Drawing Deciduous Trees: Pencil Drawing Practice | Kristina Moyor | Skillshare

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Drawing Deciduous Trees: Pencil Drawing Practice

teacher avatar Kristina Moyor, fine artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Warm up


    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.

      Branches Part One


    • 8.

      Branches Part Two


    • 9.

      Refining Details


    • 10.



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About This Class

Learn how to draw deciduous trees with the simplest, most accessible fine art medium - pencil. This comprehensive drawing lesson for beginner to intermediate artists will help you elevate your drawing skills and overall artistic abilities. We'll focus on:

  • observation
  • shape
  • texture
  • shading

Materials Needed:

  • Pencils (HB + 4B)
  • Drawing paper or sketchbook
  • Eraser (my preference is kneadable)
  • Reference images of deciduous trees (some included with project description)
  • Blending stump

Enjoy the art of drawing with an experienced and passionate artist and teacher. 

Ready, set, let's draw!

♥ Kristina

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kristina Moyor

fine artist


Hello, I'm Kristina.

I'm an artist in Calgary, AB., Canada. I am passionate about the Arts and love to paint, draw, sing and dance. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge in 2010. My dream is to continually evolve and elevate my craft while helping others achieve their artistic goals.

I have two decades of teaching experience in art, dance, English and other.

I believe that art is for all and can have an incredibly positive influence in our lives. I hope you will embrace this opportunity to learn, create and connect with me and other students as you engage in discussions and share projects. Thank you for joining me, I look forward to getting to know you through your work.

Let's Art!

... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro: Welcome to this drawing class. My name is Christina Moyer. Today's class, we're going to explore deciduous trees. The intricacies, the complexities of it seems simple in our minds. But we're going to fight that urge to draw the lollipop tree and learn the skill of observation and how to represent what we see onto paper into a two dimensional form with one of the most accessible forms of art. A pencil, a paper, an eraser. Simple things that are quite accessible to so many of us. This is perfect for beginner to intermediate artist who has begun exploring graphite. Who would like some guidance on how to approach drawing something so complex. 2. Project: Well, you might have guessed that today's project is a drawing of a deciduous tree. That's right. But I'm going to help guide you into selecting the tree that you want to draw, because I think it's really important to draw something that you feel interested in drawing. Yes, we push ourselves through blocks of frustration when we do art. And sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do. But I think it's important to see something that you're interested in to recreate. So for instance, this flower back here is something that I took a photo of that I really, something I really love and the lighting in the image and that kind of thing really drew me in. That's an important place to start because once you get into a drawing, even if you've loved it in the beginning, you're going to find areas of frustration. So I'm going to help you through the process of selecting a reference image of what steps to take based on whatever image you select. And to create a deciduous tree that is lifelike, that resembles a tree, and, you know, goes beyond the lollipop, cartoony tree. These skills will take you far beyond how to draw a deciduous tree. It's going to take you into being able to look at other elements in nature, other elements surrounding you, and being able to represent that in two dimensional form, which is awesome. So, are you ready to get started? We're going to start with a bit of a warm up before we get into the project. 3. Materials: Okay, what materials do you need for this lesson? For everything we're going to do? It's pretty simple because with drawing, what I love about it is you don't need a lot. It's not going to be expensive. Yes, you can buy more expensive things, but you really don't need to. Even just your printer paper will work. But if you want to get a sketchbook, you want to do plenty more drawing practice then getting a sketchbook is really helpful. A coil one is nice if you like to sketch on your lap and have it fold all the way around and you're not dealing with that middle line, crease and everything. And pencils. So you can get a set of pencils. You can just use an HB pencil, that will be fine. If you want it to have more depth to it, then you're going to want some deeper ones. These higher range B's, they're going to help you out. I do have some lessons that we talk about tonal values in make sure you check that out. There's a whole tonal values lesson that I have. You can actually try that lesson out and work on your total values, but for this lesson, an H B will be fine. But like I said, if you want to bring out some of you, just bring out all your pencils. If you have a range of pencils from your H is all the way into like, I've got a four H here, that's your lightest, it's actually a harder lead. Then you go into up to like eight B and you've got a very soft lead, and that's going to be closer to a charcoal type of experience. The softer leads show more texture. If you didn't want to check out the lesson, I'll show you as we go along. But just make sure you have a pencil. If you're just choosing one pencil though, I would recommend avoiding the H like a 2h4h. Those are really a lot lighter. They'll be lighter on the paper. I don't recommend that because it's not going to blend as well onto our paper. That's my only recommendation there. You're going to want some eraser. Now, I recommend getting a needable eraser. This one's brand spank and new. And I'm going to take this out and you can play with it like clay almost. It cleans your hands while you're working. You can shape it. You can dab off to just take a little bit of pencil off, you can wipe it. And it's way less mess. It doesn't leave all that not shaving but like the eraser mess that you get. And then, you know, if you're trying to wipe it off then you smudge your piece. So let's just avoid that altogether and get ourselves a neatable eraser. I highly recommend a natable racer last you so long. This is my first new one in years, in well over a decade. So you don't need to buy too many of these, you know, in your lifetime. The other thing is a blending stump. These come in different sizes. Just gauge it based on the size of the paper you're using. If you're using a tiny sketch book, you're probably going to be drawing small things, then you'd want a smaller one so you could blend in smaller areas. If you're using a huge sketch book and you have a tiny blending stump and you're like trying to blend a huge section, that's not going to be very easy with a tiny one, Just keep that in mind depending on the size of your paper. We have our sketch book, we have our pencils, we have our eraser. What are we going to draw from? I think having reference images is a good thing to have, especially when we're drawing something that in our minds, we know what it looks like. Okay, let me just tell you, we're going to draw a tree. Okay, Everybody just draw a tree. Go ahead. Draw a tree quickly. You have 5 seconds. Draw a tree. Okay. How many of you drew a tree like this? Something resembling this? Okay. Our we've been programmed through our years of school. In our mind like tree, people will see that and think, okay, yeah, tree, but it's not really realistic in any way. What we need to do is we need to first do some research. I compile images. Here's like my little deciduous trees compilation. Okay? Now, whether that's photos you've taken yourself or photos you find, now make sure if you're going to be copying a photo exactly, that you have permission to do. So somebody has taken that photo and that's their art form. So make sure that you're not just stealing someone else's art. If I'm using some of these are my own images, then I can do whatever I want with those. But if it's somebody else's image, if they've asked for credit, make sure you give them credit. You know, if you go to a site where they allow you to use photos like pexels, I love going there to find images as reference. And then I may not even, you know, use the image exactly you know, but I'm using their art. So just like you wouldn't want someone to steal your art, it's good not to steal other people's art. As we research, we take a look, we're kind of just examining these pictures and this is part of our materials we're going to need. So whether you print them out, whether you have them on a device like a phone, tablet, so you can refer to them While we do this lesson that will be really helpful for you. You can access some that I've attached that I think will be helpful for the class. And choose a variety like different types of deciduous trees. There's so many different angles that this one's looking from below. This one shows the root system and different seasons. You have some that are in full bloom, some that are in winter. You've got springtime, all different seasons that we can examine these trees. Winter to a different time of year is going to show, it's going to be different for drawing that, compile them and start examining them and this is part of your material gathering for this course. 4. Warm up: Let's begin with a warm up everybody. Just take out your hands, warm them up, actually, physically make them warm. And do some stretches, movements with your hands. Stretch them backwards, stretch them forward, curl them. All kinds of moments, little exercises because we're going to be using our hands and so we want to take care of our hands, give them some warmth, warm them up. Get our little eraser ready to go. We got our pencil. I'm going to use A to B to B or not to be. I'm going to use a two B simply so you can see better on here. We're going to warm up. Let's try some different shapes of trees. Just some quick light drawings, nothing detailed. Just quick and very light on the hand. We're just going to start up in here and I'm going to go across and draw some different tree shapes. And join me, if you will, just quickly sketching maybe the branch first, the base trunk, and then some main branches and then some little offshoots. This is just quick, can you do it under 10 seconds? Drying a tree. A lot of your deciduous trees without leaves look a little bit like that. We also have just a different varieties of trees, some have more rounded. Again, I'm just going to come up, doesn't have to be straight line because maybe your main branch stops here. This one here has a little bit more rounded, a little bit more rounded branches, and the whole shape of the tree looks a little bit more almost like a leaf. Okay? And then we have, we have so many different trees that you can do. There are willow trees, weeping birch trees, all kinds of trees. This one here I'm going to draw, I'm going to start lower at the top. It's going to come down a bit. Every end of it instead of poking up is coming down. My main branches come out more, then things fall downward from there. That beautiful weeping look I personally love. I'm just trying not to make it look too exact, but again, we're just a quick sketch here. Quick sketch, maybe one of the branches had a little bit more droopiness there. Okay. That's, maybe you have trees that are totally different, maybe you don't have them in your area, maybe these are the ones that are in your area. They're a shorter main trunk, then they branch off into wider angles like this, just very lightly. And then up here, I'm just indicating loosely some branches and leaves. Just very loosely. I think it's just branches. The image looks like leaves that I'm looking at. I don't think it is leaves. I think those might be branches. I'm not very familiar with this tree. You don't have to be a tree expert to draw trees. Okay. I just know that there's a lot of action up in this section and I want to just indicate it quickly as we're just warming up the hands, warming up the mind, that kind of thing. Well, if there's any other trees you can imagine as deciduous trees give them a go. There's this one here that's quite interesting. All right. So we have this nice curvy, it's like a big curve, but I'm trying to just draw quickly. Don't spend too much time. It's just learning to indicate quickly the space that a tree takes up, even with just little gestural lines that okay, the shape indicates here. There's something going on here. I find the strong lines and and move my hand accordingly. I'm just take in information quickly with this and try to get the tree in there so you can practice more of these. Just quick gestural ones if you're looking at a tree outside. Oh, you know what? Let's do a pillar type columner. A lot of these ones where I live, I think they're Aspens. Like I said, I'm not a tree expert, but they have like this column shaped them. You can plant so many of them close together, quite a few branches like this, but they're all in this column. Just quick sketch of it. If you want to indicate leaves, then you're going to Sometimes when I'm indicating something, I move it this way and use my pencil on its edge to quickly sketch in some leaves. So that's it. For a warm up, that's a good enough warm up. Five to 10 minutes is just great for a warm up. If your hands are getting messy, then just use your eraser and move it in your fingers a little bit and it will clean off your fingers. It's awesome. If you find yourself to be a very messy individual, then you might want another piece of paper to rest over top of any other sections where you're working so that you don't smudge other sections. Once we get into the actual drawing, we're going to work on. 5. Observing: Okay, so let's get into our drawing here that we're going to work on. And we're going to do this in some stages so that we can really be successful in the outcome of our piece. So I've included images for you to select to help guide you along. What I'm going to do right now is we're going to look at each, like some of these and I'm going to help you decide. Because I'm not going to draw every single one, but I want you to choose the one that excites you. Okay? Choose one. Now, if you're really beginner, I recommend something that, that doesn't have many leaves, that just has branches, maybe something like this. Okay? One like this would be good for a beginner. If you're more intermediate or advanced, try something with more detail, like leaves, especially ones that are falling down like this. That could be a challenge. Also, if you want to find an image that's in black and white, that could be really helpful because we're working in black, black and white. Then you can focus on total values when we get into the detail section of things. Before I just get started on a piece, I like to examine first what the reference images are that I have options for to really make sure that I feel confident in my outcome. Another way, if you're more intermediate, advanced, is choosing multiple trees. A scene with a variety of trees, or this looks like the same tree but just a whole grove of them. That would make this a lot more challenging because you're not just looking at one tree trunk and you have competing lines all surrounding it. If you're a beginner, I don't recommend something this complex. If you're more intermediate, advanced and you're watching this, then I challenge you to try something a little more challenging. The other thing we have are trees that have maybe their roots showing that could potentially be more challenging because there's just more that you have to focus on. This is a really, I'd say a challenging one here. But next up, let's look at now you can use your own reference image, or you're looking at trees outside what we're looking for. And you might have already guessed from some of the things I've already said versus how complex something is. What we'll look at is the main trunk visible? This one here? Yes. But it's not strongly indicated compared to well, even that one there, but compared to something like this. Okay. Yeah, I can easily see the trunk. Okay. That makes it easier. Can you see the individual like main shoots off the trunk? This one's pretty good, I'd say, yeah. Let's look at another one. Let's go back to the other one that we were looking at. This one here. This one you don't really see the top part of the tree. This one would be a good practice for branches and roots and that thing, getting some of those leaves in there, but more in the background. The top canopy is visible, but more so up in the higher end here. Look at the main shoots. Yeah, I can see them. There's quite a few and some of them are very different in size. This one here, this one's not bad. I'd say an intermediate level because you have basically one main branches, a few other ones but you can avoid those. And then just you have 123, some main ones there and then other offshoots. Yeah, you don't see the like the whole tree, but you could definitely work with this one. Especially if on your page, you block things out to size, find out the ratio of the image if you're not sure, you can crop your image two by three, like 23 or whatever, and then you can make a 23 size here, double it, 1.2 it, or do the same size as your image. You're looking at this one here. Actually, I think it wouldn't be a bad one to choose. There's a lot of these branches. So here, I mean, it's a cool tree. It's different. Then up in here though, there's a lot of little spikes that give it a detail that might be challenging. But I do think this wouldn't be nice because it does give you a clear image of the branches. There's like some really deep shadows and good highlights in that one and it's different. Like I said, this one's a good beginner one because you're not dealing with much in terms of additional detail. The challenging part might be just these odd looking branches and how they stop. That I think would make this one a little more challenging. But you don't have to stop them. You can finish them off like these ones are. Just use the other parts of the image to indicate how you would go about doing that. This one's not a bad one. I think this one's very doable. This one's a great beginner. Okay. Why do I say this a great beginner? Because it shows the whole tree. We have a pretty solid single trunk that's visible. There's no additional roots to deal with. You've got these fun branches coming off. It has a good shape to it. That's pretty, when we think deciduous tree, I think this comes to mind for me at least then it, instead of leaves, which are more challenging, you have just these little branches and those are just very light, wispy lines that you can use. You can even use like a two H pencil to indicate those or four H. Again, that one has more to it. This one here would be fine. There's some parts that might be a little more challenging, and getting some of that detail in something like this could work. It does have more the angles on it aren't a challenge. If we're looking at the main trunk, there's two main trunks. This one here, find an image that excites you that you like and go from there. This one, if you're looking for the trunk, first of all, hard to see it. That makes it a little more challenging in terms of actually focusing on drawing a tree with like branches. But it definitely looks like a tree when I look at this image. If you want to focus more on leaves, you can definitely do that. And we will do some practice with that as well. This one here, I really like the silhouette of it is nice, but you're going to be missing out on some of the highlighting in the detail portion of the image, unless you want to draw the whole image, which you can, of course you can, This is your drawing. Okay. This one here has some good highlights and low lights. If you want to practice shadowing, that one's great. I like these trees have a good trunk on them. Their main branches offshoots aren't really strong, there aren't many of them, but great for practicing the trunks, the leaves and little branches that one is great for that on and on. What are we looking for again? Trunk. Can you see the trunk? Does it look complex? What do I mean by that? Does it have root system below it? Do you see the detail of the trunk itself? This one? Not really. Then from there, we look at the offshoots, the angles of the offshoots. This one, you don't really see them very well. Maybe up into this section, like sometimes you have this area of leaves hiding that. But then as you come up, you'll see parts of those branches. I'm going to show you how to navigate that. Right here. Like I would just draw the whole where I think it is. I don't wait to draw that branch. I don't, you know. Oh, skip and then draw in later. I actually start off and draw that out. Okay, here I would draw, draw those branches in. But if, you know, they're going to be a race later than draw it lightly. Right. In this previous one I said, you know, I wouldn't just skip that section, but it's very bright. I draw very lightly, but just to indicate where it is so then I can add in the detail after. So we're going to start off by find the image you want. I'm going to choose one that is more so that you can follow along if you're a beginner, because I feel like if you're intermediate, you will have greater tools to be able to attack this project and you'll be able to follow along fairly well. I'm just looking to find one that I'm interested in because it's hard to paint and draw, and do art if you're not interested in your subject matter. Right? It's just like when you have a reading assignment and you don't like what you're reading, that's a challenge. This one's cool, but I think it's a little bit too hard. But I think that one would be really fun to paint actually. This could be a folder that you create that's not just for drawing, it could be for painting. I do think this one would be not too hard, but I want to challenge myself a little. I want to challenge you and I think you can do it. Which one should we choose? I think I'm going to go with this one here. 6. Shape: Let's start with this one. I'm going to put this aside, but you can have yours out next to you, and you do want it visible for yourself, but I'm going to draw a bigger. Okay. I'm going to start off by drawing my trunk. But before I start drawing my trunk, I want to look at the size of my paper versus the size of my image that I'm going from my tree. So if we take a quick look at my tree where you say this is the bottom and this is the top, where would you say is the middle point between this line and this line? Is that the middle point? No, I'd say that's a third. If we cut that into three, want like 123 equal parts. Just imagine you're cutting a cake for someone cutting a piece of pie, you want that equal portion, right? Maybe you're going to give yourself a little more, but in this case you, if somebody else is cutting it, you don't want them to give you any less. You want it to be fair. Imagine your paper. If I draw my trunk this big, I'm going to have enough space at the top to finish my tree. Okay. That's an important thing to look at sometimes what I like to do. So I'm going to take the area where I'm going to draw my tree and up to maybe here. Okay. Then I'm going to find the midpoint. Or if we're cutting it into thirds. Into thirds. You can even use a ruler if you want. 12123 can be proximate to. Okay, so we're starting out this way. Now what's cool about these pencils? If you have a pencil that has this little white mark on it, you can use it as your own little measuring device if you're measuring with it. And I use this when I'm drawing, like observational drawing, when I see something in real life and I'm measuring, okay, this is how many of these? Just make sure you don't bring it further and because that's going to change how many fit right. If I bring this close, that's one whole tree. But if I bring it down to here, it's actually not that many. Let's see, This down close is actually almost the third, but not quite. But if I'm measuring, I can create my own measurement there. Okay. How many times this way is it? If this is 2.5 that way then we take that same measurement we've created. Doesn't have to be a ruler measurement, just our own measurement. This is about one. Make sure you go to the same spot, 23. Okay. If I go like this from the top to the bottom, and I turn it this way, it's actually about the same width as it is height, pretty close what I can do on my page. So I can actually take this and indicate it there. Now I want it to be there. Try to not move your hands when you do it. But this is, again, we're just giving an estimate. Doesn't have to be exact, but that's going to give us a starting point. It's like making a grid without having to actually painstakingly make a grid. You can get your page ready to then start sketching. Now that I know where things are going to go, I'm going to actually move this over a bit. When I actually draw it, this is going to be more on the side of it, and then I can erase those lines. I'm going to draw my trunk. And I'm going to do this lightly so that I can make adjustments more easily. If I press really hard, it's going to be hard to make adjustments. I'm just going to start and see that my tree is going straight down. I notice that the tree isn't exactly 100% straight. I don't feel the need to use a ruler. Feel free to draw in the ground if there's the ground. And notice if the tree on the ground, on the tree is actually straight, or is it angled? And you can use your pencil to help you with that because that's straight. If I look at that and I pull it against the straight line and I pull that upward, you can actually see there's a bit of a clot, like a little bubble to it. I just want to make sure just gently has a curve to it. I'm just trying it very lightly because if I want to race. I can erase. Again, I love this eraser. Okay, I'm going to start by sketching out the outline more so. And I use these sketchy lines to do so, because I'm trying to find the right placement. Then after I get my trunk in place, and I've gone to my third point, which indicated where I should go for my trunk, then I look at the main trunk. Next, I would look at the offshoots. I'm looking for overall shape, as well as any anything that it reminds me of maybe, or something that stands out strongly for me. When I look at this, I see this strong shape like this. I want to keep that in mind, because if I draw this line straight here, but then I draw this one over here, then I'm not going to get that shape if you're wanting to really make it look like the reference image. Anyways, I see here, this comes out and then this moves in this way. It's really about being very observant and being able to indicate your observations accurately. Instead, I'm not going to draw very detailed super line everything. While I don't have my full shape, I want to get my full shape in. If I look at the very, have your reference image beside you and see maybe where does that end? Is it the third point looks actually like that stops right at the third point. This is my third point. And straight up and down above this, I'm comparing measurements. Okay, that is right above that. I can keep it there. It helps if you set whatever tablet you're using, display setting, to 30 minutes or so. That I just don't like leaving it that way because my battery runs out. But it helps when you're looking at a reference image off of a digital device to change the display setting, I'm looking for comparables. Where do things arrive on the page in comparison, especially making this bigger than that? Right. I'm okay right now. If it's not exact right now, I'm just going to indicate approximate also. This is giving me the canopy shape. Let's input that shape. So this is the center, comes up, there is a bit of a dome shape and then it's a little bit more flat underneath a little curvy, but a little flat, not fully round for this particular one comes down to the ground. I do have some space in there and this one comes out further trying to indicate where those branches are going to end up. That's going to help me see how far I need to make those other branches, the shoots from the main branch, it's going to give me a better sense of space. Then from there I'm going to not exactly follow. Now you can, but I'm not going to go how each branch is going. I'm just going to follow some main ones. Just do some main ones within my shape here. Get my bigger branches sketched in just a quick sketch. Some of them are quite wild. The shapes, it's not all straight going out, we have overlapping happening, but don't worry about too much detail. Let's just get some of those main branches in place that one actually comes from over there. There's overlap and crossover happening depending on how patient you are and how observant you are and how much you need it to look exactly like your image. And the thing with art is it doesn't have to look exactly. We can create a mark that indicates something without having to draw everything out in full. All right? Okay. So what I want you to do is get your main branches in there. What's nice with the phones, you can zoom in. Some of these ones are a little crazy. Then as you start drawing, you're like, this isn't beginner, this isn't easy. Well, I didn't say it would be easy. Beginner doesn't necessarily mean easy. If it's not pushing you at all, it's not challenging enough, Should be stretching your brain. Now we can check. Okay, does it have the overall shape that I want and everything? I think this is pretty good. That concludes our first section of the observational drawing. Next up, we're going to add some details to really make this pop out and really solidify where our branches are going to be. All of that before we finish it off with some shading and texture. 7. Branches Part One: Okay, so for this next section, what you're going to want is you can keep the same pencil because we're not going into shading yet. Where we're going to do is we're going to make sure that all of our branches are drawn in. Now when I'm doing these kind of sketchy lines, it does create shading, but I don't want you to worry. If you do have some of that, that's not a problem. I think I'm going to erase my little markings that I don't really want as part of my image. You can shape this. It's really fantastic. I don't want this actual line going around my tree that was just to help guide my little branches. But now that I've drawn them in, I'm going to still be able to see that just a little bit. You can just erase some of that because we don't want that in the final look. And if you've erased a little bit, you will still be able to see just a little bit. This is why you want to draw very lightly because when you draw dark, it's harder to erase. Sometimes pressing like a stamp can lift some of that color too. Okay. I feel like there's a line in there I want to get rid of too good. Okay, that's pretty good. One nice thing you can do is you can take this and if you want to then put it onto something, maybe a nicer page to then complete all your details on. What we could do is take a light table, put your nicer page on top, tape this down, and then outline it so you don't have all of these sketchy lines and things. That's one thing I love to do is do my preliminary sketch in my sketchbook. And then if I want it to be, maybe it's a gift for somebody, I'm not going to just tear this out and give them this page. I want to put it on a nicer page, and I use my little light table to do that. That's a little tip for you, a little extra. Why not? It's always good to have some tidbits going on in here. Let's get all of our lines in place, whether they follow the reference exactly or not. But let's draw the draw and erase anything that's bothering you. I like to focus on the main branches because those are going to make the biggest difference. Now I'm going to check two is my angle correct. You can use your pencil as the angle checker. Okay. Is it going on that angle when it comes off? It could be a little bit better. Maybe a little bit more out first then. It's not straight up. Make sure you're not holding your phone like that to indicate make sure it's straight and then you bring it across. It does tip in that way. It curves around and tips in to that, right. Let me check. Okay. Curves out. I might have brought it a little too far this way, but I'm not looking for exact right now, like we're studying these deciduous trees, right? But it's interesting. As you get closer in and you're looking at them, it feels like I'm not even looking at a tree right now. If you're getting to that point, that's actually a good thing because you're pushing your mind past what it believed a tree to look like in the beginning. That's where we want to get to. We want to get to that point. Okay, just getting all my tree branches more solidified, a little more clear so that when we add in the shadows, some things. I'm already adding a little shading, just the way I sketch. If you draw cleaner lines, then that's fine. It doesn't have to look exactly how I'm doing. I just find it easier when I make these sketch marks to then, you know, I'm giving myself lots of little lines and then I find my way that way. I don't know, it works for me that you can draw the outline first if that works better for you. This one up here needs a little more thickness to it. I'm just using a very light pressure approach. Right now, there are so many little lines here. We're not necessarily going to make sure every single line is exactly. Now you can do that. And some people that's how they like to roll when it comes to art, they want it to be 100% exact. But you can do that, you can just go in. What I would do if you want to do that is get those main tree branches in and just keep doing what we're doing, like you keep adding them in and following. The other thing is if you want it to be exact, then you would use a grid. I would definitely use a grid. I have a lesson that is about that. If you want to browse that one, you can do that right here. We're studying deciduous trees. I want to practice my observational drawing skills a little bit. We're getting those details, it's like the in between. We're still working on observational drawing and yet we're adding detail as well at the same time. One thing with trees is typically you're not going to have a larger branch coming off of a smaller branch. Okay? If you look at trees enough, you'll see that's a key component of it, Studying how trees look, it's definitely a great way to get that. Again, I'm filling into where I like. Then I have some of the main ones. In some of them they're overlapping each other. They are a little more tricky like this section here. It's a little tricky. There's so many lines crisscrossing and going all over the place. You're like, which line do I follow? Does it go? This tree has lots of little squigglies. Now, if you're wishing that you had chosen a different tree, I'm going to encourage you to stay the course and just complete the tree that you're working on, regardless of if it's at this point something you're excited about. Because you have to push past those mental blocks of, oh, no, this is too hard. Just like any athlete would need to. Yes, I just compared an artist to an athlete. There's a, this is a different level of endurance. Sometimes if I'm struggling with an area, I'll use tonal values to get me through it. In the section here, I'm putting in some, just filling it in that then I can always use some highlighting to race. It's helping me get this little clustered area complete. Okay, We're not quite into the detail section yet, so I don't want to go into detail in that section. But once you have the whole tree in place, you can zoom in and focus on an area because you already have those things in place. If you don't have them in place, it's going to be a little more tricky. Like I can go in here now and see that they come together, but then they go apart. But then I also want to make sure I being aware of where it ends, so I don't exaggerate the size of a section. Look at where the next branch is coming from. Where do they branch off? Pull it out. Zoom in. Don't stay zoomed in for too long. Make sure you come out again. Make sure that it's still moving in the right direction. Have fun with it, but push past those mental blocks that surely will come. So if you're struggling, just be like it's okay. Just trust the process, keep moving. You got this. And allow yourself to make it your own too. Like if you make a mark and it's like, well, I wasn't exactly like it. It's okay. This one here, I'm making my own a little bit. Making my own. This is my drawing, own it, own your piece. Have fun with it, and give yourself time, take some breaks, come back to it with a new set of eyes. I highly recommend doing that for any heart piece you're working on, don't you don't want it to be overly rushed. If you're still having a section that's like that you're struggling with, then just do some quick gestural lines indicating some of the branches or just okay, like I can see, there's a lot of action happening in here. Just draw some gestural lines in there and then use your eraser. Just make sure you're going really lightly with those gestural lines. If that's the purpose for why you're doing them. Like, I don't know where these are going, but I know this section has a lot of activity. I want to make sure I get that in there. As therapeutic as art can be, doesn't mean it's always going to be easy, but doesn't mean it's not going to be very satisfying. And I think working through these mental blocks actually helps mentally, You're strengthening your mental capacity. 8. Branches Part Two: Once you feel like you've gotten most of your branches in place, we can take the next step into shading and texture. One of the fun things about shading and texture for me is the trunk. I'm going to zoom in a little bit for the trunk. Depending on what kind of trunk you're drawing from, it might have more character than others. Actually, this one doesn't have as much character as I like personally, but there's plenty of character up in the top section of it. Here we go. I'm going to look for areas. First of all, the texture of the tree branch, tree trunk itself first, is it very visible? Is it a little more smooth? What I'm going to do is I'm just going to use light pencil marks in motions that help to show smooth or more rugged. This one is in between, looks like it has some texture to it, but it's not completely smooth, but it doesn't have those deep rugged bark. But at the base, I do see some shading happening, some shadows. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to put some marks in for that. Then I'm going to take my blending stump. If you have a blending stump, you can use your finger, but there are oils on your hands that can affect how you blend. But you can certainly use your fingers. I'm going to use this blending stump. And what it's going to do, it's going to soften my texture into a bit of a smoother appearance. I can take it right up into my tree branches. You can see it's also darkening some of the areas within those tree branches. You can fairly quickly fill those in without any special technique. You're not pressing hard, this is where if you used a really light pencil, like a four, it's not going to blend as well. Okay? Especially if you have a smooth tree trunk, that is going to be really helpful for that. You can even bring some into the grass of it. How would I move it so you can see. Zoom out a bit, so you can see the whole thing a bit. See what's going on. See we're making some progress here. What's cool is you can go back and forth. I can go back in with my eraser. Now if there's some areas that need to be lifted or have like a brighter highlight, I can use my eraser. Maybe I don't like how strong that edge is, then maybe I have to go back in just very lightly. There's actually a bit of a characteristic here for the tree. I want to indicate, I used the word indicate a lot, that's because we're representing something. I'm not duplicating or replicating it exactly. I'm vindicating, it just seems like the right word. Blend it out or don't. You don't have to blend it out. If you've achieved the right look, then you don't need to blend it out. But up in here, I do need a little more shading, a bit of back and forth. Get some pencil on there, get some graphite on there. Blend it out, erase any rebellious lines, rebellious moments, okay? So you go go back and forth until you have achieved what you feel is. How much, as far as representing that tree as possible, you want it to be well balanced through the whole piece. Now, you can go in and I like to finish off with my detailed lines. I don't want it to be too smudged, I want some texture in there a little bit. There's also, I've noticed just tiny little branches coming from above into the area. This is how we will shade and complete the whole piece, is with the same exact method. We will use our blending stump back and forth. You've got blending stump, you've got eraser. Let's see how you can just a little bit off. All right, and then you can go back in and draw in, get in those shadows a little stronger. We're looking deeply into our image just with fine tuning it with our eyes. Seeing where the light is coming from. The image you can tell because of the shadow, where the light is coming from. My darkest darks. I want those to be in there. A great image, I think has that dynamic feel to it because of the light, lights in the dark darks, those highlights and low lights are highlights and shadows going. Another eraser you can get is one that it's just like a small eraser. It does just very fine lines and you'll see artists that do like hyper realism using those kind. Some of the branches might be coming, you can use this eraser to do that as well. I can just go through if there's branches that need to come across, we can do that too. It's going to make it look more real. You can draw pencil with it. Just get in all the details that you want, soever detailed you want it to be, add in those branches. Add it all in. Push yourself beyond what you think is complete. Not so it feels overworked, but so that it feels not necessarily the feeling of the piece itself, but just so that you have really represented as much as you could. You feel like you've come to know this tree, you're well acquainted with it. I think right now I'm using a B. Let's move back to the two B again, I'm zooming in and out of this to really help me complete this zoom in where do I have that tree branches? It even there, we're there. Get those little branches in there. So we get the shape that we were initially looking for. Use really light gestural lines if you want to try to, if you want to try to indicate more of the branches without having to make it exactly where every single line is supposed to be according to the image. Because I feel like that just like trying to copy my motion exactly is just not very fruitful. You're going to find your style comes to life a little more. You're going to notice sections where there's more action in here. There's a little more action. Okay, here, I want to make sure I got my, some action going on in here. Maybe I'll just use some light gestural lines. I'm just holding it very lightly and making little motions. So moving into those areas where I see clusters, I'm literally just, it's almost like a random squiggly. It's not as perfect circles. Angular's super refined. I'm just, I'm making very light marks that will help it to feel random because this particular tree has a lot of these. Kind of feels like it's like it has lots of detail in it. With that, if this is just a study too, do you feel the need to have every branch perfectly laid out or do you just like the idea that, okay, this is coming together, I just want to get those, get the branches in the right place. It's not equally dispersed all around. Right, like I've got this section, this section, this little section, right 12. I need to make this one a little more visible. Just very lightly maneuvering. And then if I notice, okay, I need to add more branches, then I'll do so. 9. Refining Details: At this point, you're going to want to look at the sharpness of your pencil and make sure that it's remaining sharp enough for creating those thin lines. Really look for those areas of clusters of little branches and leaves. I think there might be a few leaves on this tree. I'm getting in the darker tones as well as I go. Now if you want to try a dark, maybe a five B or something to really get some deeper tones, you can do that as well. It's going to give us texture too. We want that kind of going over some of the areas where I smudged but didn't redraw the lines to make them niceen textured. Really be observant here. This area here needs some. Hopefully, we're maintaining that shape that we originally wanted. This is a larger drawing here that I'm working on. It's fairly sizable, it's going to take you longer. If you want to practice more trees after this, maybe you want to try on a smaller scale. Maybe try a larger scale. You're going to have different experiences with that as well. That can really help you become more acquainted with the deciduous tree. I feel like I didn't pay as much attention to this side. I've done more detailing on this side, but I think it feels overall that it's coming together in a, in a way that then I'm cool with. I'm cool with it. The key thing for this particular tree I think is that you do have these strong, funky branches throughout. But then the little tiny branches that come off, they're giving us that shape in the end. And they're, I don't want to draw them on thick, I want to keep a loose hand so I can create very light marks, ones that do look like tree branches. You can keep going. Just add as much detail as you'd like. If you need to, if you need to add a little more, maybe we need to create some lines crossing over these with our eraser. Go back in and draw some lines that cross over and cut through not completely covering where I've creates interesting kind of movement to it. Like maybe more branches that are just lighter, right? Don't be afraid to really follow that image, but then also be free. Be free from it. Put away that reference image for a minute. And just what is your intuition telling you about this? You're like, well, my intuition right now is just saying crazy things, like it looks like a mess. We, that's just a negative voice in your head. What I'm saying is try to listen to your canvas in some way it's speaking to you and see what it's telling you. What's cool about these too is once they get dirty, you can they actually make marks too if you need a soft mark. You know, if you want to make some of these kind of softened, just make sure you're moving it in the correct direction. Like we could do a bit better up here. Let's step back and see, okay, what's looking off, what's missing, that kind of thing. You feel good about your picture that you created. Now you're going to gain a new appreciation for the deciduous tree, it's intricacies, and those who do draw them realistically as well, hopefully you'll find inspiration through that and find your own style while you're working on it too. Gain greater confidence in your drawing abilities, your shading, All of these skills we've been working on to create this piece. What do you guys think? A more back and forth solving these ones out over here. I'm just blending in on the outside and maybe within where I need to create more substance to the branches. But again, I'm not going to leave it just like that. I'm going to go in with my eraser and clean up bits with it. Maybe stamp in areas you can create your shape and then stamp it in. And then you could go, if you wanted, you could go back in. I don't want to go with an eight B, not really. I could go in with a five just to make sure my branches that I want deeply indicated will be there represented. Great. Once you feel pretty confident about your piece, one thing I want to make sure that I do is I can sign it, I can put the date, I just put the year just so I know the year. But you can put the full date if you want to know the exact date and voila, you have a deciduous tree now. You can go forward and complete any deciduous tree. With these skills. Yes, you're going to have to look at different angles and things, but do follow the same method, The whole, outlining the size of things to match your reference image. Starting with that, getting the basic shape in place, those main branches, then building as you go. Then getting into those details and the shading and texture back and forth with your pencil, your blender, and your eraser to create something that looks a little bit better than a lollipop tree. What do you guys think? 10. Conclusion: Unfortunately, my audio malfunction. So I'll attempt to dove this to the very best of my abilities. Thank you for understanding. Congratulations, you just completed the drawing lesson. Well done. Give yourself a pat on the back and I can't wait to see what you created. So upload your project in the student gallery. If you have a moment to fill out a review to let me know how I did, what you enjoyed about this lesson, what I can do to make it better. Please let me know if you enjoyed this class. Be sure to follow me so you can be the first to know when I've posted a new lesson. For even more art lessons, tips and inspiration, check out my Youtube channel where I post weekly content. Thank you so much for watching. We'll see you next time by now.