Step by Step: Drawing Bare Winter Trees with Pen and Ink

It is winter in my neck of woods and in next few posts, I will show step by step some simple winterscapes that can drawn from imagination by anybody. You can follow along and use them to create your own winter cards that you can give to others. A hand drawn card, even with s simple drawing, is always cherished more than fancy commercial cards and so don’t be shy to try them and share your creative output.

Nothing says winter more than bare trees (other than snow of course:) ) and I just love the sight of bare trees in winter standing stoically. It is their fragility evident by their bareness coupled with their strength in bravely facing the elements that attracts them to us. In this post, we will learn how to draw a simple landscape consisting of bare winter trees. 

Step 1: Draw Outline of a Bare Tree

As you know trees come in limitless variety of shape and sizes, but there are some simple forms that gives a pleasant appearance.  Draw an initial outline of tree with 2 main branches as shown below. 

After drawing main bifurcating branches, other secondary overlapping branches can be added. 

when adding overlapping branches, make the behind branch discontinuous at the intersection point to clearly establish their relative order as shown above. Drawing outline of bare trees is discussed in detail here.

Step 2: Texturing Tree

To bring out the roundness of the tree, texture it using 2 tone technique. In this technique, one end is darkened in a zagged manner as shown below. 2 Tone technique is discussed in detail here and in vol 5 of my pen and ink drawing workbook.

2 Tone Technique

Notice how with simple darkening of one side, form/roundness of trunks and branches is established below.

Step 3: Ground the Tree

Use grass and wild flowers to ground the trunk as shown below. Adding grass is discussed in detail in this drawing grass tutorial.

 Step 4: Add Other Foreground Trees

As pen lines are not erasable, it is a good practice to draw the foreground elements first and then draw other elements behind them. Here we add another main foreground tree.

Step 5: Add Other/Background Trees

Add other trees behind the main foreground trees drawn earlier to give a nice feel of wooded area. Technique used is the same. Make sure to leave discontinuity when branches are overlapping.

Step 6: Finish with Other Elements

A distant horizon along with sky gives a finished feel to the drawing.

Other foreground elements like stones, water puddle etc. can be further added to make it more visually interesting.

This completes this tutorial. Using the steps outlined above such winterscapes can be easily done from imagination anytime. Following is another drawing on the same theme with addition of other elements.

If you would like to have lightened templates of drawings above to practice drawing them, feel free to reach out to me. My Free drawing tutorials and pen and ink drawing workbooks ($6 paperback, $3, Kindle) provide additional instructions to attempt such landscapes.

Looking for a creative and useful gift for Christmas? May I suggest my pen and ink drawing workbooks. Drawing is not just for ‘artists’. Every one of us can engage in this creative pursuit and discover the joy of putting pen on paper and creating pleasing landscapes. My pen and ink drawing workbooks shows how with step by step instructions and guided exercises.

If you like content like this, pl. let me know. Also any thoughts on making them better is most appreciated. Drawing is always more fun as a social activity. Do feel free to share this with others and also on your social media.

Have a creative week,


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