Sketching individual trees

Project 1 Trees

Exercise 1: Sketching individual trees

This exercise suggested finding a tree that interested me, and sitting some distance away from it to do around four preliminary drawings, using a soft pencil, charcoal or pen and ink. I opted to use a 3B pencil, and worked quickly sketching to each point.

Draw a simple outline of the tree’s overall shape


A very quick sketch trying to show the outline of the tree – I found it was harder to just focus on the outline than I thought it would be, and still found myself trying to create shapes for the clusters of leaves on the branches.

Draw basic shapes in outline, or shaded areas that describe how the foliage forms in different masses around the tree.


It was suprisingly difficult to focus just on the basic shapes of the foliage – again, as with the first sketch, I tried to keep my sketching quick, so that I didn’t get too stuck on the details.

Draw the outlines of the trunk and the main branches of the tree you can see.


This was another very quick sketch, I found myself trying to fill in and guess where the branches were, as although I could see parts of branches through the leaves, I have had to guess which ones were actually connected.

Draw with lots of scribbled outlines or shade roughly to try and indicate something of the texture of the foliage.


I found that using the pencil to create quick scribbles and small circular shapes was good for indicating foliage.

When looking and sketching, I found that I thought the structure of a tree made sense, until I tried to draw it in the deconstructed parts. I deliberately had a go at drawing each part separate, but I can see how all of these would build up in layers to make a fairly accurate drawing of a tree.


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