Sunday, May 15, 2022

How To Draw A Forest Background

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Add Shadows And Highlights

How to Draw a Forest Background: The 3-Marker Method

If you are drawing backgrounds of anime films, you should use colorful backgrounds. Plus, it is better to add shadows and highlights in the backgrounds using different techniques so that an illusion of depth can be created.

What you have learned: Adding shadows and highlights in the background is a good technique for creating an illusion of depth.

Use Different Shades Of Colors In The Background

Most artists prefer to use the white paper for their drawings but they want a colored background at the same time. In such a case, using different shades of colors in the background is an ideal option. It is a great technique by which you can draw backgrounds like a pro.

What you have learned: Instead of adding different colors, you can add different shades of the same color in the background.

Now Draw Some Layers Of Ground

In this next step of this guide on how to draw a tree, you can focus on the ground of the forest for a bit.

You can draw these elements using some slightly curved lines on various layers of the empty space between the trees.

This will create a slightly hilly appearance for your forest. Some more jagged lines for some grassy areas will finish this step off nicely!

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One: Seeing The Wood For The Trees

Look for depictions of forests in art and you wont find many. Sure, there are plenty of landscapes with trees. But look closer and youll notice there are only a few trees, probably to one side of the picture, and the rest is open country. Or it is a parkland, some type of woodland, with scattered trees, not a forest. And in many pictures, the trees are just scenery, just background to the main subject of the painting be that people, or a building, mountain or water feature. In many paintings the trees are decapitated you might see the base of the tree, but the canopy is cut off. We would never depict a person like this, if we wanted to paint their portrait. Why is it that trees, and especially forests, get treated this way?

A few years ago I was engaged to write management guidelines for a range of Queensland forests and woodlands . The guidelines would describe the ecology of each vegetation type and outline how to restore these systems for carbon farming and wildlife conservation. This was part of the CATER project , back in a more enlightened time when the Federal and State governments took climate change a bit more seriously, and were willing to invest in innovative projects to tackle it.

I ended up sketching some very simple profile diagrams of the forests and woodlands in felt-tip pen.

You can find the finished guidelines through these links: Eucalypt woodlands, Eucalypt open-forests, Wet sclerophyll forest, Rainforest, Mulga, Brigalow

The Basic Principles Of Drawing A Successful Background

How to Draw Forest Backgrounds for Manga

These are the most fundamental rules of drawing any background. Even if you arent a great artist yet, these rules are basic enough for anyone to understand. Getting started is all about setting the stage for your direct line of sight. In other words, what can you see immediately in the background? Heres all you need to know:

This is Not The Matrix

No matter what those crafty 3D animators tell you, scenes you see in the movies arent three-dimensional animations. They are very creative mechanical drawings rendered on a computer. What helps make them appear real are the after-effects of layering, texture, and lighting. Your ability to create a 3D image is much more simplified since you want to begin with layers. These layers represent perspective, so youll need to start with basic sketches.

These are often called thumbnail sketches and are rough outlines of what you want to have in your forest background. My best tip for you is to use tracing paper to outline different layers such as valleys, mountain ranges, or hills to add depth.

The Horizon is Your Guide

This tells you a lot about where you are looking and the meat and potatoes of any decent drawing. If you dont understand horizon lines just yet, it helps tell your viewers what the vantage point is. Are you looking at something from above the ground as if youre on a tall hill? Or are you looking from a lower elevation, such as a low valley looking up to the mountains?

Vanishing Point

The layers of the air

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How To Draw A Dark Forest Background

For this trick, you need to be a little creative in creating a dark forest atmosphere. Your best bet is using blue and purple to simulate distant highlights. Never use white to make a dark forest look real. Various shades of dark greens and olives make fantastic foliage, while brown and navy blue are good for foliage shadows. Its not until you get into a possible light source that light blue, purple are mossy green are excellent reflective colors.

These can help simulate the look of moonlight cascading through the upper foliage of the trees. Its better when this light is broken-up and spare small light beams of light rather than a large open patch. You dont want people to think that a UFO is landing in the middle of the forest. Always think of uniformity over a large amount of space to distribute light sparingly. There is always going to be the issue of where the light is also angled.

Is the light coming from the side of the frame directly from an overhead source? If you want to be mysterious, this might not need an explanation but dont go overboard unless youre looking for a ghost-like theme. Not everyone responds well to dark forest pictures so sticking with natural lighting is always a plus. Then again, you might be inspired to recreate the shades that come from the northern lights.

Start Adding Some Tree Trunks In The Background

Your forest drawing needs a lot more trees in it to be a true forest, so lets add some now! You can draw some tree trunks in the background between the two main trees to do this.

They will look similar to the trunks of the main two trees, but as you may imagine they will be much smaller as they are further away.

Once you have these extra trees drawn, we shall finish off the final details in the next step!

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How Do You Draw A Background Tree

Making trees look smaller is a big deal for creating a sense of scale. In this case, this is akin to building miniatures. Its not so much what you in the distance as long as it resembles something tree-like. What makes a tree appear more like a tree is highlighting that mimics light that bounces of tree trunks of foliage. These are not as defined as closer objects but are more blob-like splotches.

Imagine that you are looking at broccoli from a few feet away. The way that light bounces off the surface are exactly as you would imagine. This will have more fluffy and bulbous highlights than a detailed tree canopy. It will also depend on the tree type since fir trees look broken-up along the thinner outer branches.

Never Use A Plain Paper Background For Complex Compositions

Pen & Ink Drawing Tutorials | How to draw a forest scene or background

Want another tip for drawing backgrounds? Never use a plain paper background for complex compositions. A plain paper background means that you have not drawn a background because the color of the paper serves as a background.

This type of background is easy because you just need to select the right color of paper that you may use as a background. BUT a plain paper background does not work well for complex compositions.

If the subject is complex, a plain paper background will make the subject dull and boring instead of making it interesting to look at.

That being said, a plain paper background can work well if you are working on a still life painting or drawing a simple portrait.

What you have learned: For simple portraits and still life paintings, using a plain paper background is good but for complex art compositions, never use a plain background.

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How To Draw Coniferous Forests

There you are sketching a forest landscape, drawing one tree after another. You have been drawing trees for the last fifteen minutes and are growing impatient. Your hiking partners are getting antsy too. You begin to wish the forest would end so you can wrap up and head down the trail but you are only one-quarter of the way through the forest. You begin to draw the trees fast, sloppy and more spaced apart and do not like what you see. There must be a better way. There is.

The trick to drawing a forest is not to draw the trees. Thats right, you draw the forest. There are a few places, such as the edge along the skyline or a few isolated trees at the edge of the forest where you can clearly pick out individual trees but throughout most of the forest the branches of trees intermingle and make a mass of branches with deep shadows between trees. Lets look at how we create this effect step by step.

As with most of my drawings, I begin with a pale erasable non-photo blue pencil line that blocks in the basic shapes of the major elements of my drawing. That way when I am trying to draw the details of a tree line, I do not need to worry about where it goes or how long it should be. These decisions have already been made. You make your job easier if you can break down the number of thing you must consider at one time.

How To Draw A Cartoon Forest Using Basic Shapes

Drawing a cartoon forest can be quite relaxing and easy to achieve if you know how to handle this topic. You don’t need to create tons of trees filled with complex details, shadows and textures. Since a forest is quite dense and compact, only a few basic shapes are required to create something colorful and fun to look at.

In this simple step-by-step tutorial, I will show you how to draw a nice forest using only a few basic shapes and some primary colors. If you have access to a vector software, you can also add a few special effects like transparency and gradient fill. It is quite easy to achieve and the result looks clean and professional.

Step 1

In this first step, I will show you how to draw a simple tree. This tree will be duplicated during this lesson and it’s the template that will be used to create the forest itself. First, draw two rectangles to create the top of the tree. Once this is done, add four more triangles to create the body of the tree.

Next, add a small rectangle on the bottom to form the trunk. Finally, to make the whole thing more enjoyable to watch, join all triangles together and keep the outline of this new shape. Our tree is now ready to be used on our cartoon forest.

Step 2

Start your drawing by adding a few trees in the middle of your artwork. Don’t sketch trees that are too big. Since these trees are the one on the back, they need to be smaller to give a little perspective to your drawing.

Step 3

Step 4

Repeat the same process for this step…

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Drawing The Background Of Distant Woods

Lets say you want to create a drawing that includes background trees. In this case, you want to have trees placed further back in the distance to show they are very far away. This is a cool trick that gives an added level of great distance and broadens the horizon point. In other words, the sense of scale is increased enough to fool the eye into thinking your picture is flat.

Many rules need addressing since you are making a picture that can be seen from the day or night. For the most part, light plays the most critical role in establishing how the tops of trees appear or how they may be backlit. You might also want to express a specific type of mood that evokes emotion. Since drawings can tell a story, too, youll need to think about what you want others to see.


Are you looking to get an emotional impact from your drawing? Do you want someone to feel nervous or scared? Is there a calming effect that makes the background appear serene and beautiful? A drawing can help others see your emotion through the use of light and shadow. It heightens the senses to bring out a response that builds impact through human emotion. All the classic painters knew the steps of telling a story through their drawings and paintings.


What is the time?

Use Elements In The Background To Create Depth

How to paint a forest background in Photoshop EASY

In the left image, you see a view of mountains in the background but the foreground is pretty flat. In the right image, the image has more depth by adding small hills and a lake.

The next tip for drawing backgrounds is to use some elements in the background that can create depth. Imagine you have created a landscape drawing. The whole scene is beautiful, the light is perfect but there is something that is making your artwork look flat or compressed. It is due to the background!

Use some elements in the background that makes an artwork interesting. For example, if there are mountains in a landscape painting, you can add a lake. This will definitely give depth to your photos.

What you have learned: Always try to use some elements in the background that can create depth and can make the artwork appealing to the eyes.

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Your Forest Drawing Is Complete

We really hope that you had an amazing time working through this step-by-step guide on how to draw a forest!

This was quite a detailed drawing, but we hope that by having this guide to follow you discovered that its easier than you thought to create a beautiful forest drawing.

Now that you know how to draw a forest, its up to you to make it your own!

We have suggested a few ideas you could use, from changing the seasons to making a spooky atmosphere or even with adding some mythical creatures!

There are tons of creative ways that you can personalize your drawing, so let your creativity run wild!

Youve mastered this drawing, but the good news is the fun is not over! We have many more drawing guides like this one on our website for you to enjoy!

Be sure to visit us there often, as we upload new guides frequently.

How To Draw Trees

In this guide, I will demonstrate how I simplify the drawing process and I hope that by the end of it, you will be able to draw your favorite tree.

In order to draw realistic trees with pen and ink, it is important to pay attention to accuracy of the form , and to learn how to create the illusion of brightness values and transitions with pens.

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Avoid Long Straight Or Curved Lines When Drawing Backgrounds

In the left image, notice the long lines that recede into the background. Other than looking at railroad tracks, this doesnt really occur in real life. In the right image, youll see cars, people, trash, and other things to break up the long lines. When you break up the lines, it makes it look more natural.

The next important tip is to avoid long straight and curved lines. Now you must be thinking lines are everywhere in the drawings then how you can avoid them. Let me tell you. You can definitely use long straight and curved lines but there should be some object that breaks into them. In other words, I can say that they should be disconnected. Why? Because if there are long lines in the background, the whole artwork may become boring or inartistic.

Consider this by taking an example of arranging a room. To set a room, you will put various pieces of furniture, wall hangings, or carpets just to fill up the blank space and long lines. The same is the case with drawing the backgrounds.

If there is monotony in the background using long straight and curved lines, you should break it otherwise the viewer will not be attracted to the whole artwork. Therefore, to make your backgrounds interesting, you should avoid using long lines.

What you have learned: For making the background of your paintings appealing, interesting and not disturbing to the eye, never draw long lines, either straight or curved. The lines must be broken by some objects.

Color Schemes For Your Background

How to Draw a FOREST BACKGROUND Step by Step – Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

It all comes down to the season that you want to recreate. Are you looking to capture the essence of spring or summer? There will be more vivid pops of color for fall weather, but not unless it applies to the part of the country you live in. There are also significant points regarding the time of day when you see how the sun reflects off the trees. Sunrise and sunset will have more orange tones than at high noon.

Collecting reference photos with these times of the year and times of day will help you determine a color scheme. I like to make small flashcard sized cardstock that gives me an exact color recipe. Depending on the season, these can be switched and exchanged to fit the mood. Or just having a good selection of colors will help you choose as you complete your picture. Just make sure to take notes and show samples of what colors you used.

Pretty soon, youll have a whole collection of notes that are for drawing backgrounds. Just as these can be used for reference later, the task of grouping certain color combinations is just as vital. Show in a small section how these colors work using the dark shade first and then highlights. Use at least three colors in all. These can be modified later with lighter or darker shades. Dont be afraid to experiment with these color combos, either.

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