How to Draw a Canopy, Rainforest Canopy
Start out by picking your supplies. I decided to start using Cretacolor graphite instead of the usual Derwent graphite. I used F graphite for sketching and details and 6B graphite for shading. If you have woodless 6B graphite go ahead and use it. It
Build so leaf clusters around the tree. Use a kneaded eraser to clean up your lines. Refine you lines a bit as well.
Start sketching in the next section of foliage. Basic rounded shapes will do for this. Just keep them light and simple.
Start lightly sketching in the trees. Work you way from bottom to top. By working this way you are also drawing from foreground to background, which will make drawing overlapping foliage much easier.
Sketch in the top section of trees. Keep your light sketching rough but natural. Don't just scribble in lines.
Sketching in the rest of the trees in the same manner. Basic rounded shapes and basic lines for branches and tree trunks are the way to go.
Refine your lines on this section of the drawing. Finish up your sketch. From here you can use just about any technique to add shading. If you find my method too difficult or just inconvenient, then play around with some other ways of shading.
Using my 6B woodless graphite, I lightly shaded over my drawing. I did this to add a basic layer of texture to add a bit of realism and also to tone down the white of the paper.
Grab a 6B pencil and start shading. Concentrate on shadows and outlines for your first layer of shading.
For your next layer of shading shade in the mid-tones and define your forms a bit more. I used my F pencil to define my outlines here but you should be able to create fairly crisp lines with a sharpened 6B pencil.
Start building your shading for the rest of the left section of foliage. Again, just concentrate of outlines and shadows.
Add in mid tones and brush up your lines and shading. Don't worry about details/shading balance just yet. It will be much easier to fix your shading and rework your details once you have shaded in the rest of the drawing.
Build up your shading some in the this section. Do your best to make it blend seamlessly into the left section of foliage; in other words, just keep your shading consistent even though you are working in sections.
Build up the rest of your foliage shading. At this point your shading should look a bit unbalanced in places and that's alright. Once you've shaded the sky you can go back and add another layer of shading to tie your drawing together.
For the sky I used a blending stump to blend in my shading. I then using a kneaded eraser to add some highlights. If you need to darken you sky, lightly shade with a 6B pencil then blend with a blending stump.
I started refining my shading during this step by working my way from left to right. I used 6B woodless graphite to cover large areas fairly quickly.