How to Draw Leather

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.

How to Draw Leather

How to Draw Leather

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

How to Draw Leather

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.

How to Draw Leather

Step 2

Add the details of the body: breasts and belly.

How to Draw Leather

Step 3

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

How to Draw Leather

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 Leather
    Textures
    How to Draw Fabric: Silk and Wool
    Monika Zagrobelna

How to Draw LeatherHow to Draw Leather

Step 5

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

How to Draw Leather

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 Leather

Step 7

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

How to Draw Leather

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 Draw Leather

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 Leather

Step 10

Blend it with the blending stump.

How to Draw Leather

Step 11

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

How to Draw Leather

Step 12

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

How to Draw Leather

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 LeatherHow to Draw Leather

How to Draw Leather

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 LeatherHow to Draw LeatherHow to Draw Leather

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 Leather

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 Leather

2. How to Draw an Old Leather Belt

Step 1

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

How to Draw Leather

Step 2

Drag the other end of the belt through the buckle.

How to Draw Leather

Step 3

Add the “band” and the holes.

How to Draw Leather

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

Step 5

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

How to Draw Leather

Step 6

Draw lines for the seams along the belt.

How to Draw Leather

Step 7

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

How to Draw Leather

Step 8

Shade the seams carefully. Keep the pencil sharpened!

How to Draw Leather

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 Draw Leather

Step 10

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

How to Draw 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

Step 12

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

How to Draw Leather

Step 13

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

  • How to Draw Leather

    How to Draw Metal

    In this tutorial, you will learn how to draw shiny metal (polished silver, chrome), and old/used metal (weapons).

How to Draw Leather

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

    How to Draw Stone and Rock Textures

    The texture of rock is deceptively simple, but it gets quite complicated when you try to get it right. In this tutorial I will show you how to draw a texture…
  • How to Draw Leather

    How to Draw Fur

    Fur can be very simple to draw, if you just learn one secret of it! In this tutorial I will show you how to draw long and short fur, but you can use these…
  • How to Draw Leather

    How to Draw Glass

    Transparent glass is incredibly hard to draw from imagination. That’s because we know it’s "invisible", so what is there to draw? But the correct…

How to Draw Leather