How to Draw a Tobacco Plant

By Tiffany Ross
Tobacco is a major cash crop for the U.S.

The intricacies of a tobacco plant drawing are best approached one segment at a time. Tobacco plants are notable for their large leaves; this is the portion of the plant that is dried and manufactured by tobacco companies. Capture the complexity of the leaves by following their natural curvature from the stem to the tip. Recreate the angle of the leaf by using shadowing and perspective techniques that give the illusion of depth.

Study the way light is reflected off a live plant. Depending on where the light comes, it will create shadows on the plant that will help define angles and shapes.

Use a pencil to sketch a stem on the paper. The stem can be in the center or off-center depending where you want the leaves. An off-center stem will make the leaves the focal point of the drawing, while a centralized stem will draw the eye to the center of the page. Use a ruler or other flat edge and draw a straight line along the edge to act as the stem. Use light pressure with the pencil and with this initial set of lines. This will be a guide for a more permanent drawing later.

Sketch the outline of the leaves in long, fluid strokes, by following their natural lines; this includes the outside outline and the veins of the leaf. The natural lines of a leaf are narrow where they attach to the stem, wider in the center and pointed at the tip.

Add shadows. Use the side of the pencil's tip to add shadow. Move the pencil rapidly and with light pressure until you fill the whole section of shadow.

Darken the lines of the sketch with pen or charcoal. Follow the lines of your pencil sketch to complete the drawing.

Tip

Drawing is a skill that takes practice to master, so have enough paper handy to repeat the process.

About the Author

Tiffany Ross is a writer and actress who has been working in Chicago since 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting and is completing her Master of Science in Oriental medicine. Ross is a world traveler with experience working overseas.