Ivy is a beautiful, versatile climbing plant that you might easily spot in any garden, landscape, and interior decor.
It’s usually recognized for its lush, dark green leaves, often glossy or waxy in texture, exhibiting various shapes, depending on the species.
If you want to learn how to draw ivy, this tutorial is for you. We’ll walk you through the steps of drawing simple ivy vines and leaves and then show you how to add more detail and complexity.
As you scroll further, you’ll study how to make your vivy more realistic by coloring, shading, and highlighting.
By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a chance to develop your skills by adding more creativity to your drawing (using our suggestions or your own ideas).
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
How to Draw Ivy Leaf – Step by Step Tutorial
Note: Click the slider arrow (or push arrow keys) to see step-by-step.
Before moving to details, it’s essential to note that we’re drawing two compositions of ivy to make the drawing more vibrant. Though they’re both composed mainly of vines and leaves, the shapes and positions of these elements differ in each composition.
Now, grab your pencil and prepare to make the first stroke of ivy.
Step 1: To make everything easier for later stages, we’ll start with the vines first.
Ivy vines typically have slender, flexible, twining stems extending in various directions. When growing, they may produce new lateral branches, creating a bushier appearance.
Thus, begin by lightly sketching the basic outline of the ivy vines in each composition, using curved lines. These vines can twist and turn, creating an organic look. Ivy often grows in a spiral pattern, so feel free to make the curves irregular.
Don’t forget to add some short lateral branches, as mentioned earlier (refer to our picture below).
Step 2: Now, move on to the leaves.
Ivy leaves are typically characterized by their distinctive lobed or palmate shape. To make it simple, we’ll simplify the leaves to triangular shapes. So, draw many of them with different sizes and directions, then add them to the vines.
Step 3: It’s time to visualize these leaves.
Each leaf can have different lobes (usually from three to five). Here, we make most of them with five lobes. Also, note that these lobes can be rounded, pointed, or slightly wavy. Vary your strokes to enhance the leaf’s overall aesthetic.
Let’s start with the first leaf by drawing two lobes at its bottom, pointing in inverse directions. These two lobes should be connected at the center but not completely merged, leaving a gap.
Step 4: Extend two more lobes, which are a bit wider. Position them so that they appear to be growing above the bottom pair.
Step 5: Draw the final lobe at the top of the leaf, between the two lobes you just added. This lobe appears much wider than others, still pointy on the tip.
Step 6: Once you’ve finished the first one, you’ll know how to deal with other leaves on the vines.
Identify their directions as you’ve outlined their shapes before. Additionally, note that some leaves are overlapping to make them more natural-looking.
Step 7: Continue to draw more leaves to cover the veins. Again, vary their size, shape, and direction or an intricate look.
Step 8: Finish all the leaves in your drawing. Since some leaves are folding, there will be changes in their shapes (You can refer to our image to mimic their appearance).
Next, to elevate the ivy’s natural essence, add several tiny leaves at the tip of the vines. You can draw them as simple elongated ovals or slightly heart-shaped.
Well, you’ve got the whole shape of the leaves. It’s time to give them a more realistic vibe by adding veins.
Like many other leaves in nature, each ivy leaf has a central vein extending from the base towards the tip of the lobe. From this vein, draw short, prominent veins radiating to the edges.
Notice: Use light strokes only when drawing these veins.
Step 9: Once you’re satisfied with the placement and shape of the leaves, use a fine-tip marker or pen to go over those parts you need to emphasize.
For the vines, draw along the outlines to form an apparent look. Remember to make one edge of the vine bolder than the other. After that, add petioles to some leaves (we assume the other petioles are hidden).
When you’ve done this, use an eraser to remove any initial guidelines gently. Be careful not to smudge your drawing.
Now, you’re ready to move to the final steps of shading colors.
Step 10: Typically, ivy leaves are various shades of green. So, apply a base layer of your chosen green hues to the entire leaf surface.
Step 11: Then, use a brighter green hue or light yellow for the tips or edges of the leaves.
Step 12: To create depth and texture, consider shading the leaves’ bottom part with a darker green tone. Then, move to coloring the veins.
Next, give the vines and petioles a much darker green in your palette.
Step 13: That’s all for the ivy. Now, we’re adding an earthy background to enhance the overall look. It’s relatively simple.
Choose an earth-tone color and start applying broad strokes to the background area around your ivy drawing. Remember to keep the brush strokes loose and leave some areas lighter and others darker to create depth and variation.
Adding a background is one of the countless ways to take your ivy drawing further. If this plant still enchants you to draw and color, revise the ideas we’ve suggested below. Remember that you don’t need to make it too complicated. Sometimes, a small change can make a significant impact.
For example, to emphasize the ivy’s climbing nature, you might depict it climbing up a wall, roof, trellis, or pole. A great way to add context to your drawing!
Some ivy species produce small, round berries that can vary in color from black to purple to orange. Including these berries in your drawing can introduce a pop of color and add an extra touch of realism to your artwork.
You usually see ivy in green, even in this tutorial on how to draw ivy. In fact, it might be in warm and vibrant hues when it comes to autumn or different species. Thus, try to experiment with different colors, and you’ll make your drawing unique and eye-catching.
To sum up, the ideas are limited. If you’re willing to let your strokes fly, you’ll make your ivy drawing outstanding in your plant sketchbook.