How to Draw the Statue of Liberty

By David Claerr

Things Needed

  • Computer with attached printer
  • 8.5x11-inch paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
Finished Drawing

Correctly drawing the Statue of Liberty can be tricky. If you are new to the art of drawing, you will find that the light tracing of the basic shape, will help you block out the outline and main shadows of the figure. Tracing will give you a head start in learning to portray the image.

Enlarge this first picture, which is a finished drawing, by left-clicking on the thumbnail image. When the enlarged picture appears in a separate window, then right click on that enlarged picture. From the pop-up menu that appears, select "Print". With the default setting on your printer, print it out on regular 8.5x11-inch paper. Use the drawing as a visual reference.

Lightly Traced Image

Enlarge the picture of the lightly traced image at left by using the same process as in step 1. Print it out on regular 8.5x11 inch paper. Draw directly on this paper.

Drawing the Outline

Draw with a sharp pencil over the outline on the outside edge of the figure. Use moderate pressure and draw a slender line.

Filling in Shadows

Fill in the main shadows of the form using the side of the pencil lead rather than the tip. Fill in the shadows with a medium tone of gray.

Drawing in Lines

Refer to the print-out of the finished drawing and observe the long lines that are along the edges of the folds in the Statue of Liberty's gown. Draw in the lines, starting from the longest lines, working down to the shortest.

Shading in Lighter Shadows

Observe the areas of lighter shadow that are created by softer folds and dips in the statue's gown. The shadows are often elongated patches that fade softly at the ends and edges. Shade these areas in with light pressure on the pencil, going over the areas a few times until you have accurately imitated the shading effect.

Deep Shadows

Start drawing in the darkest areas of shadow with the tip of the pencil. Observe areas that are nearly black, such as deep folds and creases in the gown, or deeply recessed areas. Draw these areas by gradually increasing pressure on the pencil as you become more sure about the accurate placement of the lines and darkest shading.

Erasing Highlights

Use the eraser to etch out the highlights, which are the brightest areas where light reflects off the image as pure white. Pay attention to the gradual shading on rounded forms and alternate between the use of the eraser and pencil point to refine the interplay between light and shadow.

Finishing Details

Sharpen your pencil to a fine point and begin to lay in the smallest details, such as the features of the face and the holes in the crown. Work slowly and deliberately to imitate the linear shadows and rounded forms. A moderate amount of detail will suffice on a drawing of this size, so just try to lay in the main shadowed areas of the face. Use the eraser to touch up areas and bring out soft highlights. If you are new to drawing, you can print out multiple copies and practice the techniques several times if you wish, perhaps using color pencils for creating full-color artwork.

About the Author

Artist, author, musician and researcher—the contemporary equivalent of the Renaissance Man—David A. Claerr is a professional graphic designer and a certified Adobe expert. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Bachelor of Art Education from Eastern Michigan University.