Inside: How to Draw a Leaf with symmetrical sides and natural shading instructions.

Today we are learning how to draw a leaf. Leaves, they are an example of *almost* perfection in nature. Leaves can be a myriad of shapes and colors, for the most part they are green. Leaves are a very useful nature element to know how to draw well. Once you’ve learned you can even put your leaf on a vine.

They are so simple, yet beautiful and the key to that beauty is symmetry.

What Is Symmetry?

Symmetry is when things are the same on both sides, a mirror image. Learning how to create symmetrical images will help you as you grow in an artist and work on all types of drawings like when you’re drawing elements on faces

Yes, I know leaves are not always symmetrical, but for the most part they are. Let’s see how we can play with this idea in our leaf drawings.

How to draw symmetrical leaves

Drawing supplies

Supplies you will need for drawing, outlining and shading your leaves:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Colored pencils or crayons
  • Markers
  • Water Color

How to shade with different tools

How to draw a leaf step-by-step instructions

Artist tip: As with any drawing it’s important to recognize how much space you are working with.

To do this, point to the middle of your paper with your finger or pencil. This will tell your eyes how much space you have to draw in. It does not have to be exact! 

Let’s get started:

1. This will be a drawing exercise, this means you can practice and adjust as you choose to. After all, you are the artist!

First draw a curved line, medium length.

How to draw a curve

2. Next, draw a curved line the same length with the curve facing the opposite way. This will give you an “eye” shape.

Basic eye shape of a leaf

How to draw a stem & leaf veins

3. Now, draw a line from the top point through the middle of the eye shape right past the bottom, keep going for an inch or two.

This is the stem.

How to draw a stem

4. Add details, the veins in a leaf add beauty and symmetry.

They should start from the main stem in the middle and reach out towards the edge of the leaf.

5. Before I color, I wanted to show you a few variations of leaves you could try. You can make the edges jagged, or wavy.

The veins can come from the middle or the bottom of the leaf. Or for more of a “sketched” look you can add veins to only one side. 

How To Color A Leaf With Wax Resist

The BEST part: ADD COLOR! 

Artist tip: Using different shades and hues of the same color will help to make it look more realistic.

Take your time coloring. You could also make the leaves different colors (reds, yellows, oranges or brown) for more of an autumn feel.

* I outlined in crayon and then painted them with watercolor.

The crayon creates a boundary for the watercolor paint, which will not go over the crayon. This is called a wax resist. 

How to draw a leaf

There you go! You’ve done it! A leaf or a whole pile of leaves, it’s up to you how many of these you draw. Although warning they can get addictive to design once you start. 

Let’s see what else we can draw together…next time.

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