Learn how to draw a great looking Plaid with easy, step-by-step drawing instructions, and video tutorial.
By following the simple steps, you too can easily draw a perfect Plaid.
Want to take your drawings from plain to plaid? You can learn how to draw a plaid pattern with the help of this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial.
Plaid - a pattern of squares and lines of different colors - is so familiar and ubiquitous that it often goes unnoticed.
Plaid has a very long history. One mummy dated to nearly three thousand years ago was discovered wearing plaid leggings.
The pattern became especially popular in Scotland during the 1700s. The patterns and colors would identify what family you were from. Later, the pattern was used only for the military.
Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.
The checkerboard-like buffalo plaid or buffalo check came to North America when a traveler traded plaid blankets to Native Americans in exchange for supplies.
By 1850, a Pennsylvania company was selling shirts in this pattern.
Did you know? The proper name for the plaid pattern is "tartan." The term "plaid" referred to the type of clothing that had this pattern.
In this plaid/tartan drawing guide, we'll draw a plaid pattern and color it in five different ways.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Plaid
How to Draw a Great Looking Plaid for Kids, Beginners, and Adults - Step 1
Easy Plaid Drawing - Step 2
Continue the cartoon pattern by drawing a pair of straight, vertical lines perpendicular to the first.
Next, draw another pair of horizontal lines near the top of the square. Notice that these lines are closer together than the previous pairs of lines.
Easy Plaid Drawing - Step 3
Draw two more pairs of lines - a vertical set and a horizontal set - that meet perpendicularly at one corner of the square. These lines are also narrowly spaced.
Easy Plaid Drawing - Step 4
Draw another set of narrowly spaced vertical lines on one side of the square.
Then, draw two more horizontal lines, one above and one below the original set of horizontal lines.
Easy Plaid Drawing - Step 5
Complete your plaid outline by drawing two more horizontal lines and four more vertical lines.
The result should be an overall checkerboard pattern with thick perpendicular lines in the middle and thinner sets of lines around the edges.
This pattern is repeated over and over, side by side, on a garment, fabric, or object to create the familiar plaid pattern that we know and love.
Color Your Plaid Drawing
Now, it's time to color your cartoon of a plaid pattern. How you color it has a great bearing on how the finished plaid will look.
It may seem complicated at first, but a few simple "rules" will keep your pattern consistent.
Look at the plaid illustration in this step. Overall, you see tan lines running along a red background.
But look closely - the tan and red colors are darkest when the lines cross one another.
Squares with a single line are a lighter shade of red, and those with no lines are lighter still.
Alternative Plaid Coloring Version 2
This plaid version has a different color pattern. From top to bottom, the blocks oscillate between light and dark. But from the side moving inward, each column is lighter than the one beside it.
Alternative Plaid Coloring Version 3
This drawing shows a green plaid like you might see on a Scottish kilt. Notice that the reddish color is centered around the central lines but not those on the top and sides.
Alternative Plaid Coloring Version 4
This plaid shows yet another style in which the squares containing perpendicular lines sharply contrast those around them.
Alternative Plaid Coloring Version 5
In this 5th and last plaid version, the transition from white to pink to purple forms a large cross pattern centered around the central perpendicular lines.
For more great clothes drawing tutorials, see the collection of Beginner Clothes Drawing Tutorials.
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Plaid Drawing Tutorial - Easy & Fun Printable Pages
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