How-To: Tribute to Earth Day

Apr 19

How-To: Tribute to Earth Day

In tribute to Earth Day, this tutorial demonstrates one way to draw a tree transitioning through the seasons. There are many ways to interpret this concept, and I encourage you to challenge yourself by picking a unique layout or different reference. Materials needed: Premier Brush|Fine Art Markers in Light Blue PB-47, Spanish Orange PB-123, Spring Green PB-25 & Goldenrod PB-69. Premier Illustration Markers in size 05 and Brush Tip: Black, Brown, Sienna, Orange, Green, & Blue. Feel free to explore other color options as well. There is no right or wrong choice.

Read on…1. Find a reference. I used as a loose reference.

2. Sketch out the limbs of the tree and divide in four segments. You can do it equally or vary the widths depending on how much of each season you want to show. I divided mine equally. Note: Don’t spend too much time on the pencil drawing. This is only a rough outline of where your illustration marker will go.

3. Put marker to paper! I used a Premier Illustration Marker with a 05 tip in black for the winter sections. I began by creating texture in the bark and then added brown, as well. Experiment with varied line weights and different patterns like zig-zags or even paisley, for example!

4. Continue out of order. I would suggest working in multiple sections at once, which can help you get a better feel for the movement of the piece. Also, you don’t want one section heavier than the others, thus making your picture appear off-balance (unless it’s intentional). I wanted to maintain flow throughout my tree.

5. Add various colors of the Premier Brush|Fine Art Marker. I used four different colors for each of the seasons. Spring Green, Goldenrod, Light Blue, and Spanish Orange. Begin using color sparingly, to ensure you don’t dominate over your line work. Add touches of color where you think it’s appropriate. I also went back and added more branches and leaves to fill the page more. It’s never too late to edit!

6. Finish by scanning! Edit the levels and saturation in Photoshop (clean it up too!). As an extra step, I added a multiply layer on Photoshop of a peachy orange to lay on top, creating a separation between sky and land.

If this inspired you to illustrate your own version of this concept, please share it with us on our Facebook page!

Guest writer and illustrator Samantha DeCarlo


  1. Diana Garrett /

    Really cool tutorial! Thank you, Samantha. I love your work!

  2. Stacey Wubbenhorst /

    do you know of and easy way learn to Photoshop ?
    it really made your tree Pop!

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