Learn how to draw a palm tree. Step-by-step you will learn to draw an awesome coconut palm tree standing on a small island beach.
Today we will show you how to draw a palm tree. We start with a simple sketch to lay down the trunk and to space and shape the palm leaves. Then we will simplify the many individual leaves on the real coconut palm into a single jagged leaf shape. We end up with an easy to draw but awesome looking palm tree standing on a small island beach.
You will need: pencil, fineliner pen, colored pencils, eraser and drawing paper or sketchbook
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Scroll below the video for the step-by-step instructions.
How to draw a palm tree: base sketch step by step
Step 1: Draw the palm tree trunk and leaf base shapes
Let’s start our palm tree drawing by laying down the base shapes: The trunk is drawn as two bent lines slightly wider apart at the base than at the top.
Then draw the centrelines for the palm leaves. Now, you can have as many palm leaves as you like, but six as shown here is about the right amount to have a nice, full palm tree crown without making the drawing too complicated. Spread the lines so they cover the space nicely and bend each of them slightly differently for some variety.
Step 2: Draw the palm leaves
Next, add the outer edges to your palm leaves. These roughly follow the direction laid out by the centre line. The palm leaf shape again starts out narrow near the trunk and widens out, with the widest part being around three quarters down the length of the leaf. Then it narrows back into a pointy tip.
Again, add some variety, since the leaves are all bent differently. Also notice that usually, the lower part of the leaf is wider and the upper part narrower – this adds a perspective to the leaf drawing.
Step 3: Add final details
While our base palm tree sketch is complete, let’s finish the drawing with some extra details. Split the palm trunk into sections with simple curved lines – these mark the growth layers on the tree.
Add three coconuts hanging just under the tree crown – these are small ovals with pointy ends, overlapping each other.
Finally, draw a small island beach for your palm to grow on.
How to draw a palm tree: outline step by step
Step 1: Draw the jagged palm leaf edges
Let’s start outlining the drawing and improving on our sketch. Draw out the palm leaf edges, following the sketch with zig-zag jagged lines similar to drawing the fur for the monkey or bristles on the witch’s broom.
Make the zig-zags vary in size and shape again. Notice how the direction of the pointed tips follows the shape of the leaf – pointing sideways at the top and then down as the leaf bends down.
Step 2: Finish drawing the remaining palm leaves
Now that you had some practice on the two lower leaves, finish drawing the remaining four palm leaves using the same jagged lines.
Step 3: Draw the coconuts and the palm tree trunk
Now it is time to outline the three coconuts – those are a straight outline of the sketch where the coconut is not hidden behind the palm leaf.
Next, draw the palm tree trunk. The small improvement here is the bulging out of the trunk at the ground level – that is where the palm tree gets wider as the trunk turns to roots.
Step 4: Draw the small island beach for the palm tree
Let’s draw the small island beach for the palm tree to stand on. Again, this is just a direct outline of the sketch. Add another straight line to mark the sea horizon.
Step 5: Add some final details and textures
All that is left in our “how to draw a palm tree” tutorial is to add some details and textures.
Draw out the rings on the palm tree trunk. Add a little “S” wiggle to finish the trunk at the ground. Draw the leaf midribs – notice that we are leaving a little gap as the midribs disappear at the leaf tip.
The final improvement is adding some small waves around the island, to suggest the calm sea breaking at the beach.
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How to draw a palm tree: finished drawing
How to draw a palm tree: finished outline drawing
And here is the final result of our “how to draw a palm tree” tutorial – the finished palm tree drawing after we have erased and cleaned up the sketch lines.
Our palm leaves are a simplified version of the real coconut palm leaf, which has many individual smaller leaves that take much longer to draw. Apart from that small cheat, this is a beautiful palm tree on an island beach.
How to draw a palm tree: finished drawing coloured-in
Colouring in the palm tree is simple. Here we are using the standard colours – brown for the palm tree trunk, green for the leaves and the same dark yellow for the coconuts and the beach sand. Add some darker shades of each colour for extra texture and shading to your drawing.
That is it – now you know how to draw a palm tree!