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How to draw a tree trunk with light and shadow. Tutorial with oil pastel.

January is about oil pastel.

You can read previous posts about different types of oil pastels:

You can also see my blog posts with tutorials, read descriptions and watch YouTube videos.

This tutorial about a tree trunk and how to show its volume.

Tip: in order to show light and shadow, you should take at least 3 different tones^ light, medium and dark.

In this tutorial I use Sakura Expressionist oil pastel and their names of colors. However you can take your own colors, keep in mind they must be with different tones!


  1. With cobalt blue draw a big trunk and branches, then a horizon line.

  2. Color space between brunches.

  3. With pale green do the bottom part of the sky until a line of background trees.

  4. With ultramarine - top of the sky.

  5. With cobalt blue soften ultramarine.

  6. With prussian blue do background trees - just a shape, from the right side do not press on you oil stick.

  7. With cobalt blue create a cast shadow from the tree and add a bit ultramarine on the shadow close to the trunk.

  8. With naple yellow color snow on the ground.

  9. With white create the second layer of the snow.

  10. With sepia do shadows on the trunk and brunches from the right side.

  11. With brown create a medium tone on the tree.

  12. With naple yellow create lights and a few thin branches.

  13. With brown and sepia draw more thin branches.

  14. With white do some lines on the background and highlights on the tree.

  15. Done! Have fun and enjoy!

Next tutorial will be about winter landscape. Stay tuned!

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