How to Draw Bushes

Written by deborah walden
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How to Draw Bushes
From far away, leaves of a bush become loose areas of colour. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Drawings of bushes require broad, loose pencil strokes to achieve the illusion of small branches and leaves. If you view a bush in the outdoors, individual leaves often remain out of focus, while large shapes and highlights define its appearance. To capture this effect, draw large fields of colour in your drawing, using various shades of green and yellow. Add a few small leaf shapes to suggest the presence of these features, but do not construct a bush out of numerous tiny leaves. Doing so would create a busy, unrealistic plant.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Coloured pencils in green, light green, dark green and yellow

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  1. 1

    Observe a photograph of a bush or examine one outdoors. Note its highlights and shadows, as well as its general shape. Note the variety of bush that you wish to draw. Some feature long rows of hedges, while others are trimmed in small, circular shapes.

  2. 2

    Draw a long horizontal line for the ground in green pencil.

  3. 3

    Sketch the outline of the bush in green coloured pencil. Keep this outline jagged and uneven, like the outline of a bush in nature. Most bushes remain low to the ground, so pay careful attention to the height of your outline above the ground line.

  4. 4

    Colour patches of the bush in yellow coloured pencil. Apply pressure to your pencil to make these patches bright and intense. These patches will form highlights of colour inside the bush.

  5. 5

    Colour the remainder of the bush in light green coloured pencil. Create small, pointed leaf shapes along the outside edge of the bush to capture the silhouette of the plant.

  6. 6

    Draw a small number of leaf shapes inside the bush with the green pencil. Do not colour inside these shapes.

  7. 7

    Colour the bush in green colour pencil, leaving patches of the light green and yellow to act as highlights. Colour in the leaf shapes on the outline of the bush and around the leaf shapes inside the bush. Do not colour inside the leaf shapes on the interior of the bush.

  8. 8

    Trace around the outline of the bush with the dark green pencil, adding dark green to some of the leaf shapes on the outline. Add dark shadows underneath the leaf shapes that lie inside the bush. Add shadows of dark green along the base of the bush.

  9. 9

    Form shadows around new leaf outlines inside the bush using the dark green pencil. This forms some leaf outlines out of light green and others out of green.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid drawing large areas of yellow at the base of the bush because this area should remain under shadow.

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