I love trees! There's an endless variety of shapes and sizes, and they are such a boon to artists for adding architectural punch to our landscapes, framing for our vision. But trees can be a real challenge to draw or paint realistically. Where do you start?


And, as with all subjects, leave the little details until the end. You can lightly suggest major clumps of leaves, or fill them in later. But without establishing overall structure of trunk and branches, your sketch won't resemble your subject! Spend time establishing the overall shape of your tree subject.


Look closely at the trees that surround you: as little children we pretty much drew all trees either as rounded green blobs atop a thick straight brown stick, or green triangles atop a thin brown stick. With some observation, however, you'll note distinct variations in the overall shapes and colors of trees of all kinds. Observe these differences as you travel along the road, or when you visit a park. Winter is a great time to observe tree shapes, without the mask of leaves.