We draw a Christmas tree in Photoshop

In this lesson we will learn how to create a realistic icon in the form of a Christmas tree.

I said “realistic”, because, as you probably noticed, the icons with the image of Christmas trees are not drawn in detail, they are symbolic, they do not have needles on the branches. Yes, this is not understandable, because the first thought that comes to mind: “Oh no, I’m not going to draw every branch and every needle, it’s tedious!”. But, in reality, everything is much simpler.

Step 1

We will start by opening a new document. The first branch will look like this. I used a small brush (3px) in color # 808250.

For the needles we will use a brush of color # 7f9451. If you have a tablet, the work will go faster, if not – go to step 2.

And more needles of a brighter color, # aabc8a.

Step 2

If you do not have a tablet, you can use a standard brush in Photoshop ‘Dune Grass’, adjusting its parameters.

Rotate the angle in the direction you want to paint with the brush. But be careful. Install interval (spacing) more, otherwise you will have a branch with fur, and not with needles.

So, the first branch is ready, but we need more. At least 4 different options (rotation, shape, size) on separate layers.

Step 3

Create a new document of the size that your icon should have, I set the size to 256x256px. Let’s start creating the lower part of the Christmas tree from the branches that we created. Duplicate, rotate and resize them so that they are all different. Create about 10-12 twigs.

Create a little Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) for branches so that they do not look flat. Apply this style to all layers with sprigs.

Step 4

Merge the layers with all the twigs into one and duplicate it.

Flip horizontally (Flip Horizontal).

Move the new layer a little higher from the existing sprig layer so that integrity is formed.

Create a duplicate again and make twigs in the background using the function Transformation (Transform) – Distortion (Distort).

Duplicate again and create the top level.

We got to the middle of the New Year tree, so in the next stages we will not need so many branches anymore. We use about half of what was.

The last level of branches requires a little effort. For the best result, we will use the separate branches from which we started this lesson. Just remember that they should be located as close as possible to each other.

I do not like the empty space between the branches at the bottom of the Christmas tree, so I filled it with a smaller copy of the layer below.

Herringbone looks a bit shaggy, so cut it with a tool Eraser (Eraser).

Step 5
Now that the hardest thing is over, we need to decorate the Christmas tree and give it a more voluminous look. I want to add colorful balloons. If you want to make a monochrome Christmas tree, create circles of the same color between the branches.

To add volume, use the Layer Styles:
Gradient Overlay: Blend Mode “Linear dimmer

Inner glow Blending Mode “Multiplication

Embossing “Internal embossing”

Here is the result of our work:

Step 6

Herringbone still looks flat, so add shadows with a large black brush between each layer with branches. Blending mode for each layer with shadow set to Multiplication (Multiply) and turn it down a little Opacity (Opacity).

Create a new layer and draw some white dots of size 9-13px. This will add a bit of contrast. The dark part we have already created, it’s time for the light.

Install blending mode (blend mode) for this layer on Overlap (Overlay), and Opacity (Opacity) set to 48%. And that’s about what you should get:

Now you can make a star or any other decoration for the Christmas tree. Below is an express lesson on drawing stars:

Step 7 – Add Some Shadow

Create a new layer and move it to the bottom. Draw a small shadow with a soft brush, choose the scale so that the shadow is under the Christmas tree.

Now add contrast


After you save the tree for the web and devices, the work is ready! You can open it in Png format and add sharpness, so it will visually be more detailed.

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