How to Draw a Calathea Plant Leaf

design team - leanne drawing Oct 06, 2021
calathea leaf drawing tutorial

Don't you just love lineart, it's simplicity and power? It can be so fun to experiment with different shapes and textures without worrying about overcomplicating the overall piece. In this mini-series, I’m going to show you how to draw three of my favorite plant leaves. We’ll be drawing leaves from a Fiddle-leaf fig plant, a Calathea plant and a Monstera Deliciosa plant. Today, it's time to try out the beautiful Calathea leaves - I promise you'll how they look :)





Hi there, it's Leanne from TPL Design Team. These plants are a few of my favorite ones. They are among some of the most popular plants because they are very striking in shape and design. They just have a lovely uniqueness to them, beautiful shape, and patterns. I just love them. They look so beautiful in your house, and they bring me so much joy when I look at them. 





This is a Heavyweight paper with a smooth surface. Ideal for pencil, ink and marker. Erases cleanly, acid free and comes in a fold over pad with 20 sheets of 150 lb/240 gsm paper. I love this paper for playing with ink.


This is my favorite sketching pencil because it’s very light and it’s super easy to erase. If you don’t have this pencil, I recommend using any light pencil, HB is a common pencil that comes in a sketching set. And if you don’t have sketching pencils, I recommend getting some!! They make such a big difference!! It was a game changer for me. I had used a regular pencil for years and this made my erasing so much easier!! Of course, if you have a regular pencil or prefer a regular pencil, just sketch lightly  


  • A good eraser: I think everyone has their own preference, but I love the Prismacolor ArtGum erasers! It erases very clean and doesn’t leave smears like others. 


  • Ink pens: The Pigeon Letters Monoline Studio Archival Pens! The 03 is my favorite. The set comes with an 01, 03, and 05. All are great and really, it’s just your preference!   



Prefer watching the tutorial instead?




Step 1:  Lightly Sketch the Calathea Basic Shape


Think of a upside down tear drop but without a pointy end.  Don’t be afraid to add a little wonky-ness to the outline, this will add interest to the leaf. And in nature, the leaf outline is wonky! 



Step 2: Add the Center Line and Patterns


For this step you can add as much detail or as little as you would like. I like to add only a few details, as my goal is to simplify this line drawing and highlight the elements that I like best. It’s your preference and taste so feel free to experiment!! There’s no right or wrong way. I’m adding the dark loops in the center of the leaf.



Step 3: Outline and Erase Sketch!




 Want to know more about leaves drawing? Check this cutie beauty out and thank us later!

Botanical Line Drawing: 200 Step-by-Step Flowers, Leaves, Cacti & Other Items Found in Nature by Peggy Dean







Now that you can draw the leaves you can draw the whole plant. All you need is stems, more leaves and a pot. So easy to make a cute houseplant line drawing!



Here’s some cute facts about a Calathea Plant: 

  • What’s most amazing about the Calathea plant (in my opinion) is the detailed patterns on the leaves. Nature is sometimes wonky and imperfect so when you see nature with striking patterns it’s unique. Almost seems not natural. So cool! 
  • It closes its leaves at night and opens them again in the morning! What!? Amazing. 
  • The way it closes its leaves at night, like your hands coming together in prayer, is why it’s also referred to as the ‘prayer’ plant.
  • Non-toxic to both cats and dogs.
  • They help purify the air better than most plants.


Thanks for drawing with me today, I hope you are enjoying this mini-series as much as I am! Please tag me @leannemarkle on IG so I can see what cute plants you’ve been making. And I’ll see you in the next tutorial where we’ll be drawing the leaves from the very popular Monstera Plant! 

See you soon! Byeeeee  


Originally from NM, Leanne gets inspiration from nature after moving to the beautiful PNW 20 years ago. She's drawn to the green trees, water, mountains and flowers growing all around her. Making art is all she's ever wanted to do so you can find always find her drawing (and occasionally tending to her rainbow flower garden in Animal Crossing. Check out more of Leanne's tutorials over here!


Wanna pin for later? Go on!