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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Drawing

How to Draw Leather

This post is part of a series called How to Draw Textures.
How to Draw Scales
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

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
drawing tools

1. How to Draw a Shiny Leather Dress

Step 1

Take the HB pencil and gently sketch the body. You can use a drawing manikin as a reference for this.

manikin torso

Step 2

Add the details of the body: breasts and belly.

how to draw female torso

Step 3

Draw guide lines across the body to define its 3D form, and sketch the outline of the tight-fitting dress.

how to sketch female dress

Step 4

Draw "waves" in the places where the material creases and stretches. You can learn more about drawing folds from this tutorial:

how to draw folds
how to draw creases

Step 5

Tilt your pencil and shade the side of the dress, leaving some place for a "shine band" in the middle.

how to shade side of body

Step 6

Draw a darker seam across the dress—it will be an eye-catching detail breaking the smoothness of the material.

how to draw seam

Step 7

Shade the front of the dress as well. Leave a shine band on the side of the seam.

how to shade a dress

Step 8

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.

how to blend pencils

Step 9

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.

how to draw shiny material

Step 10

Blend it with the blending stump.

how to blend shiny material

Step 11

Shade and blend the rest of the side, leaving some space for the previous shade around the shine.

how to draw shiny cloth

Step 12

Darken the seam to adjust its shade to the current contrast.

how to draw dark leather seam

Step 13

Darken the front of the dress, leaving some space for a reflected shine. Without it the dress would lose its 3D form.

how to draw leather creases
how to draw leather folds

how to draw leather dress

Step 14

Take the 8B pencil and add the final shade. Press very hard, but don't ignore the shading that's already there.

how to draw with soft pencils
how to draw leather with pencils

how to draw shiny black material
Notice how the creases create shadows for the seam

Step 15

Take your kneaded eraser and "draw" some shine with it. Don't overuse white shine, or it will look like latex!

how to draw latex

Step 16

Finish the drawing by using the 8B pencil even stronger, filling all the unnecessary white spots created by the texture of the paper.

how to draw shiny black leather dress with pencils

2. How to Draw an Old Leather Belt

Step 1

Take the HB pencil and sketch the belt with a buckle.

how to draw buckle

Step 2

Drag the other end of the belt through the buckle.

how to draw leather strap

Step 3

Add the "band" and the holes.

how to draw belt

Step 4

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.

how to draw leather texture easily

Step 5

Take the HB pencil again, tilt it, and shade the belt. You'll see the texture emerging in the process.

leather texture with pencils

Step 6

Draw lines for the seams along the belt.

how to sketch seam

Step 7

Take the 3B pencil and draw the outline of the seams.

how to draw seams

Step 8

Shade the seams carefully. Keep the pencil sharpened!

how to shade seams

Step 9

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.

how to shade old leather

Step 10

Gently shade the side of the belt, giving it a slightly brighter shade.

how to draw old leather

Step 11

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.

how to draw leather texture in detail

Step 12

Take the 8B pencil and add some darker accents. Don't overuse it!

how to draw old leather strap

Step 13

Finish the drawing by adding the metal buckle. You can learn how to draw metal from this tutorial:

how to draw old leather texture with pencils

Good Job!

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:

how to draw leather texture with pencils
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