How to Draw an Arrow

The bow and arrow is an ancient weapon. The oldest arrowheads to be discovered are many thousands of years old. Until the Middle Ages, the bow and arrow were the most prominent weapons of hunting and warfare throughout the world.

It is not surprising that the arrow has long held a cultural significance as well. They are mentioned often in ancient writings. For example, in Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus skill with the bow and arrow are crucial to his victory. In the Bible book of Psalms, children are compared to arrows that must be aimed at a target. Art from ancient Assyria, China, and elsewhere depict soldiers armed with arrows.

Today, the bow and arrow are most often seen to represent the Native American cultures, as well as characters such as Robin Hood, the comic book hero Green Arrow, and the dystopian heroine Katniss Everdeen.

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Arrows may also symbolize decision making or paths in life. Arrows are common artistic elements in home decor, clothing, jewelry, and accessories, especially that classed as “bohemian.”

Would you like to draw an arrow? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial is designed to help you do just that. All you will need is a pencil, pen, or marker and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to use crayons or something else to shade your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Legs, Tears, and Ear.

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​Step by Step Instructions for Drawing​​​ an ​Arrow

How to Draw Arrow

1. ​Begin by drawing a long, straight line. This will outline the shaft, or the long wooden portion, of the arrow.

2. ​Draw another straight line, parallel to the first. Leave only a small space between the two lines.

3. ​​​At one end of the shaft, extend a short, straight line from each of the existing lines, downward at a diagonal angle. This will form the bottom of the arrow head.

4. ​Draw a straight line from each of the lines in the previous step, meeting in a point to enclose a triangular shape. This completes the outline of the arrow head.

5.​​ ​​At the bottom of the arrow, extend a short, straight line. From this line, extend another short line at an opposite angle. This begins to outline the nock, the part of the arrow that is placed on the string of the bow.

​6.​ ​​​​​Extend a short line from the other side. Then, enclose the diamond shaped nock using a final straight line.

​7. ​Add dimension to the arrow by drawing a straight line down the lengths of the arrow head and the nock. Use a short line to enclose the ends of the shaft, separating it from the nock and arrow head.

​8.​​​ ​​​Just above the nock, enclose a parallelogram – a slanted, four sided shape – along the arrow’s shaft. Repeat to form a mirror image on the opposite side. This forms the arrow’s fletching, also called vanes or feathers. The fletching gives the arrow stability, helping it reach its target.

9.​​ ​​​​​​​Texture the fletching by banding it with straight, parallel lines.

​10. ​​​​​Color your arrow. Ancient arrows were made of wood, stone, and metal, and thus were colored in shades of brown or grey. Modern arrows are made of plastic, metal, fiberglass, and other materials. Thus, they come in every color imaginable.

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