How to Draw the Buddha

Written by david claerr
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How to Draw the Buddha
Learn how to draw the Buddha. (Buddha image by Renato Francia from

The Buddha is often portrayed peacefully meditating in the lotus posture. He wears the simple robe of a monk that leaves the right shoulder bare. This exercise will guide you through steps that will help you to draw the Buddha pictured in a traditional manner.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

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  1. 1

    Start by lightly sketching a triangle that is slightly taller than it is wide. In this case, the base is 6 inches wide and the two sides are 7 inches long. The triangle forms a guide for the figure and will be erased later, so make the lines thin and light.

  2. 2

    Lightly sketch in three ovals. The ovals will define the areas where the head and legs will be drawn in. They will be erased later, so the lines should be faint and barely visible.

  3. 3

    Lightly sketch in three arching lines. The arches are guidelines for the shoulders and sides of the torso. Again, make the lines thin and light.

  4. 4

    Sketch in the arms lightly to get the general shapes and proportions.

  5. 5

    Start drawing in the lines a little heavier to form the shapes now that you now have the shape of the figure blocked in. Add the natural curves that follow the limbs and features.

  6. 6

    Start shading from the edges of the lines inward. Use light overlapping strokes to slowly build the shadows. Shade in the creases of the robe. The hair of Buddha is depicted in stylised ringlets, or sometimes he is wearing a cap or crown of a similar shape. There is a topknot or additional dome-shape at the top of the head.

  7. 7

    Finish off the shading by rubbing softly with a scrap of paper and touching up light areas with the eraser. A strip of paper rolled into a stick makes a good tool to rub and smooth out the shading. Touch up lines and details with a sharpened pencil tip.

    The drawing of the Buddha is now complete.

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