How to

Drawing leaves: How to draw step by step – Doodle a leaf

Parts of a Leaf

Have you ever wanted to draw a leaf but felt overwhelmed by all its intricate details? Well, fear not! In this tutorial, we will break down the anatomy of a leaf and guide you through step-by-step doodles. Whether you’re a bullet journal enthusiast or an art project lover, this tutorial is perfect for you!

To start, let’s familiarize ourselves with the basic parts of a leaf:

  • Stem: The stem serves as the support system for the leaf, connecting it to the branch.
  • Axil: The axil is the upper angle where the leaf attaches to the stem. It connects the leaf to the petiole at an angle.
  • Leaf Base: The leaf base is the lowest edge of the leaf, connecting it to the petiole. It can resemble the cupid’s bow or an archery bow.
  • Petiole: The petiole is the stalk that connects the leaf to the stem or branch.
  • Leaf Blade: Also known as the lamina, the leaf blade is the thin and flat part of the leaf that aids in its aerodynamic properties.
  • Leaf Lobe: Some leaves have separate sections called lobes. These lobes can be distinguished by their indentations and can vary in shape and number.
  • Vein: Similar to the veins in our bodies, leaf veins transport nutrients and water from the roots to the leaf and carry away photosynthesized by-products.
  • Leaf Margin: The leaf margin refers to the outline or edge of the leaf.
  • Venules: These are smaller veins that branch out from the main leaf veins.
  • Midrib: The midrib is the central vein that runs from the petiole to the leaf tip, resembling the leaf’s backbone.
  • Tip: Most leaves have a pointed tip, similar to the point of a heart shape.

Now that we’re familiar with the parts of a leaf, let’s move on to the fun part – doodling!

Doodling Tools and Supplies

Before we begin, let’s talk about the tools and supplies you’ll need. The great thing about doodling leaves is that you can use whatever you have on hand. A monoline pen or pencil is all you need to get started. However, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to take your doodles to the next level, here are some additional tools that might come in handy:

  • Sketching paper: HP paper is highly recommended for both brush calligraphy and doodling. It provides a smooth surface for your drawings.
  • Tracing paper: Tracing paper can be used to create layers and make corrections in your drawings.
  • Journal: If you don’t have a journal already, consider getting one that is suitable for both coloring and sketching, allowing you to work on both sides of the pages.
  • iPad: If you prefer digital drawing, check out my recommended setup and brushes for Procreate.

Now that we have our tools ready, let’s dive into the world of doodling leaves!

How to Doodle Leaves – The Basics

Before we explore specific leaf types, let’s start with some basic techniques to add variety to our doodles. These techniques will help ensure that your leaves don’t all look the same.

  • The Basic Shape: Begin by drawing a straight line as the midrib of the leaf. Then, round off the top to create a curved shape, straightening the stroke as you reach the tip. Mirror the first side to create the other half of the leaf.

  • Veining Variations: Changing the way we draw the veins can give our leaves a completely different look. Try different vein patterns, such as equal separations, gradually increasing separations, or veins on only one side of the leaf. You can also experiment with uneven lines scattered across the leaf for a unique look.

  • Angle Variation: To add perspective to your drawings, use angles or slants when drawing the stem. Start with a slanted or curved stem, then create the leaf shape by curving one side and making the other side slightly smaller.

  • Leaf Shape Variation: Play around with different leaf shapes. Make the leaf base wider or narrower, or try making the leaf more oval or egg-shaped. Embrace asymmetry and explore different contours to give your leaves a natural and unique appearance.

With these techniques in mind, you can create a wide range of leaf doodles. Let’s take a look at some examples!

Doodling Leaf Examples

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore some imaginary leaf shapes. The beauty of doodling is that you can let your imagination run wild. These examples are meant to inspire and encourage you to experiment with shapes that reflect your own style. Embrace the uniqueness of each leaf and have fun with your doodling!

[Insert leaf doodle examples image here]

Step-by-Step Leaf Doodles

Excited to get started? Let’s dive into step-by-step instructions for doodling specific leaf types. We’ll simplify the shapes of leaves found in nature while still capturing their essence. Remember, these are just guidelines, so feel free to add your own creative touches along the way!

Ginkgo Leaf

  • Step 1: Draw a straight vertical line and mark points for the leaf base and top. Create a semi-circle connecting these points.
  • Step 2: Sketch the bottom stem of the leaf and add a rugged edge on top, aligned with the center. Mirror these lines for the other half of the leaf.
  • Step 3: Add smaller lines around the leaf’s edge, pointing inwards and from the center to the outside.
  • Congratulations! You have successfully doodled a Ginkgo leaf!

Red Maple Leaf

  • Step 1: Draw an elongated vertical line and a shorter horizontal line intersecting it. Add a connecting petiole line a short way into the vertical line. Create a dotted line as an anchor.
  • Step 2: Draw two connecting lines from the horizontal line to the petiole line to form an upside-down triangular shape.
  • Step 3: Connect the dots by adding serrations along the right side of the leaf margin. Duplicate the serrations on the left side.
  • Step 4: Remove the anchor guidelines, and you’re done! Add custom venule texture or color if desired.

Ivy Leaf

  • Step 1: Start with a vertical line and three horizontal anchor points. Add dotted guidelines.
  • Step 2: Draw lines from the vertical line, creating a flattened triangle shape.
  • Step 3: Mirror the lines on the other side of the vertical line.
  • Step 4: Create the main vein lines on both sides.
  • Step 5: Color the leaf or add highlights and textures with additional venules.

Continue doodling and experimenting with different leaf shapes and variations. The key is to have fun and let your creativity flow!

Additional Leaf Doodles

[Insert image of additional leaf doodles here]

How to Draw a Simple Leaf

Now that we’ve covered the basics and explored different leaf types, let’s take a look at drawing leaves inspired by nature. While we want to keep them simple, we’ll still capture their unique shapes. So, let’s grab our reference images and start drawing!

Drawing a Ginkgo Leaf

  • Step 1: Draw a vertical line and mark the anchor points for the leaf’s shape.
  • Step 2: Sketch the bottom stem and create a rounded top with rugged edges.
  • Step 3: Add smaller lines around the leaf’s edge, pointing inwards and from the center to the outside.
  • Congratulations! You have successfully drawn a simplified Ginkgo leaf!

Drawing a Red Maple Leaf

  • Step 1: Draw a vertical line with horizontal anchor points. Add a dotted line as an anchor for the leaf margin.
  • Step 2: Connect the dots, creating a leaf shape with serrated edges.
  • Step 3: Create additional serrations along the leaf margin and remove unnecessary guidelines.
  • Congratulations! You have successfully drawn a simplified Red Maple leaf!

Continue practicing and experimenting with different leaf shapes and techniques. By observing nature and simplifying its beauty, you can create unique and captivating leaf drawings!


Doodling leaves is a wonderful way to express your creativity and add a touch of nature to your artwork. Remember to embrace the simplicity of the process and let your imagination soar. Whether you’re doodling in a bullet journal or working on an art project, these step-by-step instructions will guide you through the world of leaf doodling.

So grab your monoline pen or pencil and start doodling away! Explore various leaf shapes, play with angles and vein patterns, and have fun adding your personal touch to each leaf. Happy doodling!

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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