How to Draw a Rain Forest Tree

Drawing rainforest trees can be an exhilarating activity, and, with a little practice, it isn't very difficult. Trees in the rainforest are full of life, and capturing their growth and movement can be a little tricky at first. It is really easy to get overwhelmed with all of the details, so it is important to follow a process that will help you focus and keep you from getting too distracted.

Search for a picture of a rainforest tree that you really like using an online search engine. Optional: You could also search for other tree drawings on an art website to figure out what drawing style you want to use. Some artists draw in a way that is very realistic and detailed, while others use a more minimalistic style. Before you begin, you should decide whether you want your drawing to look simple, cartoony or realistic.

Study the picture. Pay attention to the details. Look at how the branches are covered in moss that hangs downward, and how the roots sit on top of soil, getting thinner and thinner until they disappear into the ground. Try to find the part of the picture that really captures your attention.

Choose a focal point for your drawing. You could focus on the layers of branches that are covered with moss, or you could try making the giant roots stand out. Pick the part of the tree that you find most beautiful.

Practice drawing the tree, using the pencil, and start with the roots. Use the image you found as a guideline. If you can't get your tree to look like the one in the picture, try printing out the picture, and tracing over it. Keep practicing until you get an idea of how you want your drawing to look. You will need to practice drawing feathery lines to create the moss that hangs from the branches. Your drawing will also include lots of wavy lines (in the branches, bark, roots and vines), so practice these the most.

Sketch out your final drawing on a piece of paper. Use a pencil at first, and draw very lightly. Do this slowly and enjoy yourself.

Trace back over the lines that you want to look thicker or darker. You can keep using a pencil, or you could use a marker or pen. Some artists trace over the whole drawing with a marker or pen. It is extremely important to create contrast. Some of the lines need to be light, and some of them need to be extremely dark.


To avoid making permanent mistakes on a sketch that you spent forever working on, try scanning or making a copy of your sketch. Trace over the copy instead of the original. To add colour to your drawing, make a copy of your original drawing, and use paint, crayons, coloured pencils or markers to colour in between the lines. You could also scan your drawing onto your computer, and add colour to it digitally.


If you get frustrated, don't just throw away your drawing. Instead, get up and walk away. Come back to your drawing when you are more relaxed.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Fine tip marker
  • Pen
  • 3 to 4 sheets of paper
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About the Author

Melanie Mayne has been writing professionally since 2007. Her work has appeared in the "American Diversity Report" and she loves to write about art, culture, language arts, technology and psychology. Mayne is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in humanities, minoring in English writing and psychology, from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.