Drawing Outline of Landscapes with Trunks

We discussed 3 types of compositions that use trunks as main element here. We will now learn how we can draw outline of different landscapes based on these compositions. Drawing an outline is often the first step in any drawing and following some of the simple rules below, you will be able to draw outline of your landscape effectively.

Following are some of the simple points to keep in mind when drawing the outline:

  1. Lay down your horizon line when visible (usually in theme 1) very faintly using dots or even a pencil. The reason is that trunks will cross the horizon line and horizon line will not be visible behind trunks. Very faint horizon line will hide when texturing trunks where as  a solid horizon seen between a trunk will destroy the effect.


2. Always draw the trunks in foreground that are fully visible initially. Once these are laid, you can proceed by drawing other trunks that might be partially hidden by them. In other words, always draw from foreground to background. This way you always know what is visible in the background and can draw it appropriately.


3. Reduce the size of trunks as they go out in the distance. There is no hard and fast rule as to how the size should reduce with distance except that the drawing should look plausible.

4. The root of trunks should reflect the order of trunks. The base of trunk partially hidden behind another trunk must be behind the trunk in front.


5. Draw the outline using ‘wandering line’ (as discussed in Pen Strokes) and taper as they go up. Don’t use a hard line. Study the examples below.


Below are some examples of outlines of Landscapes based on composition theme 1 and composition theme 2. Study how by changing the placement, size, density and other aspects of composition, you can create landscapes with different feel.

Examples of Composition 1: Landscape Goes out out to distant horizon


Examples of Composition 2: Wooded Area with Tree Trunks


Examples of Composition 3: Wooden posts with Tree Trunks

A simple landscape with receding wooden posts and few trunks is very fun to do. Following are some examples of such landscapes in outline. Receding posts add perception of depth to the landscape.


This should get you started. Practice drawing outline of landscapes as discussed above. Don’t get discouraged if initial results are not to your liking. Practice more and you will improve.

Have fun,


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