How To Draw Leaves With Two Curls

This tutorial covers how to draw leaves with two curls and how to place the shading.

Need to review prior lessons before beginning this one?

Drawing A Basic Leaf Structure

How to Draw a Leaf with One Curl

I recommend that you click on the link(s) above and either review or complete before beginning this more advanced tutorial.

Good To Know: A new window will open up that you can close out of when you are done and you will return right back here!

drawing leaves with two curls and shading leaves

Let's get started . . . 

Sketch all of your lines lightly, as some of them will be erased later.


Erase a Section on The Top and Bottom and Begin The Two Curls . . .

how to draw a leaf with curls








TIP: Creating each curl a different size adds creative interest.

  • Erase the top section (illustrated with the letters "A")

The top section is 3 inches in length.

  • Erase the bottom section (illustrated with the letters "B")

The bottom section is 1 and 1/2 inches in length.

  • Erase a portion of the side veins located below the top erased area and above the bottom erased area (illustrated with the letters "C").

The Downward Curved Lines Will Eventually Become The Curls . . .

how to draw a leaf with two curls







Top Curl

  • Sketch a downward curved line for the top curl "illustrated with the letter "A").
  • The curl "dips" down about two thirds of a grid section to the center (illustrated with the dashes at "B" and the dotted line at "C").

Bottom Curl

  • Sketch an upward curved line for the bottom curl (illustrated with the letter "D").
  • The curl curves upward about one third of a grid section to the center (illustrated with the dashes at "E" and the dotted line at "F").

TIP: When you are learning how to draw leaves with one, two or three curls, the first curved-in line you draw is always a continuation of the entire leaf edge drawn so far -- it's the outside edge that is curling over (or folding over).


You are Changing The Actual Structure . . .

drawing a leaf with two curls









  • Sketch dashed lines where you previously erased the edges in step three (illustrated with the letters "A").

A Newly Created Top Line

  • Sketch this slightly downward curved line a little over half way down between the dashed line and your curved line (illustrated with the letter "B").

A Newly Created Bottom Line

  • Sketch this upward curved line a little over half way up between the dashed line and your curved line (illustrated with the letter "C").

This slightly curved line defines where the leaf actually folds over.

  • These lines are to be sketched a little more than half way between the dashed lines and the first curved lines. 

When the leaf curls to the front, some of the leaf is "taken up" by the folded areas (located at "B" and "C").

The curled over part is now the backside of the leaf that is now folded over to the front!

Good To Know: When you sketch the leaf line curling over to the front, you create a brand new line (the folded over line) that was not there before!

Erase any dashes and all of your grid lines now and get ready to begin shading.

When You Draw Leaves With Two Curls, Locate the Shading Created by Each Curl . . .

shade a leaf with two curls


The light source in this tutorial is coming from the top left hand side (illustrated with dotted lines and the letters "A").

Shade The Top of The Curl

As the light shines on the leaf, this creates a shadow underneath the top curl toward the right.

  • Place shading created from the top curl under and to the right (illustrated with the letter "B").
  • There is also some shading on the left edge of the top curl (illustrated with the letter "E").

This is where the very edge is lifted up enough that it creates a shadow in the upper left hand corner.

  • Also notice there's shading located on the top middle of the curl. 

The outer edge of the curl is coming out toward you a tiny bit, this creates slight shadowing in the middle (illustrated with the letter "D").

Shade The Bottom of The Curl

  • Place shading created from the bottom leaf curling over, directly on the bottom of the curled over part (illustrated by the letter "C").

The back of the bottom curl is shaded because the light cannot shine directly on the back side.


When You Draw Leaves, Always Create the Illusion of a Round Stem . . .

shade a leaf with two curls
  • Shade both sides of the stem and leave the middle area white to become a highlight (illustrated with the letter "D"). 

This creates the illusion of a round stem.

  • Since the top part of the stem has more light shining on it than the bottom, shade the bottom area darker than the top (illustrated with the letter "E").

Hope you enjoyed learning how to draw leaves with two curls!

Don't miss my other, how to draw leaves tutorials  . . .

A Leaf With One Curl

Draw Leaves That Are Twisted


Creating art and crafts builds new neural pathways in your brain and is a great way to keep your noggin healthy. Keep creating for optimal brain health!

Love, 

~~~Samantha Mariah



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