How to Draw a Chinese Willow Tree Pattern

Written by andrew dewitt
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How to Draw a Chinese Willow Tree Pattern
(Illustrations by Andrew DeWitt)

Chinese art has had a huge impact on decoration and design in the West. One of the reasons that Chinese art makes such an impact is that it contains a bold but simple style. The willow tree in Chinese are is especially unique. Each willow tree in Chinese art has a very specific style. The leaves are made of curved wavy shapes and come in sets of three to six. This uniform way of illustrating these trees makes them the perfect subject for a pattern.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Black ink pen
  • Eraser

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  1. 1

    Draw the truck of the tree with a large thin triangle in the middle of the page. Add two lines coming out of the upper left and right corners of the rectangle. Make these lines head apart from each other and then bend back toward each other and overlap.

    How to Draw a Chinese Willow Tree Pattern
  2. 2

    Draw six curved horizontal lines to the left side branch for the leaves. Add three curved horizontal lines to the right side limb as well. These curved lines for the leaves are a signature for the Chinese willow illustration.

    How to Draw a Chinese Willow Tree Pattern
  3. 3

    Thicken the leaves with parallel lines under each leaf. Draw parallel lines around the limbs of the tree to make them seem realistic. Add a knot to the middle of the tree trunk with two semicircles. These shapes should look like two reversed "C" shapes one inside the other.

    How to Draw a Chinese Willow Tree Pattern
  4. 4

    Erase the guidelines for the top of the rectangle. Erase the inner guidelines inside the limbs of the tree. Erase the bottom guideline of the rectangle and replace it with a curved horizontal line across the bottom of the tree. Add two curved triangles to the bottom left and right corners to act as roots.

    How to Draw a Chinese Willow Tree Pattern
  5. 5

    Ink the entire illustration. Let the ink dry for at least 5 minutes, and then carefully erase your pencil lines.

Tips and warnings

  • Once you have created one willow tree, you can repeat the steps to create a repetitive pattern. Place these at least 3 inches apart.
  • Keep the pattern simple, or it will be hard to replicate.

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