS / YouTube

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.

Frame: PENCILS AND PAINTS / YouTube

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.

Frame: PENCILS AND PAINTS / YouTube

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.

Frame: PENCILS AND PAINTS / YouTube

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

Paper

;
  • 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

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  • How to draw snowdrops: 17 options for every taste
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  • How to draw a tree with a crown step by step

    16 24 188 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.

    1

    Trunk

    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.

    2

    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.

    3

    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.

    4

    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.

    5

    Fine roots

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

    6

    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.

    7

    Center

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

    8

    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.

    9

    Small leaves

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

    10

    Bark

    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.

    11

    Coloring

    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.

    12

    Collage of stages of drawing a tree

    13

    Try to draw a tree on our website:

    You can also color the finished drawing.


    Learn more