Several readers have asked for landscape tutorials or more videos. I’m working the second part of a new landscape tutorial (read the first part here), but it won’t be ready for a few more days.

So today’s post combines those two requests by presenting a video tutorial showing you how to draw a tree with colored pencil.

Since I haven’t yet been able to produce high-quality videos, I selected a video from The Virtual Instructor at YouTube. I chose this video because the artist uses many of the same stroking methods I use to draw trees.

This video demonstration uses Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils, which are oil-based and can be layered light over dark. There are other differences, as well, but you should be able to use the same general method with wax-based pencils with only a few adjustments.

Points of Interest

Because the artist uses Faber-Castell Polychromos, several tips on using these pencils and other oil-based pencils are included. Among them are:

  • Color choices for creating realistic greens and browns
  • Layering methods unique to oil-based pencils
  • Burnishing with oil-based pencils

It would have been nice had the artist explained each of those a little more completely, but his technique is a great way to draw an individual tree or a whole forest. I use a lot of the same stroke patterns and color choices.

My experiences with Canson Mi Tientes are not pleasant, so it’s enlightening to see what this artist does with it.

My favorite papers—Stonehenge and Bristol—would be great surfaces.

If you just want to practice, a standard drawing pad would also be satisfactory.

I hope this video helps you get a grip on drawing trees with colored pencil. The real secret, no matter which method you use, is balancing a small amount of detail in the right places—usually around the edges of the tree and the edges of light and shadow—with broader areas of varied color and value.

In other words, you don’t have to draw every leaf or branch!