How to Draw the Tree of Life

By Kirk Maltbee

The Tree of Life, known also by its Latin name of “arbor vitae,” is the illustrative point that all existence on earth is connected by having branched from the same “tree.” The Tree of Life has been depicted in a number of ways in art, religion and in modern science, so when it comes to recreating your own version for artistic purposes, take cues from the other versions to create your own representation.

Draw an elongated C-shape in the center right side of your paper. Add another C-shape, this time backwards, slightly to the left of the first. These two mirrored shapes create the basis for the Tree’s trunk, so draw these shapes as large or as small as you’d like your final art to be. From the top of the C-shapes, draw various small dots that cover the area above the trunk.

Draw lines that connect from the trunk top and branch out in all directions to connect to the dots you drew. The idea to making branches is to not use straight lines to connect the dots; rather, draw staggered lines to each dot. Flesh out the branches by drawing lines close the original branch lines to bulk up the limbs, but make sure these lines touch the individual dots as well.

Add in several smaller branches that jut outward from the larger branches you just drew. These lines should be thinner and wispy compared to the other branches. Draw leaves attached all over the other branches. Once done, trace and color your Tree of Life drawing in black ink to make your art stand out on the page.