Leather is a very durable and pretty material, and it's been used widely from the earliest days of humankind. In this tutorial I will show you how to draw a beautiful, shiny leather dress and an old leather belt. You can use the techniques shown here for other objects as well, for example for a leather jacket or a piece of leather armor.
What You Will Need
- HB pencil
- 2B pencil
- 3B pencil
- 8B pencil
- Ballpoint pen (or, better, an empty ballpoint pen!)
- Blending stump
- Kneaded eraser
- Pencil sharpener
- 3 sheets of paper
1. How to Draw a Shiny Leather Dress
Take the HB pencil and gently sketch the body. You can use a drawing manikin as a reference for this.
Add the details of the body: breasts and belly.
Draw guide lines across the body to define its 3D form, and sketch the outline of the tight-fitting dress.
Draw "waves" in the places where the material creases and stretches. You can learn more about drawing folds from this tutorial:
Tilt your pencil and shade the side of the dress, leaving some place for a "shine band" in the middle.
Draw a darker seam across the dress—it will be an eye-catching detail breaking the smoothness of the material.
Shade the front of the dress as well. Leave a shine band on the side of the seam.
Take the blending stump and gently blend the shading, giving a soft edge to the shine in the process. Once the stump is dirtied with graphite, you can use it to "draw" some soft shade between the folds.
Take the 3B pencil and shade the side of the dress. Be careful around the creasing! Leave a tiny border between the shade and the outline, to create an area of reflected light here.
Blend it with the blending stump.
Shade and blend the rest of the side, leaving some space for the previous shade around the shine.
Darken the seam to adjust its shade to the current contrast.
Darken the front of the dress, leaving some space for a reflected shine. Without it the dress would lose its 3D form.
Take the 8B pencil and add the final shade. Press very hard, but don't ignore the shading that's already there.
Take your kneaded eraser and "draw" some shine with it. Don't overuse white shine, or it will look like latex!
Finish the drawing by using the 8B pencil even stronger, filling all the unnecessary white spots created by the texture of the paper.
2. How to Draw an Old Leather Belt
Take the HB pencil and sketch the belt with a buckle.
Drag the other end of the belt through the buckle.
Add the "band" and the holes.
Take another sheet of paper and place it over the drawing. Make sure you can see at least the outline of the sketch beneath—if you can't, use a thinner sheet or place them both on the window. Take the ballpoint pen and draw long, horizontal 'X's all over the belt to simulate a leather texture. If you have an empty ballpoint pen, you can "draw" directly on the drawing. Push hard to make sure you're making marks.
Take the HB pencil again, tilt it, and shade the belt. You'll see the texture emerging in the process.
Draw lines for the seams along the belt.
Take the 3B pencil and draw the outline of the seams.
Shade the seams carefully. Keep the pencil sharpened!
Take the 2B pencil and shade the belt once again, this time going around the seams. Shade the holes as well. Give each part of the belt a darkened edge.
Gently shade the side of the belt, giving it a slightly brighter shade.
Take the 3B pencil and shade the belt in a more detailed way: create shadows under the band and the buckle, and accentuate some wrinkles of the leather.
Take the 8B pencil and add some darker accents. Don't overuse it!
Finish the drawing by adding the metal buckle. You can learn how to draw metal from this tutorial:
Now you know how to draw both new, shiny leather, and old, used leather. If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to learn more about drawing various materials with pencils, check our other tutorials from this series: