Welcome to my how to draw a cactus drawing tutorial!
Let’s learn about cacti!
Exploration and study: cactus drawing focused on shape and form
Shape breakouts and natural variations
How to draw a cactus: form construction
How to draw a cactus: form dissection and interior studies
How to draw a cactus step-by-step tutorial
Cactus drawing in Perspective
How to draw a cactus with light and shadow
The Details and colors of cacti
How to draw a cactus from Imagination!
Welcome to my how to draw a bat drawing tutorial!
Let’s learn about bats!
Exploration and study: Bat drawing focused on shape and form
Shape breakouts and natural variations
How to draw a bat: form construction
How to draw a bat: form dissection and interior studies
How to draw a bat step-by-step tutorial
Bat drawing in Perspective
How to draw a bat with light and shadow
The Details and colors of bats
How to draw a bat from Imagination!
Welcome to how to draw a volleyball drawing tutorial!
Let’s learn about volleyballs!
Exploration and study: Volleyball drawing focused on shape and form
Shape breakouts and natural variations
How to draw a volleyball: form construction
How to draw a volleyball: form dissection and interior studies
How to draw a volleyball step-by-step tutorial
Volleyball drawing in Perspective
How to draw a volleyball with light and shadow
The Details and colors of volleyballs
How to draw a volleyball from Imagination!
- Welcome to how to draw a football!
- Let's learn about footballs!
- Exploration and study: Football drawing focused on shape and form
- How to draw a football step by step tutorial
- Football drawing in Perspective
- The Details of footballs
- Thank you & Farewell!
Welcome to how to draw a football!
Hello and welcome!
In this how-to-draw, we’ll be learning how to draw a football using shapes, forms, and lines.
American football uses a very differently shaped ball compared with other sports. It is more oblong and looks a bit like a short drum with cones attached to each end.
Its odd shape can make football drawing a little awkward, but I’ve come up with a couple of useful tricks to keep our football drawings from looking wobbly. I’ll go over the basic shapes and forms of footballs and show you the basic construction steps.
I’ll show you how to draw a football step-by-step, how to create a football drawing in perspective and talk about some of the ball surface details.
As always, let’s start by learning a little about what we’re drawing. The better we understand what we’re drawing, the better our football drawings will be.
Let’s learn about footballs!
American football is hugely popular in the United States and Canada. Cheering for your favorite team and tossing around a football with the kids is a lot of fun. And who doesn’t enjoy those creative Superbowl ads?
Where it’s most popular, a football is also known as a “pigskin” and used to play gridiron football. There are 32 teams in the American National Football League (NFL), with each team using 11-player teams. In the Canadian Football League (CFL), teams feature 12 players.
For the professional collegiate leagues, footballs are most often made of brown tanned cowhide leather and stamped with a pebble-grain texture for easier gripping. Balls for average recreation or youth leagues may also be made of composite rubber, plastic, or rubber.
Construction of each football requires four panels of leather or plastic, and two of the panels are laced together. Each ball weighs about 14 to 15 ounces.
If you’d like to see how footballs are made, check out this helpful Youtube video:
Drawing a football is almost as easy as watching it, so let’s explore its shapes and forms. This will help us learn how to get a football shape so we can draw an easy football (and learn how to draw a football for kids, too!)
Exploration and study: Football drawing focused on shape and form
When I’m learning how to draw something, I begin by looking for references. It’s always helpful to create your own reference board to help with creating your exploration and study sketches.
If you need some help learning how to create your own reference board, I made a video guide to show you how.
A good reference board is really important because it helps us learn how to understand and draw our subject. The ref board I created for this how to draw a football tutorial is below.
Feel free to use it for your sketches!
If you’d like some extra help with wrapping your mind around the fundamentals before “tackling” a football drawing, check out my article Top 5 Art Fundamentals for Beginners.
Once I have all my refs, I begin my study sketches.
During this phase, I use pencil, pen, and colored pencil on a sheet of paper to break down the major shapes and forms of a football. I observe the location of the curve lines, stripes, laces, and stitching along the middle and center of the ball.
I visually measure the length and size of the curved lines, middle circle shape, and all the other lines and elements to see which are the same length and where each lives on the ball’s surface. Each of these things serves as a marker that helps us with our football drawing.
This is my messy phase, and it’s a lot of fun! ?
I encourage you to let yourself make a big ‘ole mess on your page as you learn how to draw a football. Here are my first wobbly, messy sketches:
One of the first things I noticed as I began sketching for this how to draw a football tutorial was how awkward the transition from the middle of the ball to its tip is. Visually, it looks normal. But when I started to connect my shapes and forms to create that area, it felt odd and wobbly my first several tries.
At first, it seems like a simple circle is enough to define the center shape of the ball. I started that way before going on to connect the ends, but more often than not it made my football drawing come out funky, bumpy, and wobbly–which is totally fine at first! This is the phase for making a messed up messy mess as you learn how to draw a football. Don’t despair at your wobbles and bobbles–It’s all good! This is all a normal part of the learning process, I promise!
When I run into this kind of thing at any point, I take some time to re-evaluate my shapes and forms and look for ways to improve my form construction process.
How to draw a football: form construction
After a bit more sketching exploration, I came up with a solution I like better. I added a cylindrical drum shape to help firm up my construction, which helped keep my football shape from turning wobbly.
After several more sketches, I found that using more construction lines, shapes and forms helped a lot when it came to getting my football drawing to have that recognizable football shape.
Adding more structure to a drawing you’re having a challenging time can go a long way toward helping you understand and draw your subject better.
Shape breakouts and variations
Normally, at this stage of my how-to-draw tutorials, I like to give examples of the natural shape variations that occur in the subject, but…that’s not really a thing with footballs ?
Unless they are deflated, deformed, or damaged in some way, the overall shape of a football–and any sporting ball, really–remains the same. The variations we see with a football are found in the materials it’s made with and its surface designs with things like logos and coloring.
Other variations that might interest you as you learn how to draw a football can be found in how the ball has evolved over time and how it compares to other sports’ balls, such as a soccer ball (which the rest of the world calls a futbol).
There is some speculation that the ball of choice for America’s Game started out as an inflated pig bladder, but that is hard to verify–though I did a search and found some fun pictures from places like The Smithsonian Magazine and Scoutlife.org!
I don’t own these images, but I’ve credited their sources as best I can. For more information, and to see the source of each photo, just click on the images below.
How to draw a football step by step tutorial
Now that we’ve found our references and done some sketching, let’s jump into how to draw a football step-by-step!
How to draw an easy football, Step 1
First, draw a line guide on your page. This line represents the unseen middle of the ball from tip to tip. This kind of guiding or action line helps orient the rest of your curved lines, shapes, and forms.
Next, draw another line perpendicular to your first guiding line. This second line helps you start to place the round center area of the ball.
Now, connect each line point to create a diamond-shaped envelope. This establishes the basic area where your ball will “live” in your drawing.
Remember, these are construction lines. We won’t keep all of them, but they help us develop a solid drawing.
Begin rounding off the overall football shape inside your envelope by drawing curved lines near each corner as shown.
Here, I started with rounding the center area of the ball.
Next, I drew small circles on the ends of my first and longest guiding line. This helps with making the ball’s tips rounded instead of pointy, and gets us closer to a football shape.
Use more curved lines to start defining the shape of your football drawing.
Now, you have a football shape!
The line and shape guides helped keep it from going all wobbly ?.
Add some stripes to help your drawing look more like a real football.
Be sure to use curve lines as you go around the surface. Making the stripe lines too straight will make your drawing feel flat.
These surface details help us identify our object. This is a good stage to add any other designs or personal touches you’d like for your drawing.
Some finishing touches with a marker or pen help the football drawing stand out.
Erase your construction lines and, tada!
A completed football drawing!
So, how was it? Not too bad, huh? These steps came from my how to draw a football exploration and study phase. I came up with a couple more versions for this how to draw a football tutorial in case you could use some more structure help as I did.
Football drawing in Perspective
Knowing how to draw a football in perspective will be helpful if you’re drawing from a game you just saw played or from your imagination.
Here are some examples of how to draw a football in one and two-point perspectives.
The Details of footballs
Another part of learning how to draw a football is understanding how to construct the stitches and laces that make the ball so recognizable.
The next group of images will visually take you through the steps of how to draw a football’s lacing and stitching details.
Thank you & Farewell!
Hey, look! You made it to the end of this how to draw a football tutorial! There are a lot of choices out there, so even if you just took a few seconds to scroll through my article to find the bits you need, I appreciate you stopping by!
I’m always working to improve the quality of my content and to make sure I’m creating content that helps artists like you on their art journey. I’d love to hear from you! If you have any feedback, questions, or comments for me, please leave them in the comments section below! If there’s an art topic you’re looking for guidance on, please feel free to message me in the comments or email me at email@example.com.
If you liked this article, please share it! Sharing helps us all grow together as artists.
Stay safe and healthy, and Happy Drawing!
Welcome All about Scales Making reference boards Exploration and study Observations Shapes, forms, and construction…
Welcome to Reflected Light with CecelyV! Hello and welcome, fellow artists! Thank you for taking…
Welcome to my how to draw wings drawing tutorial! Let’s learn about wings! Exploration and…
Welcome to my how to draw a cactus drawing tutorial! Let’s learn about cacti! Exploration…
Welcome to my how to draw a bat drawing tutorial! Let’s learn about bats! Exploration…
Welcome to how to draw a volleyball drawing tutorial! Let’s learn about volleyballs! Exploration and…
Welcome to how to draw a book drawing tutorial!
Let’s learn about books!
Exploration and study: Book drawing focused on shape and form
Shape breakouts and natural variations
How to draw a book: form construction
How to draw a book: form dissection and interior studies
How to draw a book step-by-step tutorial
Book drawing in Perspective
How to draw a book with light and shadow
The Details and colors of books
How to draw a book from Imagination!
- Welcome to my how to draw a donut tutorial!
- Let's learn about donuts!
- Time to make some donut drawings!
- Exploration and study: Donut drawing shapes and forms
- How to draw a donut step-by-step tutorial (from my sketches & Imagination!)
- The Details and coloring of donuts
- A warm farewell with encouragement
Welcome to my how to draw a donut tutorial!
Hello and welcome to how to draw a donut on cecelyv.com! In this how-to-draw tutorial, we’ll discuss and demonstrate how to make a tasty donut drawing and learn about the shapes, forms, and variations of a donut.
If you’re familiar with any of my other how-to-draw articles–like how to draw a snake or how to draw a mushroom–then you know I like to emphasize form and structure. I’ll cover the basic shapes and forms that help us create a donut drawing, and I’ll explain the distinction between the donut itself and its delicious topping details.
First things first, let’s make sure we understand what we’re drawing a bit more.
Let’s learn about donuts!
A donut (also spelled “doughnut”) is a sweet treat food made from leavened fried dough. Donuts are popular, yummy to taste, and have a world full of variety, with just about every country and culture, from A to Z, having its version.
Donuts are most often deep-fried from a flour dough, with the two most common types of donuts being the ring donut and the filled donut. The ring donut has a circle shape with a hole cut out of the center, and filled donuts are injected with fruit jelly, cream, custard, or other delectable fillings.
Donut toppings vary wildly, from icing and glaze to sprinkles, frosting, chocolate, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and fruit. The hole from the center of a ring donut is often cooked as a donut hole.
Other shapes include twists, balls, buns, and thick and flattened small loaves. Donuts are also divided into cake and yeast-risen types and can be purchased everywhere, from grocery stores to cafes to donut shops and gas station convenience stores.
The History of Donuts
A cookbook published in 1485 gives us the first mention of fried dough cakes (as far as we know), so donuts have been around for quite some time. If you’d like to learn more about the history of the donut, here are a few sources to check out:
- The Spuce Eats: The History of the Doughnut (2020)
- Tori Avey.com: The History of Doughnuts (2018)
- The Smithsonian Magazine: The History of the Doughnut (1998! Super old, but a reliable source)
How Donuts are made
We like to eat them, and we’re making donut drawings, so we might as well look at how donuts are made, right? It’ll give us another good visual and insight for our drawings, and that’s always a good thing ??.
Time to make some donut drawings!
Okay! You’re probably like, “Finally, she gets to the point!” ??
I know it can seem like a lot of extra stuff, but how can we draw what we don’t understand?
Now, let’s learn how to draw a donut and have some fun!
Exploration and study: Donut drawing shapes and forms
We know enough about donuts and their variations to make some drawings, so let’s start with reference boards and sketches!
Donut reference boards help us sketch!
By studying references, we can develop a good idea of the basic shapes and forms as we begin making sketches and drawings. I like to do this for each of my drawing tutorials. Shapes and forms give us structure, and structure is vital.
How to draw a donut – My exploration and study sketches
It’s essential to do all the study sketches you feel necessary to be comfortable with your subject.
Donuts have relatively simple structures, so most of the drawing work is in the details of toppings like coloring, glaze, icing, sprinkles, shadows, and light, whether you put it on a drawing of a plate or with fruit in the middle, etc.
Here are my study sketches from my how to draw a donut explorations:
Compared with study sketches in my other tutorials, this one is pretty light on drawings–and that’s okay. If the subject is simple, it is easier to understand and draw.
Shape breakouts and variations
By studying my reference boards, I delivered the outlines and edges of an entire list of common donut varieties for us to draw. These outlines and shapes give us the basis for the forms we need as we learn how to draw a donut, and the form provides us with the structure we need so the delicious icing, glaze, and coloring have something to live on top of in our donut drawing.
Next, let’s have some fun with forms by tackling the form construction for each of these shape outlines.
How to draw a donut: basic form construction
To learn how to draw a donut, I started with the most common and recognizable type–the ring donut.
For beginners, I recommend starting with the most basic shapes and forms. Starting from simple shapes will help you grasp each edge, oval, circle, and line as you make your sketch.
This approach works for everyone from kids to hobbyists and professionals and can be applied to any medium from pencil and paper to crayons, colored pencils, or a digital format. Of course, if you need to trace at first to get started, that’s okay too!
Let’s have fun with donut forms!
How to draw a donut – more form construction!
I mentioned earlier that I identified more than one example of common donut shapes. Whether there’s a wavy line, curved lines, or straight lines, each shape gives us an example of how to start building our donut drawing forms.
It’s essential to my mission to emphasize form and structure in all of my drawing tutorials, so I created visual form construction examples for several of the common donut types to help you learn how to draw a donut of any style you choose.
To practice these form construction steps and learn how to draw a donut in different ways, follow the visual form construction steps below!
When in doubt, remember to lead by drawing an entire shape, like an ellipse, circle, oval, etc. It serves us better than individual lines or edges when we have a whole shape.
The twist type is less round than a basic/traditional donut, so I start with a box shape to capture its overall soft boxy form.
The churro is very tubular in its construction, essentially made of one long cylinder.
Learning how to draw a donut that is a cake type is a little more complex, but we can handle it! The cake types tend to be the ones with more complex top forms and toppings, so it makes sense that their form construction is a little more involved.
How to draw a donut step-by-step tutorial (from my sketches & Imagination!)
Next up in how to draw a donut, I will go through the “official” step-by-step tutorial for drawing a basic ring-type donut.
What you saw earlier with all the form construction was essentially a collection of visual step-by-step tutorials. I wanted to make sure I shared multiple ways of how to draw a donut with you so you can choose for yourself which type of donut you want to create.
Follow along with me, and you’ll have a realistic donut picture, complete with a slight indication of shadows. I won’t delve too deeply into the shadows and light or details in this tutorial because that crosses into the realm of painting and rendering, and we need a solid drawing to paint on top of first ?.
This step-by-step should work for kids, too. So let’s get to it!
How to draw a donut, Step 1
Start with a horizontal oval, also called an ellipse. Extend two lines straight down from each end of your oval.
Connect the straight lines you extended with another oval/ellipse.
You’ve created the form for your donut hole!
Now that we have the empty middle of the donut, it’s time to construct the ring donut itself.
Add two large circles on the horizontal ends of the donut hole form you finished in step 2. Make the circles as large and as round as you’d like.
Connect the outside bottom edges of the circles with a large ellipse as shown.
This creates the bottom plane of your donut.
Draw another ellipse to connect the outside top edges of the circles. This creates the top plane of your donut where all the toppings will live.
Now, it’s time to erase some of your construction lines to prepare for the next stage of drawing some tasty toppings.
It helps to emphasize the inside edge closest to you in your drawing. When drawn next to your donut hole, it adds a sense of depth and three-dimensionality.
Sketch in some ellipses around the ring of your donut to help you visualize how the form turns.
This will give you a guide to help make your toppings look more realistic.
Sketch in the basic shape, size, and directionality of your toppings.
I chose a simple icing with light sprinkles, so here I blocked that in here with a different colored pencil.
To make room for the detail shapes and forms, I took some time to erase my construction lines more carefully.
I continued the detail phase’s block-in step here by adding the shapes and forms of each sprinkle.
I made the sprinkles out of tiny circles, 3D curls, and itty bitty cylinders. They may be small, but they still have form and mass!
I also added a little bit of color to the bottom of the donut. Using brown, I decided to make this a chocolate donut with icing and sprinkles on top!
To make the drawing clear, and to keep from accidentally erasing my work during clean-up of my construction lines, I went ahead and did a trace of everything in black marker.
The last step is color, shadow, and light!
I didn’t want this how to draw a donut tutorial to turn into a painting tutorial, so I didn’t do much with the light or shadows.
Still a slight indication of shadows under the icing is enough for our purposes here.
Congratulations! You’ve completed my how to draw a donut step-by-step tutorial!
The Details and coloring of donuts
Now you know all about how to draw a donut!
I want to offer a little more clarity on what constitutes “details,” so I created a short video to explain (COMING SOON!)
A warm farewell with encouragement
Thank you for visiting my site!
I hope you enjoyed my how to draw a donut tutorial, and I hope you had fun making donut drawings with me!
Remember, it doesn’t matter how many times you need to erase, or whether you need to trace or start again on a new piece of paper several times. It doesn’t matter if your donut drawing is round or if the donut hole you drew is a little wobbly. Learn the process, find your way of drawing. Keep at it! Art isn’t about being “good”, it’s about how making art makes you feel.
Try this with crayons and other media, try it with kids–or other kids if you are a kid!
Have fun and keep drawing! The rest will come.
If you enjoyed my how to draw a donut tutorial, please share it! I’d love to hear your feedback, so if you have a comment or question for me please leave it in the comments section below! If you didn’t like my how to draw a donut tutorial, please tell me that, too! Part of my site mission is to help as many other artists as I can with my content, so I’m open to feedback that helps my content improve.
Welcome to how to draw a crown drawing tutorial!
Let’s learn about crowns!
Exploration and study: Crown drawing focused on shape and form
Shape breakouts and natural variations
How to draw a crown: form construction
How to draw a crown step-by-step tutorial
Crown drawing in Perspective
How to draw a crown with light and shadow
The Details and colors of crowns
How to draw a crown from Imagination!
- Welcome to how to draw a snake drawing tutorial!
- Let's learn about snakes!
- Image reference boards
- Exploration and study: Snake drawing focused on shape and form
- How to draw a snake step-by-step tutorial
- Snake drawing in Perspective
- The Details and colors of snakes
- How to draw a snake from Imagination!
- A warm farewell and finishing touches
Welcome to how to draw a snake drawing tutorial!
Thanks for being here!
In this how-to-draw, we’re talking about how to draw a snake!
At first glance, snakes look pretty simple. They don’t have the most complex shapes and forms in their anatomy, but there’s plenty of drawing excitement within the snake species’ natural variations.
To learn how to draw a snake, I’ll share some image references and go through my exploration and study sketching process to demonstrate how studying snake shapes, forms, and anatomy helps you create your own awesome snake drawings.
Next, I’ll cover how to draw a snake step by step, followed by drawing snakes in perspective. Then, we’ll use our references to explore the color and detail varieties in the snake species before sketching some snakes from imagination.
This will be a lot of fun, so I hope you’ll follow along and enjoy learning how to draw a snake with me!
Let’s learn about snakes!
We’ve all seen a snake at some point, right? They’re long, limbless, and covered in scales. They come in a staggering number of color and pattern combinations, and there are about 3,000 species of snakes! Snakes can eat prey much larger than their heads, allowing them to swallow their food whole–unless they’re venomous, in which case it’s fangs out first!
Snakes are found on every continent except Antarctica, and sea snakes are a real thing. ? Yikes!
Thankfully, most snakes possessing venom use it to kill or subdue prey rather than for biting us when we unwittingly scare them, and most snakes aren’t venomous, which is a relief. The nonvenomous snakes swallow their prey alive or squeeze it to death. ?
We’re bigger than snakes…mostly…so, I think we’re okay. I hope ?.
Snakes generally have a negative reputation, but they are wild animals with very sharp fangs and dangerous venom, sooo…I’m gonna say their reputation is deserved.
Still, there is a lot more we can learn about snakes, but for learning how to draw a snake we need to study its shapes, forms, and variations.
Regardless of their hunting and eating habits, snakes are pretty cool and gnarly looking, which makes them fun to draw! Let’s get into our references and start exploring how to draw a snake.
Image reference boards
Each curved line, point, shape, and form we practice in our exploration and study phase adds to our own personal tutorial for learning how to make snake drawings. So, our first step must be to gather references.
I created several reference boards to deliver the information needed to complete your snake drawing. Below you’ll find visual information that will inform you of each step, line, and curve that we need and where they all go proportionally.
You’re welcome to use the reference boards I made, but I encourage you to practice making your own as well. Out of respect, and due to copyright protection, all the references I create for my tutorials are limited to what I can find for free commercial & creative use, create myself, or purchase (which isn’t really a thing on a shoestring budget ?).
For guidance on making your own reference boards, please check out my Art Reference board tutorial.
Snake body reference images
In keeping with best practices, let’s begin with the largest shapes and forms, which, in most cases, means studying the main body of our subject first.
Here in how to draw a snake, we begin with the snake’s body:
Looking at each reference image of a snake body, what are the first things you notice?
The first things I observe are the curved lines of the body, the forked tongue, the mouth and jaw, the body forms and lines, and the extremely wide variation in coloring, patterns, and head shapes.
A snake’s body is a simple, tapering cylinder. The way the width, length, and scales vary from head to tail and across snake species is what adds interest, variation, and complexity to the body design.
If you’d like a deeper dive into forms and forms and shapes, check out my Form in Art article. This variation linking across the world of snakes gives us lots of fun shapes to use in snake drawing.
Next, let’s continue learning how to draw a snake by taking a look at the second-largest shape/form on a snake: its head.
Snake head reference images
The head shape, scales, and patterning of a snake hold nearly all the creature’s design interest and variation. In this how to draw a snake tutorial, I’ve intentionally focused more on the head because a snake’s head offers more room to play and invent than its body.
Knowing where most of a subject’s interest lies helps our design. When you make a snake drawing, you’ll know from your study that the head is where you ought to put most of your shape and form details to draw your audience’s attention.
A snake’s head and skull give us clues about how its mouth opens and closes, the shape and direction of its scales, and its size. A snake skeleton reference image is useful and necessary in this area.
Even a brief study of snake anatomy is very useful for constructing realistic, chilling snake head designs. Understanding a bit about a snake’s bone structure helps us ground our snake drawing in reality by connecting the dots between design and believability–and the same can be said about snake fangs, underbelly, and tails.
More snake shapes and forms: fangs, belly, and tail
If we look closely, we can see that snakes often have a completely different look and feel to their belly scales. The departure from the look of the rest of the scales is important to note before you work out the scales part of your design.
It might seem like I’m trying to spam you with each reference image, but studying and exploring from reference and from life will ultimately benefit your snake drawing immensely.
Exploration and study: Snake drawing focused on shape and form
Once you’ve gathered all your references, it’s time to draw from them.
Eventually, you’ll establish your own version of this study and exploration process. I will take you through mine to offer a springboard, so to speak.
Snake head studies
As I mentioned earlier, the head of the snake holds most of the shape and form information. So, for this how to draw a snake tutorial, I decided to focus my studies on the head–especially since the body of a snake is quite easy in comparison (at least, until you get to the scales ?).
Notice that each study includes not only a sketch of the snake head I was referring to on my boards, but also a rough sketch of the overall shape/form envelope. By understanding the larger forms that create and support the head, it becomes much easier to build smaller forms like eyes, horns, scales, etc on top.
Shape breakouts and natural variations
Once I felt comfortable with my understanding of the basic anatomical forms of a snake, I was able to break out the most common natural variations. I complete this step in each tutorial because when we understand what we’re drawing we can draw it much better, and invent from imagination more easily.
How to draw a snake: body form construction
Even though a snake’s body is a simple tapering cylinder, it’s important to practice all the basic forms of our subject and try to understand its variations.
As shown in my shapes breakout sketches, there are some slight natural variations in the cylindrical form of snakes. As I was working out how to draw a snake body, I kept those variations in mind and tried to have some fun with it as well.
Here are a few of my sketches for the snake’s body forms:
The example above should help clarify the process of how to draw a snake body. Even though it’s a simple form, clarification on construction always helps.
The process for both of these examples was exactly the same. The only difference was my use of different shape language. This second example of how to draw a snake body offers more of a sense of design and detail, and I achieved that simply by tweaking the overall shape used to create the body’s form.
This is something you can do in your design as well, so have fun with it! Try some sharper shapes for a more aggressive-looking snake, or softer ones for a cute-looking snake.
It helps to put your sketches side-by-side for comparison to see how the altered shape language changes your design.
How to draw a snake step-by-step tutorial
Now that we’ve explored each shape and visual bit, we’re snake ready to draw! A bit of an odd turn of phrase, I know, but I had to give it a try. Okay, next up here in how to draw a snake we’ll dive into drawing a snake step by step.
To be clear, this is my own imagination and it’s a finished sketch not a rendered image. I encourage you to follow the process explained within each step. It is not necessary for your snake step by step drawing to look like mine. This how to draw a snake tutorial is for you, so draw your way. Do you and enjoy!
Drawing a snake step 1
I started with a gesture line to define the snake’s pose.
A gesture line gives us a starting-off point by essentially offering us two dots or points for the start and end/top and bottom of our subject.
It’s also a long curve, with a second curve at the end for the tapering tail.
Drawing a snake step 2
After placing the gesture line to indicate the pose, I began building the shapes and forms for the head.
My selection for each line, form, and curve of the head is informed by the lines I remember from my study sketches.
Before you start roughing in the head, decide on its basic shape. It will be most helpful if you drew from your studies and reference boards.
Drawing a snake step 3
In this step, I began filling out the body form.
My goal in this step was to roughly match the thickness and length of the body to the head forms I’d created.
It’s okay if it’s not quite right immediately. Remember, it’s a sketch to get your ideas out. As you’ll see, I made some adjustments further along in my process.
Drawing a snake step 4
In this step, I decided I need to elongate the main body. The length and detail in the head I’d created needed balancing, so I made adjustments to the body.
I decided not to show the tongue, but I had fun giving my snake a ridge-like nose.
I also continued refining the head forms in this step.
Drawing a snake step 5
This step is about continuing to develop all the forms we drew.
As you can see, there are plenty of places where I erased and redrew my lines to make adjustments and changes.
Remember, it’s a sketch which is basically like a workout–you’re working out the design, the shapes, forms, lines, curves, etc. If you’re not happy with it, start another sketch and keep going!
Drawing a snake step 6
When I reached the point that I was happy with how I’d developed all my forms, I completed my sketch by darkening my final line work.
I do this last step to help make the sketch more readable online, but it’s not a necessary part of the how to draw a snake process.
Snake drawing in Perspective
When we learn how to draw a snake, we need to know how to put it into any perspective our image or story needs.
Next, you’ll find a video covering the process of how to draw a snake in one-point perspective.
The most commonly used perspectives for drawing are one and two-point perspectives, so up next in how to draw a snake I’ll go over the two-point perspective process.
The Details and colors of snakes
While each line and curve helps us define our forms, the world of snakes is very well known for several other features–especially their scales, forked tongue, and patterns.
The scales and patterns are designs unto themselves and so a bit too much to add to this how to draw a snake article (we’re almost done, I promise!). I’ll create a separate article all about drawing scales and designing patterns, but we can still talk a bit about the commonalities in these areas.
The range of variety in scales is amazing, going from these:
…all the way to this:
The image above is from a Dragon Snake. Isn’t that one of the most gnarly things you’ve ever seen?! It impressed me anyway ?. This volume of possibility, and the fact that far more creatures than snakes have scales, means I need to treat How to draw Scales as its own thing.
As I was learning how to draw a snake, I did a research overview of their patterning, and, oh boy! Lots of variation, but without any particular rhyme or reason beyond identifying snake species. This is helpful for us because it means you can design your snake’s skin any way you want ??.
A lot of scientific pigmentation language is involved with explaining snake coloring, and you can find one source for that here. For our how to draw a snake tutorial, we don’t need the science. Snakes present with just about every color there is along with iridescence, so choose whatever color scheme suits you.
How to draw a snake from Imagination!
Process: Curved lines, shape, form, and drawing through
I mentioned earlier that I chose to focus on snake heads for my demos, so what I have next is a video showing the entire process of me drawing a snake’s head from my imagination. It’s not a cute snake or a particularly good design, but that wasn’t the point ?. The point was to share my thought, creative, and imaginative process with you.
A warm farewell and finishing touches
Congratulations! You drew some fun snakes today! I hope you feel good about the new knowledge and practice you drew from this article.
Snakes really are pretty simple to draw in a basic sense, and I hope this how to draw a snake tutorial helped you with your snake-drawing goals.
I’m always happy to hear from my readers, so pretty please leave your questions and comments for me below. I’d love to hear what you think about this article and answer any questions that may have come up for you.
Stay safe and Happy Drawing!
- Welcome to my how to draw a palm tree tutorial!
- Let's learn about palm trees!
- Exploration and study: Discovering a palm tree's basic shape
- A word about research…
- Palm tree silhouette
- How to draw a palm tree with silhouette, step-by-step tutorial
- Palm tree silhouette draw over, step by step
- Easy steps palm tree drawing
- Palm tree drawing in Perspective
- Color and light and palm trees
- More details and coloring of palm trees
- Fond wishes and a warm farewell until next time!
Welcome to my how to draw a palm tree tutorial!
Welcome to another article in my how-to-draw series. This article is all about palm trees and how to draw them! If you want to add more beach and “fun in the sun” feel to the ocean and sand of your art, draw palm trees! A simple palm tree, coconuts, and some tropical fruit can create moods for your drawing that say “vacation and Mai Tais” or “building sandcastles with the kids.”
As you go through this article, you may notice that I’ve changed my format a little bit this time by leaving out the lighting (shadow and light) part. I’ll clarify that choice toward the end here, but, first, let’s focus on learning how to draw a palm tree!
Once you learn to draw a palm tree with all its parts and detail–from the silhouette to the curved lines of the tree trunk, and the round crown to a palm tree’s leaves–you can render your finished drawing however you choose: realistic, cartoon, anime. You’ll be covered by what you learn how to draw here!
First, we explore and study all the shapes and forms that make a palm tree look like a palm tree. Then, we’ll start constructing the basic shapes and forms, move into practicing with palm tree silhouettes, dig into some step-by-step palm tree drawing tutorials, and draw a palm tree in perspective.
I’ll cover the basic shapes, forms, & silhouettes of palm trees and all their parts, including the palm tree trunk and palm tree leaf. Our first step is the same as always: references!
Let’s learn about palm trees!
Palms, including palm trees, are from the family Arecaceae. They are a family of flowering plants with several growth forms, all commonly known as palms.
Most palm species, characterized by large evergreen leaves called fronds, are found in tropical and subtropical environments.
As one of the best known and most cultivated plant families, palms show extensive diversity in physical characteristics that allow them to inhabit nearly every kind of habitat. Being so well cultivated means palms, from their wood to their fruits, have several uses in human society, including palm wood, carnauba wax, palm syrup, dates, oils, jelly, and coconut products.
Exploration and study: Discovering a palm tree’s basic shape
Study sketches help us build our design process. In this step, we must take the time to understand the “thing” we’re drawing. Without this step–or without spending enough time with this step–drawings and designs will likely fall flat.
Since we’re not interested in polishing turds, let’s learn about the shapes and forms that make a palm tree!
Shape breakouts and natural variations
Palm trees have fairly basic overall shapes. To begin an amazing palm tree drawing, choose a few simple shapes and forms.
I started outlining the basic shape breakdowns first because it communicates our goal in this step more clearly. However, it’s important to note that exploration doesn’t start with the shape breakdown sketch you see above; it starts with a messy and thorough exploration of your subject with all its parts and variations.
Here are my exploration study sketches:
First, I explored all the parts of the palm tree: palm leaves, the palm tree trunk, the different directions of the fronds, and individual leaf construction information for several types of palm leaves.
The challenge and complexity arise when it’s time to draw all the details and textures–a lot of small and irregular shape details– that give palm trees that recognizable feel and character.
My hope and encouragement for you are that you don’t forget or skip the exploration drawings stage before jumping straight into the palm tree step by step tutorials coming up.
Trust me, your step-by-step practice will level up much further the more you study palm trees through sketching exploration.
How to draw a palm tree: form construction
Completing our palm tree exploration sketches gave us a decent grasp of the parts of the palm tree. We have a solid idea of the lines, outline, silhouette, and edges that we need to create our own palm tree drawing.
Our study into how to draw a palm tree allowed us to wrap our minds around where we need to be drawing curved lines vs. horizontal lines or a straight line and showed us which basic shapes and forms we have to work with.
As we continue to learn how to draw a palm tree, let’s jump into practicing the tree’s form construction.
The bulk of form construction on a palm tree lies in drawing the trunk while drawing a palm leaf–called a frond–calls for drawing slightly curved planes without much volume apart from the palm frond base.
Most of the trunk is a simple long cylinder, but the portion at the top that resembles a fat cylindrical drum (and sits between the leaves and the trunk) has much more volume and thickness from the forms of dozens and dozens of pruned/shaved fronds.
A word about research…
Looking up palm tree drawings or palm trees on Google images gives the impression that most palm trees are just long and skinny with a few floppy fronds and a sprinkling of coconuts. This impression is mostly true of young palm trees or palm trees that have been more heavily pruned through shaving.
To learn how to draw a palm tree, I took a look at how trees get that shaved, skinnier look:
Here’s what I see around my neighborhood:
The point I’m trying to make here is: Always do your research and then find the best references you can because a basic search will only get you what everyone else has drawn, and that’s never the whole story of all that’s available for your designs.
Palm tree silhouette
I mentioned at beginning of this tutorial that I’d changed my format a bit for this article, and here’s why:
When you start exploring palm tree drawing (or any tree…or hair…or fur…really any highly textured thing, you get the idea ???), it quickly becomes clear that drawing the leaves of a palm tree one at a time is a huge pain in the butt!
The studies alone that I drew showed me the last thing I wanted to do was draw the fronds one at a time. So, when the shapes are small or many and squished or layered, what tip can we use to save us pulling out our hair? Introducing, Silhouettes!
How to draw a palm tree with silhouette, step-by-step tutorial
There isn’t one right way to draw silhouettes. What I’m showing below is only one way to approach it. Please approach this in the most intuitive way for your drawing process.
Here are a few I drew by hand during my exploration stage.
Drawing with silhouettes helps us visualize our overall subject and its gesture without allowing us to get bogged down in details.
Since most of what we see of trees is their general silhouette and light effects on their shapes and forms (small shapes make textures!), using silhouettes to draw palm trees gets us further along without all the hair-pulling ?.
Once we’ve experimented with a few silhouettes (they should totally be messy, not precious at this stage!) and chosen what we like, we can flesh out the internal shape and form information by drawing over our palm tree silhouette.
Palm tree silhouette draw over, step by step
To do this digitally as I have:
- Create a new layer over your silhouette and fill it completely with white, and then lower its opacity until you can clearly see your palm tree drawing silhouette enough to draw and trace over it.
- Create another new layer on top of your white trace layer and begin sketching the internal shape information over the top of your silhouette, including texture information.
- Use as many layers as you’d like to experiment with as many interior shape designs as you can. Simply hide the layers of your other design iterations to help you focus on the current layer’s work.
If you started traditionally on paper, you can also complete this step by photographing/scanning your drawing for your base palm tree drawing layer and then follow the steps above.
To do this traditionally:
- Get some tracing paper and overlay it onto your drawing.
- Begin sketching the internal shape information over your drawing onto the tracing paper. I recommend using pencils for this so you can easily make changes as you sketch. It’s also fun and useful to have multiple pieces of tracing paper for trying different interior shape designs.
I found this to be one of the most interesting and enjoyable steps for how to draw a palm tree, and I encourage you to work loosely and have a blast with it.
Easy steps palm tree drawing
Now, we come to the how to draw a palm tree step by step parts of this tutorial. This is the easiest version of this tutorial. I plan to create a more advanced and involved version in the future.
Since the planes and lines of a palm tree can get overwhelming quickly, I break the drawing process down into lots of digestible steps.
First, choose the simple shapes you want for your leaves and trunk and create a simple silhouette as shown here.
If you want to add some fruits, like coconuts, now is a good time to add their shapes as well.
Next, we begin to construct the forms from our thumbnail.
Here I drew the middle “drum-like” part that sits between the fronds and the trunk.
Draw the long trunk attached to the “drum-like” part.
Draw the overall container or “envelope” shape you want for the palm tree leaves. This step helps you begin blocking in the gesture and direction of your leaves.
Overlay the palm leaf gesture lines onto your envelope shape. This gesture line step helps you place the tree’s leaves in the position and direction you want them.
On top of the gesture lines from the last step, draw your leaf shapes.
Begin adding texture details to your leaves by using lines to “cut” into the edges/contours of each leaf.
Next, I added simplified oval shapes to represent the shaved/pruned fronds on the “drum-like” part of the tree.
More texture adds to the palm tree feel of the drawing.
Before cleanup, add some texture to the trunk.
The highly textured feel of a palm tree trunk comes from lots of frond leaves that were pruned/shaved as the tree grew.
Once you clean up your lines and edges, erasing where there is some overlap of shapes and lines you don’t need, you’ll be all done!
Palm tree drawing in Perspective
Knowing how to draw a palm tree in perspective is useful for placing your trees in any scene you want. Below is a quick visual demo for drawing palm trees in two-point perspective.
Color and light and palm trees
I know there’s a lot more to cover to help you understand how to add color and light to a palm tree, but that’s a whole other discussion trust me. I will write another article to cover the color and light area on its own so it’s not confusing ?.
In the meantime, if you’d like to add some light to your tree, please try out my Fundamentals of Light article. It will help you get started with the basics of light and shadow in art.
More details and coloring of palm trees
Without getting into the weeds too much, I thought it would be useful to do a quick visual once over of the textural details palm trees possess.
Here you’ll get an idea of the other textures and some very useful references for your drawing! For quick color experiments, I recommend using colored pencils or pastels.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I do not own these images! I found them on Google Images under the “Creative and Commons” usage rights filter.
Palm tree trunk dissection reference
Palm tree trunk texture reference
Palm fruit reference
Fond wishes and a warm farewell until next time!
I hope you found this to be one of those easy drawing tutorials, and I hope the art and explanations here have helped you digest the more difficult aspects of how to draw palm trees.
Thank you for spending part of your day with me learning how to draw a palm tree! I appreciate you stopping by, and I’d love to hear your feedback. If you have any questions or ideas for improving this article, please leave them for me in the comments below.
Stay safe, and Happy Drawing!