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How to Draw a Leaf

Easy, step by step Leaf drawing tutorial
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Would you like to learn how to draw a leaf? This easy, step-by-step maple leaf drawing tutorial can show you how.

This type of leaf grows on the maple tree, which is native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. There are about 200 species of maple in China, Europe, and North America.

One unique feature of maple trees is that they produce "winged" seeds. Each pair of seeds has two leaflets that catch the wind and help the seeds to travel some distance from the parent tree.

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The swirling motion of the falling seeds has earned them the nickname "helicopters." One type of maple tree, the sugar maple, produces sweet sap that is processed to make maple syrup.

Maple leaves are also highly symbolic. A red maple leaf appears on the Canadian flag. Maple syrup bottles may feature the leaf on their labels or the bottles themselves may even be leaf-shaped.

Brightly colored maple leaves are synonymous with the autumn leaf-peeping season in the United States of America.

Can you identify all the parts of the leaf? Drawing a leaf and labeling its parts can be a great science fair project. As you read the descriptions of each step, note the leaf parts vocabulary, highlighted in bold.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Bamboo, Potted Plant, and Olive Branch.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Leaf

Leaf drawing - step 1
Leaf step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 01

1. Begin by drawing the leaf margin, or the edge of the leaf. Use Curved lines that meet at sharp or gentle points. The maple leaf is lobed or lacerate, meaning it has deep indentations.

Leaf drawing - step 2
Leaf step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 02

2. Continue to outline the edge of the leaf, using curved lines that meet at points to form the lobes. This new side should be a near mirror image of the first.

Leaf drawing - step 3
Leaf step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 03

3. Continue drawing the side of the leaf begun in the first step. Draw each lobe using curved lines of various sizes that meet at sharp points.

Leaf drawing - step 4
Leaf step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 04

4. Continue to draw the opposite side of the leaf. Again, use curved lines that meet at sharp points to form the jagged lobes.

Leaf drawing - step 5
Leaf step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 05

5. Draw the top side of each of the upper lobes. Use curved lines that meet at sharp points. You can now see the shape of the lobes, and that each lobe is further serrated with sharp points. This is described as double dentate.

Leaf drawing - step 6
Leaf step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 06

6. Use a series of connected, curved lines that meet at sharp points to complete the apex or top tip of the leaf. This completes the outline of the leaf blade.

Leaf drawing - step 7
Leaf step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 07

7. Draw a series of curved lines in a starburst pattern. The lines should originate near the bottom of the leaf and extend nearly to the tip of each lobe. These are the leaf's veins. The vein in the center of the leaf is called the midrib.

Leaf drawing - step 8
Leaf step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 08

8. Draw short curved lines extending from the veins in "V" shapes. These are called secondary veins.

Leaf drawing - step 9
Leaf step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 09

9. Continue to texture the leaves with secondary veins. Then draw the stem or petiole, the structure that connects the leaf to the tree. From the point where the veins converge, extend a pair of curved lines.

Complete Leaf drawing
Leaf step-by-step drawing tutorial: step 10

Connect them at the end with a short curved line. Give the tip a rounded, three-dimensional appearance by drawing another short line across it.

Color your cartoon maple leaf. In the spring and summer, the leaves of most maples are bright green. In fall, they turn yellow, orange, red, or brown.

Japanese maples are deep red all year long, and red maples have a reddish stem even when the leaf is green.

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The Complete Leaf Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Leaf - all drawing steps
how to draw a leaf step by step tutorial image

Printable Drawing Tutorial

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