How to Draw Trees in Illustrator

Written by eric benac
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Adobe Illustrator is a program that lets you use a variety of design tools to create images, including pictures of trees. You may find you need a tree in the background of a picture you're creating, or perhaps you want to draw a forest scene or something in your backyard. Creating a tree is a process that requires a careful understanding of how to use Illustrator's tools effectively.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Adobe Illustrator software

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  1. 1

    Select the line tool by clicking on the "Line" button in the "Drawing Tools" menu on the left side of the screen. Click on one spot on the canvas, drag and click again to create your lines. Create your tree outline by creating lines in this method. Work upward from your tree base, to your trunk and finally to bare tree branches

  2. 2

    Select the eraser by clicking on the "Eraser" icon in the "Drawing Tools" menu. Hold the left button and drag your mouse to erase small areas your tree lines. Click on the "Pen" button in the "Drawing Tools" menu when you're finished. Hold the left mouse button while dragging the mouse to free hand draw. Use the pen to create small curves and imperfections on your tree trunk.

  3. 3

    Select "Art Brush" from the "Drawing Tools" menu and select a brown colour for your trunk. Click your left mouse button and move the mouse over the surface of your tree to give it a brown trunk. Mix other colours in with your art brush, such as dark greens or lighter browns, to create a more complex colour.

  4. 4

    Click on the "Create New Art Brush" option from the drawing menu to design a brush that will create the shape you design wherever you drag your mouse. Click "Edit" from the brush menu to open up the editing tools, which are the same as your basic drawing tools.

  5. 5

    Click on the pen button from the "Art Brush Editing" menu and use it to draw leaf shapes. Click on the "Fill" option to select a colour with which to fill in your leaves. Click on the inside of the leaves with your left mouse button to fill them with the colour you have selected.

  6. 6

    Click your left mouse button and drag your leaf art brush over the branches to create leaves on your trees. Apply the leaves in whatever manner you see fit.

  7. 7

    Select the "Pen" tool from the "Drawing Tools" menu and click on "Black" to switch to a dark-coloured pen. Use the pen to free hand draw details, such as a small hole, bark swirls or tiny branches coming off the side to make your tree more lifelike.

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