How to Draw a Cactus

Easy, step by step Cactus drawing tutorial
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There are about 1,750 known species in the group of plants known as the cactus (plural, cacti). Cacti are known for their sharp spines and the ability to conserve water in their thick flesh. Most live in areas that experience periods of drought, many in the world’s driest deserts.

Cacti play unique roles in their native ecosystems. For example, the saguaro cactus of Arizona, U.S.A., is the “tree” of the desert, growing to be up to 70 feet tall. They may live 150 years, and don’t grow their first arm until they reach 75 years of age. In late spring, the cactus opens white flowers for just one night, which are pollinated by bats that travel long distances to find the flowers. The saguaro is the type of cactus featured in this tutorial.

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Cacti are also used by humans and animals for food, water, and shelter. Woodpeckers may excavate holes in large cacti, in which these and smaller birds nest. Some cacti contain enough water to quench the thirst of a desert traveler. Others, such as the prickly pear cactus, produce fruit and flesh that can be added to tasty dishes. The “pads” of the prickly pear are pickled or roasted to become the Mexican dish known as nopal.

Cacti feature prominently in the art of areas in which they naturally grow. For example, a stone carving of a man carrying a cactus dating to around 1,000 B.C. was discovered in Peru. Cacti are still a common subject of artwork in the American southwest. The coat of arms of Mexico includes a golden eagle perched atop a prickly pear cactus.

Would you like to draw a cactus? Doing so is easy with the help of this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial. All you will need is a pencil and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to employ crayons, colored pencils, markers, or paints to shade you finished drawing.

Would you like to draw a cactus? Doing so is easy with the help of this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial. All you will need is a pencil and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to employ crayons, colored pencils, markers, or paints to shade you finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Cartoon Tree, Simple Rose, and Cross with a Rose.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing Cacti

Cactus drawing - step 1
How to Draw a Cactus Step 01

1. Begin to outline your cactus. Draw a long, curved line. Notice how the line doubles back on itself, forming the branch, or arm, of the cactus.

Cactus drawing - step 2
How to Draw a Cactus Step 02

2. Continue to outline the cactus. Draw another long, curved line, again doubling it back to form the cactus’ second arm.

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Cactus drawing - step 3
How to Draw a Cactus Step 03

3. Give your cactus some ground to stand on. Draw several slightly curved, horizontal lines of various lengths to indicate the ground beneath the cactus.

Cactus drawing - step 4
How to Draw a Cactus Step 04

4. Begin to outline a second cactus in the background. Use a long curved line, allowing it to double back on itself and form the cactus’ arm.

Cactus drawing - step 5
How to Draw a Cactus Step 05

5. Complete the outline of the second cactus. Use another curved line, again doubling back to form the arm.

Cactus drawing - step 6
How to Draw a Cactus Step 06

6. Use a curved, horizontal line to draw the ground beneath the second cactus.

Cactus drawing - step 7
How to Draw a Cactus Step 07

7. Draw the horizon. Use a long, wavy line to form the horizon line.

Cactus drawing - step 8
How to Draw a Cactus Step 08

8. Draw another long, curved line above the horizon line, indicating sand dunes or mountains in the distance. Add depth and texture to the foreground by drawing long, curved lines, indicating drifting sand.

Cactus drawing - step 9
How to Draw a Cactus Step 09

9. Add detail to your cacti. Draw long, curved lines along the length of the cactus’ bodies and arms. Cacti are known for their sharp spikes, so draw these using short lines. Finally, draw a number of short, curved lines at the bottom of each cactus to indicate hardy desert grasses.

Complete Cactus drawing
How to Draw a Cactus Step 10

10. Color your desert landscape.

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The Complete Cactus Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Cactus - all drawing steps
How to Draw a Cactus - Really Easy Drawing Tutorial

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