How to draw a guest tree

When surfing the web for guestbooks and wedding ideas you will stumble upon guest trees sooner or later. It’s a really wonderful idea for a wedding souvenir and so easy for the wedding guests as they don’t have to think about any poems or alike to write in a normal guestbook. When searching the web you can easily find a place to buy them, but you can as easily draw them by yourself. And here comes a little howto for this matter. Have fun 🙂

What you’ll need:

  • Card stock
  • Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen (b) (Dark Sepia 175)
  • Faber Castell Watercolorpencils (Walnut Brown 177, Burnt Siena 283)
  • a pencil ( HB ~ 2B )
  • some scratch paper
  • and an eraser

For the card stock i prefer cream-colored paper, the white one appears too cold to me.
The Pitt brush pen might sound tricky, because it’s no so easy to get an even line – but for our tree it’s quite perfect as the slightly irregular lines will give a more natural look to the tree.
The Watercolorpencils are optional, simple color crayons will do as good, but they get even more intensity when getting in touch with water later on.

As a test if everything will work out fine i stat out with a little drawing sample on some scratch paper. This also makes it easier to start on the ‘real’ paper later on. A single branch gives a good impression.Start with the outline of the branch, and just don’t think about it to much. The lines don’t have to be even or perfekt, and parts that don’t look nice won’t stand out once the branch is done.
When the outline is done we add some structure for the bark. Add some knot-holes here and there and some curves make it look great.


For the coloring of the tree i start out with only one color and do the complete branch but only lightly. In a second step i add more and more color to add some shadow and give the tree some dimension. When this looks smooth i add some strokes with the second pencil here and there to give it some more structure.
BaumTutorial_AusmalenIf you chose to use the watercolor pencils you can add water now to give the color even more intensity. The Pitt Pen is not water soluble so the contour and the bark structure is safe 🙂
For a proof of concept you can add some fingerprints now. Looks good 🙂
Now for the hard part – the drawing of the tree. We’ll need some scratch paper, a pencil and an eraser. For my part, the eraser is the most important thing here 😀
I start out with the outline of the tree to define it’s form, then the trunk and then i start adding branches until it looks good. I have no real recipe for this step, it’s more of a trial and error with a lot of erasing being involved.

Once you got it, you can fix the sketch with some scotch tape to the back of the card stock, to trace the outline of the tree onto the card stock. Having the outline of the tree traced to the card stock everything can go on now as with our proof of concept branch.
First the bark structure. Then the colored crayons.
I stop here, but if you like you can work on with some water. You could also add some gimmicks now, like some lanterns or candle jars, like i did it  here.

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