Hello, fellow art lovers,
Today we’ll draw together draw a tree with leaves, creating a simple landscape scene with a leafy tree, grass, and a country road. If you draw with me today, you’ll have a nice pencil drawing that you can frame and hang on your wall.
You’ll also get some valuable art tips that will help you with every drawing or painting you do.
All you need for today’s lesson is any pencil, any eraser and any piece of paper. You can use just plain old printer paper.
I’m going to draw with these Staedtler pencils but I also made this drawing with just a regular 2 pencil. At the end of this lesson, I’ll show you both drawings side by side and you can decide for yourself whether a regular pencil does a good job of drawing this leafy tree scene.
This set has 6 drawing pencils ranging from HB to 8H. I’ll show you how I use this range throughout this drawing lesson.
IF YOU WOULD RATHER WATCH THE DRAWING LESSON ON VIDEO:
If you prefer to watch the video instead of drawing along with this written lesson, you will find the video lesson here:
Let’s start by drawing the tree’s trunk a bit off to the side and slightly tilted toward the center.
Then we’ll make the shape of the upper part of the tree.
Draw a horizon line behind the tree.
Next, we’ll make circles in our tree. These guidelines indicate clumps of leaves. The spaces between the circles are what artists call “sky holes.” The sky and some branches will show through these sky holes.
Now let’s start drawing our leaves with the light 2B pencil using these slanted lines. I like to keep all the lines going in the same direction.
I have my pencils in order from light to dark. The lightest ones are near my paper. I use the lighter pencils, which are the HB and the 2B, to draw in the light areas. Then I switch to the medium pencils, the 4B and the 6B, to add some depth. I save the 7B and 8B pencils for the very darkest areas.
The darkest leafy areas are on the bottom side of the circles we just drew.
I’m using a 2B pencil to add a mid-tone to the clumps of leaves and to soften the sharp edges left by the last pencil.
Add some light wispy branches around the edges. I keep my lines going in the same direction even when it’s tempting to make them go another way.
The great thing about today’s lesson, where we’re drawing a tree with leaves is that trees come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. This gives us a lot of leeway with how we can draw them.
To give our tree a sense of depth to our tree drawing, we’ll make the bottom sides of the clumps dark and the top light. The sunlight is coming from the upper right corner so the leaves on the upper side of the leafy tree are lighter.
I erase any guidelines that I don’t want to show in the final drawing.
I’ll come back to the leaves later but now I’m going to darken the trunk of the tree. I start with a 4B pencil but I’ll switch to darker pencils as the drawing moves along.
Now let’s add some branches. Some will be hidden in the leaves, others will show a little and other branches will show through the sky holes.
So now I’m switching to the 6B pencil to darken the far side of the trunk and the bottom of the clumps of leaves.
HERE IS AN ART TIP:
Artists often stand back from their artwork. That’s why they often stand at an easel – so that they can easily move back and see their work from a distance. When they do this, they notice things they didn’t see when they were closer to the drawing or painting.
We should do the same.
So for example, after you shade your tree trunk, stand back and see if the trunk gives the illusion of being rounded. If not, darken the left side some more and lighten the right side some more with your eraser. Then step back again and take another look.
NOW LET’S DRAW THE COUNTRY ROAD, SOME GRASS, AND 3 BIRDS:
Give your drawing some grass in the field.
Let’s imagine that the sunlight is coming from the upper right corner of the picture, so the shadows of the branches and trunk slant slightly to the left.
Now I switch to the 8B pencil to add the very darkest tones throughout the whole drawing and to fill in some of the sky holes that are a bit too large or too white. If you are drawing with a regular pencil, just bare down as much as you can.
Add some sky to break up the very whiteness of the paper with a light pencil or light pressure on your pencil.
The grass in the field must be darker than the sky but lighter than the shadow under the tree because it’s getting direct sunlight.
The clumps of grass are smaller when they are further away from the viewer.
I’m going to draw in 3 birds to add some interest to the plain sky.
PENCIL VERSUS GRAPHITE PENCIL SET:
I promised you that I would show you both drawings – one done with a regular pencil and one with the Staedtler pencil set. Here they are. In my opinion, both are good but you can see a subtle difference. I could not get the regular pencil to go as dark as the 8B Staedtler pencil, but I still achieved a sense of dark and light and roundness in both drawings.
See what Your trees with leaves drawing looks like in a frame.
Sign your name to your drawing. If you don’t like your drawing well enough to frame it and hang it on your wall, then re-draw this tree with leaves by going through this video again until it is the way you like it.
I also recommend that you try to draw trees with leaves from memory. You will gain a lot of confidence with your drawing when you can just grab a sheet of paper and any pencil and draw something nice like this.
If you drew a tree with leaves, I invite you to post it on my Facebook page here:
You can contact me anytime by emailing Elaine@SkillfulArtists.com and I will send you my free PDF ebook that contains 10 useful art tips and 10 simple copyright-free reference photos that you can draw in your spare time.
If you like these types of drawing lessons, like and subscribe and visit my YouTube channel:
I also post videos about art books and have ink and watercolor drawing lessons.
Okay, dear art lover, I’ll see you in the next drawing lesson.
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