How to Draw a Dead Tree

Easy, step by step Dead Tree drawing tutorial
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Trees are a vital part of the environment the world over. Trees produce oxygen, rid the air of carbon, offer shade, and produce food. Their wood allows humans to build structures and warm themselves over a fire. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "To many, the word tree evokes images of such ancient, powerful, and majestic structures as oaks and sequoias, the latter being among the most massive and longest-living organisms in the world." Dead trees, however, may invoke a much different image.

In popular culture, dead trees are often used to set a creepy scene. They may be used in Halloween decorations, to warn that a character is entering a dangerous area, or to signify that something apocalyptic has happened to an area. Examples include trees from films such as Fern Gulley: The Last Rainforest and Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Like the tree in our illustration, these creepy trees often have holes in their trunks which may be inhabited by animals such as owls. Sometimes, these holes form a mouth and eyes. A blowing wind may rustle the tree or it may spring to life, reaching out with its hand-like branches.

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In the real world, dead trees are often called "widowmakers." Such a tree could fall on a person, killing him and thus making his spouse a widow. Biologists refer to dead trees as "snags." These trees are vital to the environment. They provide nests and homes for certain eagles, hawks, owls, and other animals.

"Dead" trees may also represent the fall or winter seasons when deciduous trees shed their leaves. These trees are not really dead, however. When the weather warms, they will sprout leaves anew.

Would you like to draw a creepy cartoon tree? This easy, step-by-step cartoon drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, pen, marker, or crayon and a sheet of paper.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Haunted House, Playground, and Graveyard.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Dead Tree

Dead Tree drawing - step 1
How to Draw Dead Tree: Step 1

1. Begin by sketching the trunk and roots. Use wavy curved lines for the trunk. Send out many roots of different sizes. For each root, extend a pair of curved lines and allow them to meet at a point.

Dead Tree drawing - step 2
How to Draw Dead Tree: Step 2

2. Begin drawing the first branch. Use a long curved line. At its tip, use several curved lines to form a "Y" shaped split, with each twig concluding in a sharp point.

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Dead Tree drawing - step 3
How to Draw Dead Tree: Step 3

3. Continue drawing gnarled branches and twigs. Allow each pair of lines to meet at a sharp point.

Dead Tree drawing - step 4
How to Draw Dead Tree: Step 4

4. Draw another branch diverging from the first. Each set of curved lines should meet at a sharp point.

Dead Tree drawing - step 5
How to Draw Dead Tree: Step 5

5. Draw another branch diverging at an odd angle. Note the zigzag structure of the branch. Allow each set of lines to meet at sharp points.

Dead Tree drawing - step 6
How to Draw Dead Tree: Step 6

6. Fill in the empty spaces with more branches. Allow the pairs of curved lines to meet at points.

Dead Tree drawing - step 7
How to Draw Dead Tree: Step 7

7. Draw the tree's final branch. Notice how one portion hangs down as if broken.

Dead Tree drawing - step 8
How to Draw Dead Tree: Step 8

8. Use a long curved line to enclose an irregular shape on the trunk, indicating a hole. Then, enclose another irregular shape inside the first.

Dead Tree drawing - step 9
How to Draw Dead Tree: Step 9

9. Texture the bark of the tree with curved lines of various lengths.

Complete Dead Tree drawing
How to Draw Dead Tree: Step 10

Color your cartoon tree. Dead trees are usually brown, but sometimes black. Certain trees, such as the birch or Australia's ghost gum, have white trunks and branches.

You can capture all the seasons with the help of our plant drawing guides. Don't forget to fill your forest with friendly woodland creatures.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

The Complete Dead Tree Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Dead Tree - all drawing steps
How to Draw Dead Tree

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