How to Draw a Palm Tree Without Breaking a Sweat ( Online art lesson # 48)

Follow these  five simple tips and learn to draw palm trees – symbols of relaxation, warmth, and beach vacations.

This lesson was planned while in Puerto Rico a few weeks ago.  The Kit in a Baggie worked great even in the pool.

Take a deep breath and  imagine  that you are inhaling fresh sea air while you close your eyes for a moment. Ready?  Get some paper and a pencil.

Lillian Kennedy landscape painting in the pool in Puerto Rico

The no-sweat art process - painting palms from the pool in Puerto Rico.

Five Steps to Drawing Palm Trees

1. Make an angled organically wiggly line.  This is the trunk.   Any little kink or twist adds life.   

Put a small inverted triangle or mark on the top of your line.  This is the growing center for the palm fronds. You don’t need to do this, but it helps to stay organized.  Remember, palms don’t have limbs growing out at various places along the trunk as most trees do. The growth  happens from this center at the top.

how to draw a palm tree, Lillian Kennedy, weekly art lesson

Click to enlarge for the steps to drawing simple palm trees. media: dry erase board

2. Make an imperfect oval over the top of the trunk.   At this stage your palms will look like drunken lollipops.   Make as many as you like  (it’s your imagination after all).

3. Draw a sloping line under your palm tree to represent the beach.   Follow the diagram.  Make sure your palm leans towards the sea.

Next make a low horizontal line to represent the horizon line / the level line where the ocean meets the sky.

Starting at your little triangle, make curved lines all around and let them extend to the oval.  These lines represent one edge of the palm fronds.

lesson on how to draw a palm tree, Lillian Kennedy, pencil

figuring out how to explain palm tree drawing to you (and having fun in Puerto Rico)

4. Draw the other edge of the palm fronds.  Each frond is tapered and makes a long sword shape. See if you can make one frond come out towards you.

Put a squiggly line in the water and two little vertical lines on the beach.  Now you can see yourself walking with someone else (just erase that other line if you want some alone time).          Sigh.

5. Make a line down the center of  the fronds and draw lines from the center to the edge slanting toward the tips to represent the individual tapered leaves.

Add some  little ovals on your little stick people for the heads.    Erase the oval  that you used as a guide.

Repeat as needed for a mini break.

lesson on how to draw a palm tree, Lillian Kennedy, pencil

click to read some of my on-location notes for this lesson - I wasn't JUST hanging out on the beach

lesson on how to draw a palm tree, Lillian Kennedy, watercolor and gouache

PALM TREES detail: watercolor and gouache, Lillian Kennedy







Ilene Ruben doing the Weekly Art Lesson by Lillian Kennedy

1/25/12 Ilene Ruben in PA sent this response to the lesson. Something in the news makes me think she imagined a beach on an island off Italy.

This entry was posted in drawing lesson. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How to Draw a Palm Tree Without Breaking a Sweat ( Online art lesson # 48)

  1. cat says:

    Now I want a table like that in our pool! Your notes from the beach helped me to develop a more observant eye. Thank you for including them!

  2. ahhhhhhh is right! …makes me wanna go to the beach! So, I’m soooo glad we will be going on a cruise to the Western Caribbean this summer to practice from life! This is a GREAT lesson…thanks!

  3. Jean in NH says:

    Excellent post. No motivator like the monkey see monkey do ones. Love these actual lessons the best.

  4. Ilene says:

    Love it!!
    PS: going on Friday to PR, where were you staying? Are you still there?

  5. Pingback: Publish your Palm Tree Drawings for the World to See! (Online art lesson #49) |

  6. Jean in NH says:

    Ilene’s beach with palm trees and ship wreak had me laughing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *