The Tree Draws

Nature is alive and beautiful, and as a family, we celebrate this on a daily basis.  I stumbled upon artist, Tim Knowles online, and his tree drawings inspired this activity.

It’s an easy activity to do with kids and holds promise of mystery and magic on a breezy day.  A tree that draws! You can’t help but notice the wind, and how it moves the leaves in a dance, or how pretty the bird’s song is. It forces you to be still, and watch, and listen.

One of Tim Knowles Tree Drawings

Oak On Easel

Stonethwaite Beck, Smithymire Island, Borrowdale, Cumbria

Our Tree Drawing

Backyard Tree (can anyone recognise the type of tree?) On Easel

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

11:30 am to 1:30 pm

tree drawing inspired by artist tim knowles


Canvas (or other hard surface to tape the paper)

Watercolour Paper or an Art Board

Masking Tape

Drawing material of choice (heavy sketching pencil, felt pen, permanent marker)

1. Materials

You can purchase all of these materials from a discount or art store (and even places like Target, Officeworks & BigW). I decided to use three A5 pieces of pastel watercolour paper for one feature, and then an artist board for the other. An artist board is like very thick cardboard with a canvas front. It’s brilliant for all kinds of projects and not as bulky as a canvas.

nature crafts do a tree drawing

2. Tape paper to canvas or straight on to an easel if you have one

This way, the paper will hold still for the tree. Keep the tape right at the edge so it doesn’t damage the paper too much.

tree drawing

3. Set up the paper in front of a low branch

Use an easel (if you have one), a step ladder (like I have) or a chair.

tree drawing

4. Tape pen to a branch

Look for a branch that naturally moves in the wind, that is close to the ground.

tree drawing

5. Adjust canvas in front of pens

Move the canvas in place so the pens are only just touching, and the tree draws with the wind. It’s beautiful to watch!  Leave for a few hours and see what happens.

tree drawing


6.Date and hang

I purchased this lovely frame half price at Target.

tree drawing nature art

Second project

Backyard Tree (can anyone recognise the type of tree?) On Branch

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

I also hung an art board on a branch (using an alligator clip, to hold the board, and a ribbon).

tree drawing on art board

tree drawing -- bird

The children were AMAZED and very excited to see the final picture.  They though this one looked very much like a bird or swan. Can you see it?

Date and time

date drawings

tree drawing nature art


  • Give as a gift: couple a photograph of the tree in a frame with the relative drawing
  • Create a memoir of a special place visited or holiday destination
  • A fun weekend activity
  • Build on the tree drawing shape to create another drawing


Nature Crafts

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