Step-by-Step Tutorial: Drawing Beautiful Succulents

Succulents can be pretty simple and cute to draw. They are also very easy for you to learn and can be done using several different methods, whether that includes sketching, with colored pencils or watercolor. Let’s take a look at some of these.

how to draw a succulent
Collection of various hand-drawn succulents [Cr.]

How Do You Draw a Simple Succulent?

If you want to draw a simple succulent using a medium of your choice, you can go through the following steps and try them out:

  1. Gather your tools, such as a drawing book or paper, along with some pencils or pens.
  2. If you want to draw a potted succulent, start off by first making a simple pot of your choice. This could be circular or a tapering rectangle with a band at the top. Feel free to experiment with the lines and shapes.
  3. Add some details, such as patterns, to the pot.
  4. Next, draw the succulent itself by starting with one leaf at a time. If your succulent has fleshy parts, start by drawing a semi-circular shape right on top of the pot.
  5. You can then add similar clusters of leaves and engorged parts.
  6. Add some spines or thorns to the parts of the succulents.
  7. You can also add a few small flowers on the ends of the cylindrical parts.
  8. Color it in as you place using crayons, pencils or paint.

You can also draw a succulent from the aerial view by starting out with overlapping circle-like shapes and then adding more leaves around these shapes to show them blooming.

How Do You Draw a Succulent with Colored Pencils?

how do you draw a succulent with colored pencils
Succulent drawn with colored pencils [Cr. F de Zakka (artist Rie)]

Go through the following steps to draw a succulent with colored pencils:

  1. First, you should decide whether you want to draw your succulent with a uniform outline or without one.
  2. If you want an outline, you can first start off with a black-colored pencil and draw the shape of the pot and plant using the steps mentioned in the previous section.
  3. If you don’t want a uniform outline, you can simply start with brown pencils and draw the pot, followed by the plant using green pencils.
  4. Use different shades of brown and green to add some more depth to your drawing. For example, the band of the pot can be with a different shade while the patterns on the pot could be a different shade. Similarly, the thorns can be a darker green or black or brown.
  5. Add flowers with some more colorful options and finish it off.

If you want an aerial view, first draw the general outline lightly using the base color (such as green or red). You can then fill in the shapes or petals using green or blue. Add darker shading to provide depth and dimension to the succulent.

How Do You Watercolor Succulents?

Watercolor Haworthia rufescens succulent [Cr.]

Look at the steps mentioned below to watercolor succulents:

  1. Draw an outline of the succulent depending on the angle you want. This could be a potted succulent or one with the upper or aerial view.
  2. You can then take some watercolors and mix them in with water in your palette.
  3. Make sure you have multiple paintbrushes with you of varying thickness. If your outline is small in size, then multiple small-sized brushes will be enough.
  4. Dip one brush in green or any other similar color. Gently apply it on your succulent leaves or cylinders with a light wash so that you cover a majority of the drawing.
  5. Using the same color or a darker shade of the color, you can add some shading to the corners and tips of the succulents to add depth.
  6. Using a darker brown, green or black, you can fill in some gaps between the leaves to add shadows to the plant.
  7. If you have a pot in your outline, you can paint that with an initial light brown (or other) coat, followed by darker shading for depth. You can also add patterns with other colors.

How Do You Draw a Cute Cactus?

how do you draw a cute cactus
Cute cacti drawings [Cr. lunnadesign]

The following steps can take you through how to draw a cute cactus:

  1. First, draw the outline using a shape of your choice, such as a simple pot and a gourd-shaped cylinder on top of it.
  2. Add some extra circular shapes branching out from the main shape.
  3. Draw some flowers at the tips if you wish to.
  4. Color the cactus in with a lighter shade of green, followed by a darker shade for depth and shadows. Do this for the remaining elements as well.
  5. Using a darker color, such as brown or black, add details such as thorns.

Tips for Drawing Succulents

Here are some general tips for drawing succulents:

  • Determine which medium you want to draw with. Gather it all together and make the preparations.
  • It would be a good idea to take a look at some reference drawings or even a real succulent to figure out the exact shape you want to draw it in. Keep this reference picture open throughout the process in case you need to refer to it again.
  • Always start by drawing the outline first so that you can follow a fixed process. If you don’t want your outline to stand out, you can either draw it lightly with a pencil or with the same shade that you want to color the drawing with.
  • Use multiple coats and shades to give depth and shadows.

More Succulent Drawing Ideas

Now you have a rough idea of how to draw a succulent. If you want more succulent drawing ideas, you can find a lot of these on social media like Instagram or Pinterest. Several people have accounts dedicated to drawing succulents that you can browse through.