Home Assignment Volume – Drawing Tree Branches

Part A: Finish your study from class.

Part B: Independent Practice

You will be drawing a tree from a photo-reference provided (found below). Choose a logical orientation of your paper: horizontal or vertical. 

Using your pencil, draw the tree as you see it on the photo – as close to the image as possible. Feel free to use your eraser as needed. 

The best way to recreate this image is by drawing the negative shapes around the branches and between branches. “Negative shapes” are the spaces that you see between branches. Draw the largest areas first, to make composing more manageable, before addressing the details. Draw the branches all the way to the edges of the page


Try to understand which way each branch is turning on the image, and turn it the same way in your drawing – by means of concentric circles, just as you did in class. 

On the completed drawing, color the negative spaces between and around branches (use either colored pencil, marker, watercolor, or tempera), leaving the tree white, the color of the paper. Adding color will turn your drawing into “mixed media”, giving it a more refined appearance. 

If your drawing does not look exactly like the tree on the image, it is OK, – trees come in all shapes and sizes. The most important, is to express the direction of the branches correctly.

Your signature is the last touch: it indicates that the drawing is finished. 


In the areas of darker shadows, draw more of the ‘hugging’ concentric lines to emphasize the shading, which in turn will express the light on those branches and create the impression of roundness. Keep your “C’s” and “backward C’s” rounded, not narrow (those narrow C’s tend to “flatten” the rounded shapes).

Take a snapshot when finished!

Part C: Take a stroll and look for real life examples of “hugging lines”. Remember, they are not only related to tree branches! Once you start to look for it, you’ll find hugging lines everywhere around you. Take photos and bring them to class.

Click on the photo to enlarge it. Choose one of the two trees. If you want more practice and you’ve already finished drawing one of the photos, feel free to draw the other tree.

Email hello@primamateriainstitute.com with any questions.

Click on the photo to enlarge it (it will open up a new tab). Please print this photo or have it pulled up on your computer during class.

Email hello@primamateriainstitute.com with any questions.

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