Draw Houseplants in Procreate
In this article, we’re going to create a cute and cosy houseplant scene, and you’ll feel just like a digital gardener. We’ll go through the key elements of the project together, but there are many opportunities to customise your work, and add your own touches. Below is the final project which we’ll work towards:
This tutorial is pretty straightforward, mainly using shapes and masking tools; so it’s suitable for beginners. We’re also only using Procreate preset brushes.
So, let’s get started. Our first step is to create a new canvas, do this by pressing on the + in the corner of Procreate’s gallery page. Select the canvas size option named Screen Size.
Open the Brush Library and select any basic drawing brush. I usually like to use Monoline (which is in the Calligraphy section), but we need a slightly smaller point for this project, so I’m going to use Syrup which is in the Inking category.
Choose an orange-brown terracotta colour – the exact colour of a classic plant pot – and draw a curve shape like below.
Open the layers menu, and swipe left on this layer, then select Duplicate.
On your duplicated layer, use the select tool (button which looks like a cursor, in the top left-hand menu) to move it to the right of the original line. In the menu which appears at the bottom of the screen, select Flip Vertical, to invert the element.
Use the Snapping guidance lines to align your two pot edges, like below. Once you’re happy with the placement, tap on the upper layer and select Merge Down.
Add a new layer, and join the two sides with a straight line. Again, once happy – Merge Down.
Tip: the reason we’re using separate layers and then merging them, is because we want the ability to transform each individual line and element. If we draw more things on the same layer, they’ll automatically get bunched together!
Add another new layer, and draw a slightly curved line towards the top of the pot.
Draw another line, to create a band around the pot.
Fill in the bottom section, like below.
Fill the band with a slightly lighter shade of terracotta, and draw a rough oval within the top section. Hold your pen on the screen to snap the shape to an exact elipse.
Transform and move the oval, and remove excess lines from the pot.
Fill the oval in with a dark shade.
We’ll now add some texture to the pot, open the Brush Library – and under the Artistic section – choose the brush named Plimsoll.
Once happy, merge all of your pot layers together. Add a new layer and tap on it to open the menu; then select Clipping Mask.
Applying Clipping Mask will ensure that anything we draw now will stay on the pot. For a guide on how to use Procreate’s masking tools, check out this article.
Using a shade slightly darker than the pot, add some shading to either side, like below. You can be as accurate or random as you like.
In the layers panel, swipe right on each one and group them together.
I’m going to rename the group, just so that I don’t get confused. Do this by tapping on the group and selecting Rename.
Next is my favourite part, let’s draw some leaves! We’re going to use an image from Pixabay as a guide.
Tip: Pixabay is a great website which has thousands of free to use images, it’s definitely a resource to bookmark!
I’ve chosen the below image as the leaves are nice and clear; and if you haven’t already guessed, we’ll be creating a Cheeseplant, also known as a Monstera.
You can either use the image below, or source your own. We would advise if using images as a guide, you check the usage rights and always take care to abide by these.
We now need to add the image into our canvas. Tap on the Actions menu and then Insert a photo.
Your guide image will appear as a new layer.
Tap on the image’s layer, and use the opacity slider to make the image fainter – but not too faint that you can’t see the outlines clearly.
Add a new layer above the image and go into the Brush Library, under Inking, choose Technical Pen. This one is very fine and great to use for intricate outlines or details.
Choose a green shade, and draw a rough outline over one of the leaves. It doesn’t have to be exact as we’re only using the image as a guide for the shape.
If you want to see how your leaf outline looks, tap on the check box next to the layer containing the guide image to hide it.
Fill in your leaf using the same green as you did for the outline.
Repeat these steps to draw a couple of different leaves, I’ve done three (ensure each one is on it’s own layer).
Open the Brush Library, and under Airbrushing, select Soft Brush.
Tap on one of your leaves, and apply Alpha Lock.
Draw a line down the middle of the leaf in a darker green, and add some light to the edges.
Tap on the Adjustments tool (the magic wand!) and select Gaussian Blur, and then Layer.
Slide your pencil across the screen to adjust the level of blur.
This step is totally optional, but below is an example of your “flat” leave versus one with a little dark and light added.
Repeat this step on all of your leaves.
Position your leaves around the pot, you may even want to duplicate one or two. Once you have your leaves positioned, add a new layer and select the Monoline brush from the Calligraphy section.
Below is an example of a real Monstera if you’d like some inspiration.
Photo from Pixabay.
Draw some stems going from the leaves to the pot.
Drag the stem layer down below the leaves.
Now your Monstera is finished! Group all of your layers together, to stay organised.
For our next plant, we’ll take a shortcut. Open the Monstera group and duplicate the pot group. Drag your duplicated pot group outside of the Monstera group.
Rename this “Pot 2”.
Tip: renaming is optional – however – I find it makes my life a lot easier and helps me to stay organised!
Resize the pot to make it a little smaller, and then create a new layer.
Next, we’re going to make a Tradescantia plant. If you haven’t seen one of these before, they’re really pretty and some even have shiny purple leaves.
Choose a dark purple colour, and draw a teardrop-shaped leaf.
Add a new layer, and draw another. I’ll draw three.
Now, on your first purple leaf layer, apply Alpha Lock, and add some highlight in a lighter shade of purple. Use the Soft Brush and the Gaussian Blur, the same as we did for the Monstera.
Start to arrange your leaves around the pot. For guidance, a Tradescantia generally trails down like Ivy, below is an example from Pixabay of what a real one looks like.
Photo from MyDomaine.
Duplicate your leaves and keep using the move and transform tools to position them around the pot.
Always try and duplicate your original leaves, as sometimes quality can be lost if you duplicate an already duplicated element too many times – if that makes sense!
Add a new layer, and draw stems connecting some of the leaves.
Move the stem layer below all of the leaf ones, and group all of the layers pertaining to the Tradescantia together.
You could keep your Tradescantia on the bottom of the canvas, or even draw a shelf – I’m going to draw a simple macrame-look hanger.
Choose a grey shade, and draw a line from each side of the pot, to the top of the canvas.
Move this layer below the Tradescantia group, so that it appears behind parts of the plant.
Add a new layer above the plant group.
Draw more lines on the front part of the pot, like below.
Then, draw some tassel-style lines at the bottom, and dots which will look like knots, at the joining sections of the rope.
Add a new layer, and draw a little ring which forms a part of the plant hanger.
You may now want to move the front part of the hanger, below a few of the leaf layers, like below.
Now we have two plants, we’re on a roll!
Open the Monstera group, and duplicate the pot once again.
Move the duplicated pot out of the group and rename it “Pot 3”.
You can leave this pot plain, change its colours, or even add some decoration. I’m going to add some little tassels around it.
Choose a green shade, and draw a heart-shaped cactus coming out of our third pot.
In a grey colour, draw spines all over the cactus.
You may even want to add a little flower on the top – a flowering cactus is a happy cactus.
Position your plants how you wish, we’re almost done but I’m going to add a few finishing touches.
Group all of your plants and their respective groups together (one big group!) and add a new layer which should be placed below everything.
Open the Brush Library, and under Painting, select Watercolor.
Choose any colour you like and using a large brush size, scribble to create a textured background.
You can leave the project here if you like, or add your own bits and bobs, there is so much scope to add your own elements and touches!
I’ve used the rectangle tool to create a photo frame below, with some text added to the centre. I’ve also added a white line along the bottom to give the appearance of a skirting board in a home.
We hope that you enjoyed this project, and enjoyed becoming a digital gardener! Let us know what your favourite houseplants are in the comments.