Drawing Leaves With Two Twists

how to draw a leaf with twists
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Drawing leaves that are twisting and curling in space can add a dramatic effect to your drawings and paintings!

Let's get started . . .

TIP: Draw your lines lightly, as some of them will be erased later.

Begin by placing the midrib first . . .

Placing the midrib first is key!

Once you have the midrib and the two erased sections established, the rest of your leaf drawing will follow this foundational base.

  • Draw a line for the midrib (the main leaf vein).

This line is a lot like a wave in the ocean. It comes up in a swell, dips down and then begins to go up again.

  • Erase a small section just before the top of the swell ("A").
  • Erase a small section at the bottom of the dip before it begins to go back up again ("B").

Draw a continuous line for the front edge of the leaf . . .

Begin where the stem will be located and draw a continuous line up through the first erased section, around and down through the second erased section (illustrated by "A").

This line will become the entire continuous front edge of the leaf.

  • Draw the first rounded part ("B")
  • Bring your line through the first erased section ("C")
  • Follow the flow of the midrib, going up and then back down ("D")
  • Bring the line through the second erased section and draw around to the tip ("E")

Draw the non-continuous top line . . .

  • Draw the top line to create the rounded top section ("A").
  • This top line curves inward just before it meets the line you drew above (illustrated by B). 

The top of the leaf disappears behind the front edge of the continuous line you drew (the front edge of the leaf), and you cannot see it again until it appears again on the bottom.

TIP: When you are drawing leaves that twist, this curved-in line (illustrated with C and D) placed correctly allows you to change these sections of the leaf in most any way you want .

These sections can be drawn wider or narrower, and each side does not have to be exactly the same (in fact it's best to vary each side). 

Draw the last line on the twisted part . . .

  • The line reappears and begins again at "A".

Begin it in fairly close to the midrib.

  • Draw the line down, following the midrib ("B").
  • Curve this line inward ("C") just before it meets up with the continuous line that you previously drew.

Again, this curved-in line is essential in establishing the perspective of the leaf twist.

Slightly move sections of the midribs . . .

  • Erase the part of the midrib illustrated by "A".
  • Move the midrib line over to the left (illustrated by B). 

The midrib appears to end, disappearing as the leaf begins its twist. This is where the leaf curls and the midrib continues behind, but it is out of our plane of vision. 

TIP: Getting these lines correct is important because it is one of the elements that gives the illusion of a twisting three dimensional leaf.

  • Erase the part of the midrib illustrated by "C".
  • Move the midrib line slightly to the left (illustrated by D). 
  • I curved the line in at "A" a bit more because I noticed that it should have followed the midrib curve in a bit better.
  • Sketch the side veins.

Draw the stem and a more realistic midrib . . .

drawing leaves twisting
  • Draw a rather traditional stem with bulges on the end where it was attached.
  • Draw a line along both sides of the rib to create a nicer effect (erase the previous line).

The leaf will take on a more realistic, three dimensional effect once it is shaded.

Hope you enjoyed drawing leaves with two twists!

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!


~~~Samantha Mariah

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You might also be interested in drawing leaves with one twist tutorial!

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