How to Draw the Roots of a Tree

Let’s draw the roots of a tree step by step. Tools needed: paper, black liners.


Tutorial Video


Step-By-Step Images and Instructions

1.

How to draw roots of a tree step 1

Begin with a black liner, and draw a simple square shape – leaving the bottom empty – in the center of your page, close to the top.


2.

How to draw roots of a tree step 2

On either side, draw a jagged, “zigzag” line extending from the bottom corners – this should look almost like steps doing downwards. Don’t worry about making this too neat or even.


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How to draw roots of a tree step 3

Turn to the left hand side, and draw three “claws”, almost like forked lightning, heading downwards. At the end of the third “claw”, bring the line back up and across.


4.

How to draw roots of a tree step 4

From this line, draw another “claw” shape heading down – again, bring the end line back up and across to the right.


5.

How to draw roots of a tree step 5

Extend the line a little, and then bring it right down, past the “claws” you have already drawn. Continue to keep the line jagged and uneven.


6.

How to draw roots of a tree step 6

At the end, add two more jagged “claw” shapes – make sure you are using a variety of widths and shapes to add interest. On the second “claw”, bring the line back upwards.


7.

How to draw roots of a tree step 7

Move the line across, and add another “spike”, but leave the line unfinished for the moment. Instead, draw a parallel line alongside the “arm” of the claw, and bring this back up and slightly across to the right.


8.

How to draw roots of a tree step 8

Create a jagged line heading down, to meet the edge of the “spike” you drew. Then, add a diagonal line across the bottom of the “spike” , and another connected to this in a point.


9.

How to draw roots of a tree step 9

Use the pointed shape you have just created to form another set of “claw” shapes in a group of three, just as you did before. On the right hand line of the last “claw”, bring the line up and ever so slightly curved to the right.


10.

How to draw roots of a tree step 10

Leave a slight gap between this line, and a parallel line on the other side, creating a tunnel shape. Then, carry on with this line up to the right, in a loop at the top, and back down to form the end of the “tunnel”.


11.

How to draw roots of a tree step 11

From the end of this line, extend the jagged line a little further, and add another “claw” just below the last one, bringing the line up, to a point, and then down at a 45 degree angle.


12.

How to draw roots of a tree step 12

Use this second diagonal line to create another “claw” – the two together should look almost like forked lightning descending from the sky. Bring the edge up, parallel with the lines beside it, and across to the right.


13.

How to draw roots of a tree step 13

Extend this line down, add a small “spike” off to the left, and then continue the line down and across, until it meets the last claw.


14.

How to draw roots of a tree step 14

Add another “spike”, then bring the line up and down for another claw. When finishing the claw, bring the line right up, so that it is in line with the “top” of your root system.


15.

How to draw roots of a tree step 15

Bring a diagonal line down from here, with a “spike” pointing downwards. Create a parallel line, and bring this downwards in a jagged motion.


16.

How to draw roots of a tree step 16

Start another line, parallel to the one you just drew, so that you have a gap at the bottom. Bring this line up, and across to the left, Add another line on top to form another tunnel, and a short vertical line coming up from here.


17.

How to draw roots of a tree step 17

Bring the line across and down in a curve – end with another claw shape.


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How to draw roots of a tree step 18

Bring the line up to a fork, and create another claw – again, replicated forked lightning.


19.

How to draw roots of a tree step 19

Bring the edge of the line up, and out to create two “spikes” pointing off to the right.


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How to draw roots of a tree step 20

From the top of the second “spike”, bring the line up and across to the right, heading downwards. There should be a “tunnel” between this and the top line from the bottom right hand corner.


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How to draw roots of a tree step 21

Extend the line out and down, moving out towards the right as you do so. Add another fork, and bring the line up and in to create a “spike”.


22.

How to draw roots of a tree step 22

Add a second “spike” beside the one you just drew…


23.

How to draw roots of a tree step 23

…And bring the line up and in, to create another “spike” just off the bottom right hand corner.


24.

How to draw roots of a tree step 24

Add a few short, single lines to the “spike” to show baby roots just beginning to grow, as well as the bottom of the roots.


25.

How to draw roots of a tree step 25

Now, switch to a thinner black liner, and draw lines up from each of the main “forks”, up into the main body of the plant.


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How to draw roots of a tree step 26

Now add a little detail with short, vertical lines across the main body of the plant, to add texture and a “wood” feel.


27.

How to draw roots of a tree step 27

Bring these texture lines down into the main roots, with brief, short lines dotted about.


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How to draw roots of a tree step 28

Next, go back to these lines, and add tiny, diagonal hatching to each line – this will create incredible texture.


29.

How to draw roots of a tree step 29

Add the same diagonal hatching to the lines which make up the roots…


30.

How to draw roots of a tree step 30

And finish by adding lighter lines alongside the marks you have already made.


And there you have it: a beautiful, delicate root system which really demonstrates just how elaborate and intricate these systems really are!

Interesting Facts About Roots

To say that the roots of plants are important is a serious understatement; these seemingly small elements are absolutely essential to the very life and health of the plant, and form the basis of each and every function carried out by the plant.

A strong, active root system is crucial for allowing plants to carry out essential tasks such as photosynthesis, basic growth, and chemical reactions vital to survive. The roots also allow the plant to fruit or flower, grow, produce seeds, and thrive in everyday life – and they do all of this while hiding out of sight.

The importance of roots is such that they are the first thing the plant will focus on growing; a seedling in the process of sprouting will dedicate its first days of life to growing a root system, long before the leaves have poked their head out above the soil. While the roots are developing, they allow the plant to be firmly anchored in the soil, making it less likely that it will become dislodged, or damaged by winds and other forces. In addition, the roots will be responsible for delivering a flowing, ongoing and reliable water supply to the seeding – one of the most important factors in a healthy plant.

The drier the climate, the longer this can take; there are examples of plants way out in the desert which take years to establish a strong and reliable root system – until this is in place, nothing else can happen.

With this importance in mind, let’s learn how to create the most important aspect of any plant, and generate our own root drawing with the tutorial above!

How to Draw the Roots of a Tree Gallery

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