How to Draw Falling Leaves

“And the leaves were telling secrets to the wind.”
– Peter Mulvey, songwriter

Trees with falling leaves have a certain emotional appeal that resonates in popular culture. In the novel And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, children discuss the legend that if a certain tree drops exactly ten leaves on your head after you make a wish, your wish is certain to come true.

Another emotional reference to falling leaves recurs in the 1970s television series, The Waltons. On several occasions, the spinster Miss Emily Baldwin relates her memories of her first and only kiss, “out there under the maple tree, and a shower of golden leaves swirled about in the autumn wind.”

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This theme of falling leaves is even present in children’s literature. In the 1968 featurette “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day,” wind and leaves are used to set the scene. Pooh sings, “Oh, the wind is lashing lustily, and the trees are thrashing thrustily, and the leaves are rustling gustily.”

Finally, in the children’s book The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, a personified falling leaf is used to teach children about loss and grief.

Would you like to draw a tree on a windy day? All you will need is a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper. You may also wish shade your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Hibiscus, Orchid, and Dogwood Flower.

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​Step by Step Instructions for Drawing​ Falling Leaves

How to Draw Falling Leaves

1. Begin by drawing the trunk of the tree. Use two long, straight lines to craft the basic outline. Notice that the tree is not straight, but bent in the wind. Use several short lines that meet in jagged points to enclose the roots at the bottom of the tree. Then, use two “V” shaped lines of different sizes to indicate the forked branches at the top of the tree.

2. Draw lines extending outward from the tree trunk and each of the branches. Then, extend more lines, some of them forked. These indicate the tree’s smaller branches.

3. Use a connected series of short, curved lines to enclose the cloudlike form of a cluster of leaves.

4. Draw another cloudlike bunch of leaves, again using short, curved, connected lines. Note, too, how the lines overlap, giving the leaf cluster depth.

5. Draw a third fluffy cluster of leaves. Again, use a series of short, curved lines to outline the shape.

6. Next, draw leaves adrift in the wind. For each leaf, use two short, curved lines to form a teardrop or double-pointed shape.

7. Draw curving lines around the leaves to indicate the blowing wind. Draw a few more pointed leaves using curved lines. Begin the horizon line by extending a curved line outward from the lower trunk of the tree. Draw a few leaves laying on the ground, using short, curved lines connected at points to outline each.

8. Extend a long horizon line on both sides of the tree. Draw additional leaves of various sizes laying on the ground.

9. Draw a few individual leaves still clinging to the tree. For each, begin by extending a short, curved line from one of the branches. This will form the leaf vein. Then, use two curved lines to enclose the pointed shape of the leaf. Draw a few more leaves on the ground, and use a series of connected, short, curved lines to outline the cloudlike shape of shrubbery in the background.

Color your windswept tree. Is it green in spring, or displaying autumn colors of red, yellow, orange, and brown?

Draw more trees, leaves, or even an entire forest using our selection of plant drawing guides.

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