How To Draw Wood

In today’s tutorial I’m going to cover how to draw wood. This one has been requested a few times, so I decided to include it in our “textures” series. Drawing wood can be deceptively hard because there are just so many types and textures. So, I’ll only be covering one simple way to draw wood which will give you a great place to start.

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Step 1

The first step will be to define the outline of your wooden object. For this example I’m going to be doing a simple wooden plant, so I’ve drawn a rectangular outline to start.

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Step 2

Add a base color to your wooden object. I’m doing this tutorial in Photoshop, so I’ll be using a brownish orange. If you’re using pencil, you’ll still need to follow this step. However instead of color, you’ll be putting down a light layer of graphite.

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Step 3

Now that we have the outline and base color/value established, we need to start mapping out some of the woodgrain pattern. I like to start by placing the knots in the wood first and working around them. To make the knots I am drawing wavy lines that split in half to create ovals with pointed ends.

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Step 4

Add several more rings within each of the knots and darken the core of the knots. In this step you can also start adding some vertical wavy lines for the rest of the wood grain.

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Step 5

Continue adding more wavy lines to form the wood grain until you cover the entire surface area of the wood. Don’t worry about placing each line perfectly because you want an organic and natural look to your wood.

 

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Step 6

At this point, all that’s left to do is to clean up our drawing a little bit and add the final details to the wood. As you can see in the image, I added a notch in the bottom of the plank. I also added a highlight to each of the lines of the wood grain to give it a weathered and textured look. And there you have it– you know how to draw wood! If you found this tutorial useful, be sure to comment and share it on social media!

Extra Help

Take a look at this video from Spencer Nugent to watch how he draws wood texture in real time. Enjoy!

Reference Photos

I’ve compiled several images of wood grain that you can use as references to help you out. I recommend practicing drawing each type of wood grain so that you really get a feel for the subtle differences of each one.