Your Perfect Project: Leaf Drawing

Want the complete, step-by-step video tutorial?

Great sketching begins with seeing like an artist. Thanks to in-depth video guidance, this simple botanical drawing project will take you there!

Leaf Drawing

Level: Easy

What You Need

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1. Create a Block In

Before jumping right into the detailed drawing, focus first on blocking in the basic outline. Following the guidance in the video, you'll form a central axis, measure the corner angles and begin "enveloping" the leaf. This will act as a guideline as your drawing develops.

Pro Tip

To help you accurately nail those angles, create a rose compass in the corner of your paper. This will also help train your eye to see like an artist.

When your envelope is formed, sketch the basic shape of the leaf within it. Don’t focus on details quite yet, just lightly block in basic angles and lines.

Once your basic leaf shape is in place, erase the envelope guidelines and block in the cast shadows with simple outlines.

2. Create the Contour Line

Now it's time to turn your attention to the details. Refer to the reference photo to refine your drawing and create an accurate contour on top of the foundation you made. The contour line should be clean and capture the details of the leaf's shape.

3. Make it 3D

Use shading to make your flat leaf pop off the page. Start with filling in the cast shadow, then add texture by hatching and cross-hatching the leaf itself. Use a kneaded eraser to clean up any mistakes or smudges and to add highlights. Then you're done!

Adapted from Startup Library: Learn to Draw .

May 06, 2019
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Your Perfect Project: Leaf Drawing