How to Draw Bamboo

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Bamboo has been captured in art for centuries, especially in areas such as Japan and China where it grows naturally. Bamboo can be a pleasure to incorporate into a drawing or painting or just to draw solo. The strong and simple nature of bamboo is what attracts many artists to depict this plant. Here are easy steps on how to draw and color bamboo.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper, pencil, four colored pencils in various greens
  • Study bamboo in real life or in pictures if you don't have access to real bamboo. Looking at the real thing and understanding how it grows will help you to capture it on paper more realistically.

  • Sketch the main poles of bamboo and some spouting side branches.

  • Draw in the growth markings on the stalks that bamboo is so famous for. They generally happen at the same level.

  • Draw in long pointy leaf clusters around the poles and branches; these do not have to be perfect but should make the gesture of bamboo leaves.

  • Choose four colored pencils or markers if you like those better, which are similar to real-life bamboo. In this example bronze yellow, yellow green, jade green and lime green were used.

  • Start by using the darker of the greens and shade in under the growth rings as this is naturally where shadows would fall.

  • Use the lighter green and fill in the rest of the bamboo stalks.

  • Use a brownish green to color in a few of the leaves.

  • Use the darkest green to color in a few leaves toward the bottom only, as the newest and lightest colored growth would be at the top.

  • Use the lightest green and fill in all remaining leaves.

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  • Photo Credit Naomi Judd
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