How to Draw Jesus on the Cross Step-by-Step

The cross is one of the most recognised Christian symbols in art. It is often referred to as a crucifix when it's depicted with Christ hanging on it. There have been many cross designs throughout the centuries. However, the Romans of the first century used what has been termed as the Latin cross, or the crux immissa, one of the most recognisable designs.

Make a mark that indicates the centre point on the bottom section of paper. Measure one inch towards the top of the paper and make another small mark with the pencil. Erase the original centre mark.

Draw two more marks on each side of the new centre mark, about half an inch from the centre mark. Connect the three marks with a straight horizontal line. This will be the bottom section of the vertical beam that represents the cross.

Extend the lines straight upward eight inches and connect the lines at the top. Measure one inch from the top of the vertical beam and draw a cross beam that measures 6x ¾ inches.

Measure two inches from the base of the cross and add a horizontal foot rest. The foot rest should be semi-flat and octagonal.

Draw a small slanted oval on the left bottom side of the cross intersection. This will give the illusion that he is looking down. Draw a short straight line for the right side of his neck.

Sketch a slightly curved line from the bottom left side area of Christ's head. This line will become the top of his right arm. Connect the bottom of the straight line on the right side of Christ's neck to another slightly curved line for the top of Christ's left arm. Draw a parallel line under each top arm line. Make sure that the lines narrow as they approach the wrist. Sketch a hand onto each wrist.

Sketch a short straight line to connect his arms to his chest at the armpit area. Underneath the left armpit area, draw a slightly curved line that stops at the waist. On the right side, draw a similar line that stops a little bit above the waist. Draw two more curved lines connected to the torso to create his hips.

Draw the inner thigh lines and allow them to almost connect at the knee. This will give the leg the correct shape. Add two more parallel curved lines below the knee. Allow these to connect at the ankle section.

Draw two foreshortened feet using oblong rounded shapes that overlap.


Add a cloth around the hips and waist of the Christ figure. Add shading that follows the curvature of Christ's legs. Place circles in the centre of each hand and on the top of the feet to represent nails. Draw a crown of thorns that intersects his forehead. Add two downturned arches for his eyebrows and two shorter upturned arches for his eyes. Add a nose and thin mouth. Draw short lines to create his hair. Shade the vertical section of the cross with long and short vertical strokes. Use horizontal strokes to shade the horizontal section of the cross. Shade the foot rest with dark horizontal strokes. Use your eraser to create highlights on the footrest.

Things You'll Need

  • 8x10-inch acid free drawing paper
  • Clipboard
  • Mechanical pencil
  • Eraser
  • Standard ruler
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About the Author

Susan Elliott teaches studio art and creative writing to home schooled students. She is a graduate of Northwest Arkansas Community College and the Memphis School of Preaching Student Wives Program. She has written for Christian Woman Magazine and Virtuous Magazine. When she's not writing, she is painting or making costumes.