How to Draw a Maple Leaf

Easy, step by step Maple Leaf drawing tutorial
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There are about 200 species of maples, a type of deciduous tree. Maples are known for their vibrant red and yellow fall colors. One variety, the sugar maple, is also famous for its sweet sap, which is boiled to produce maple syrup. Small Japanese maples have lacey leaves that turn bright red; these trees are popular in landscaping.

Did you know? The word "maple" has been in use for a long time. Its earliest recorded usage was in the year 1260, where it is spelled "mapole." A well-known collection of short stories from the 1300s, the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, uses the spelling "mapul."

Today, the maple leaf is used as a symbol of Canada. It appears on the Canadian flag and represents some Canadian sports teams. Many brands of maple syrup also use the maple leaf as an icon for their products. The leaf may also be used as a symbol of the fall or autumn season.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

Grab a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper, because it is time to draw a festive cartoon maple leaf. Follow the steps in this simple cartoon drawing tutorial as you use simple geometric shapes to sketch your maple leaf.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Cartoon Forest, Cross with Rose, and Sunflower.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Leaf

Maple Leaf drawing - step 1
How to Draw Maple Leaf: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing a long curved line. This will become the leaf's central vein and its stem. Then, draw a triangle with its point at the tip of the line. This will become the leaf's central lobe.

Maple Leaf drawing - step 2
How to Draw Maple Leaf: Step 2

2. Draw three rectangles overlapping the triangle, and overlapping each other. These will serve as guides as you outline the three primary lobes of the leaves.

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Maple Leaf drawing - step 3
How to Draw Maple Leaf: Step 3

3. Use pairs of straight lines to enclose three triangle shapes at the end of each rectangle. The lines should meet at sharp points.

Maple Leaf drawing - step 4
How to Draw Maple Leaf: Step 4

4. Draw two triangles at the base of the original triangle. These, too, will help you to shape the leaf.

Maple Leaf drawing - step 5
How to Draw Maple Leaf: Step 5

5. Draw curved lines from the point where the vein meets the original triangle to the tips of the secondary triangles. Then, draw a straight line between the top of two of the small triangles. Draw a small triangle on each side of the central rectangle, the straight line running through its middle. From the lower points of these triangles, draw curved lines to the bases of the next small triangles.

Maple Leaf drawing - step 6
How to Draw Maple Leaf: Step 6

6. Erase the geometric guide lines, leaving only the outer edges of the shapes and the central line. This is a clean outline of the leaf.

Maple Leaf drawing - step 7
How to Draw Maple Leaf: Step 7

7. Draw "U" shaped lines at the leaf tips. Then, draw two small, narrow triangles at the point where the stem meets the leaf.

Maple Leaf drawing - step 8
How to Draw Maple Leaf: Step 8

8. Erase the guide lines from the tops of the "U" shaped lines and from the tops of the most recent triangles.

Maple Leaf drawing - step 9
How to Draw Maple Leaf: Step 9

9. Draw curved lines from the central vein to form secondary veins. Draw smaller curved lines branching from the first. Then, draw a curved line from the base of the leaf to its tip, outlining the stem.

Maple Leaf drawing - step 10
How to Draw Maple Leaf: Step 10

10. Color your maple leaf. In spring and summer, the leaves are bright green. In the fall, they turn yellow, orange, or red.

Printable Drawing Tutorial

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