What to draw first: the tree or the decorations?

December 25, 2023 | 6 Comments

I managed to squeeze in a quick watercolour pencil and water brush sketch of a Christmas Tree on Friday while hanging out with my brother’s family.

As I was working I was thinking: should I draw the tree first or the decorations? I started with the tree working negatively around the decorations but then decided to switch. I think that decorations first in this instance was a little easier.

Please note that even though I was drawing with watercolour pencil I was thinking in terms of shapes and therefore had to decide which way to work.

I then added a little water with my Large Aquash water brush and it was done!

I’ve now done a festive season sketch. Big tick! 🙂

Guess what? This isn’t the only Christmas-themed sketch in my sketchbook.

Recently I’ve been letting my niece and nephews draw directly in my book and so here are three snowman drawings done by the children aged 6, 8 and 10. How cool are these?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



  • Peggy Bowman says:

    Merry Christmas Liz. So glad you are spending and enjoying it with family!! Love that you share your sketchbook with your little budding artists!!!

  • Patricia Wafer says:

    Happy holidays from Wisconsin! I think it is so interesting that at least in my opinion the 6-year-old’s drawing has the most life and personality and originality. The 8-year-olds also has it but the 10-year-old’s is more conventional. I’ve read that it’s around the age of 9 when we start to draw things the way we think is the right way, the conventional way and originality starts to go out the window. I know that until I worked my way through Betty Edwards book, drawing on the right side of the brain, that my drawings were more like a 9-year-old’s. Her book helped me understand that I was drawing things and not the shapes I was looking at. I also love your version of the Christmas tree! I’m stealing it for my card next year.

    • Ginie Udy says:

      Love these interesting insights you’ve shared Pat!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Patricia.
      Yes the kids drawing shows a typical development of children’s work from expressive to ‘the way it should be done’. its fun that these also reflect personalty – the quirky 6yo boy, the sweet 8yo girl and the scientific 10yo boy.

  • Jamie C says:

    Happy Holidays! I always love to see the sketches from the holidays and the family!

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