How To Draw A Gnome

How To Draw A Gnome

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How To Draw A Gnome

Gnomes, those whimsical and mystical creatures of folklore, have fascinated artists and storytellers for centuries. These diminutive, bearded beings with their pointy hats and penchant for mischief have become iconic figures in fantasy art and literature. If you've ever been enchanted by the idea of drawing a gnome but felt daunted by the task, fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the process of drawing a gnome into simple steps, helping you unleash your creative magic and bring these delightful creatures to life on paper.

Preparing Your Workspace and Tools

Before you embark on your gnome-drawing adventure, it's essential to ensure you have the right tools and a conducive workspace. Here's what you'll need:


A set of pencils with varying lead hardness (2H to 6B) for sketching, outlining, and shading.


 High-quality drawing paper, preferably 11x14 inches, that can handle shading and erasing without smudging.


A good quality eraser for clean corrections.


Keep your pencils sharp for precise lines and details.

Reference Images

Gather pictures of gnomes for inspiration and reference, whether from books, the internet, or your imagination.

Art Supplies

 Optional art supplies like colored pencils, markers, or watercolors, depending on your preferred style.

Now that your tools are ready, let's dive into the process.

Understanding the Gnome Anatomy

Before you start sketching, it's vital to understand the basic anatomy of a gnome. Gnomes are typically depicted as small, bearded creatures, and although there's room for creativity, keeping the following key features in mind will help you create an authentic gnome drawing:

  • Facial Features: Gnomes usually have round faces with rosy cheeks, a long, white beard, and twinkling eyes that often peek out from beneath their hats.

  • Pointy Hat: The classic gnome hat is conical and often brightly colored, with a pointy tip that sticks up.

  • Clothing: Gnomes are typically dressed in rustic, earth-toned clothing. Their outfits often include vests, tunics, and boots.

  • Accessories: Gnomes might carry various accessories, like gardening tools, lanterns, or even a pipe.

  • Posture: Gnomes often have a slightly hunched posture, conveying a sense of wisdom and age.

Sketching Your Gnome

Now that you understand the basic anatomy of a gnome, it's time to start sketching. Follow these steps to create the initial framework for your gnome drawing:

  • Basic Shape: Begin with a light, simple outline of the gnome's body. Use a circle for the head and an oval for the body.

  • Facial Features: Within the head circle, draw a horizontal line to position the eyes and a vertical line to center the nose. Add another horizontal line below the eyes for the mouth.

  • Hat: Draw the iconic gnome hat atop the head. It should be conical, with a pointy tip. Don't forget to give it a playful, floppy appearance.

  • Beard: Sketch the beard. It should flow from beneath the hat, covering the chin and upper chest area. Make the beard wavy and textured to add character.

  • Eyes, Nose, and Mouth: Add the eyes, nose, and mouth. Keep the eyes round and expressive, the nose slightly bulbous, and the mouth with a hint of a smile.

  • Clothing: Sketch the gnome's clothing. A vest or tunic, pants or shorts, and boots. Add some wrinkles and folds to give the clothing a realistic feel.

  • Accessories: If your gnome is holding any accessories like a shovel, lantern, or mushroom, draw these in.

  • Posture: Adjust the body's posture to give your gnome the desired character. A slight hunch can add to their charm.

Adding Detail and Shading

With the basic sketch in place, it's time to add detail and shading to your gnome:

  • Face: Refine the facial features, paying special attention to the eyes. Make them expressive with highlights to add that mischievous twinkle.

  • Beard and Hair: Detail the beard with intricate lines and shading. Make it look flowing and lush. Add some hair strands peeking out from the hat.

  • Hat: Add texture to the gnome's hat with lines or patterns. Shade it to give it a three-dimensional appearance.

  • Clothing: Work on the clothing, adding folds, creases, and buttons. Use shading to create depth and dimension.

  • Accessories: Detail the accessories, such as the tool or lantern, to make them look realistic.

  • Shading: Use varying pressure on your pencils to create shading. Lightly shade areas that should be brighter and darken those in shadow. Pay attention to the light source to determine where shadows fall.

Coloring Your Gnome

If you want to take your gnome drawing to the next level, consider adding color using colored pencils, markers, or watercolors. Here's a basic approach to coloring your gnome:

  • Skin: Gnomes typically have rosy cheeks and fair skin. Use light pinks and peach tones to color the cheeks and face.

  • Beard and Hair: Gnomes typically have white or gray beards. Use a mix of gray and light blue to create depth and texture in the beard. For the hair, use a similar approach.

  • Hat and Clothing: Choose vibrant, earthy tones for the hat and clothing. Reds, greens, browns, and blues are popular choices. Create depth by using shading and highlights.

  • Accessories: Use appropriate colors for any accessories your gnome is carrying, such as brown for gardening tools or gold for lanterns.

  • Background: Consider adding a simple background to your gnome drawing. It could be a garden, forest, or any environment that suits your gnome's story.

Final Touches

As you near the completion of your gnome drawing, pay attention to these final touches:

  • Outlines: Go over the pencil outlines with a fine pen or a darker pencil to make your gnome pop and add definition.

  • Highlights: Use a white gel pen or an eraser to create highlights on the gnome's eyes, nose, and beard. This adds a touch of magic to your drawing.

  • Signature: Sign your artwork discreetly in one of the corners.

Practice and Personalization

Drawing gnomes, like any other art form, gets better with practice. Don't be discouraged if your first gnome doesn't turn out exactly as you envisioned. Keep sketching and experimenting with different styles, colors, and postures. Add your personal touch to your gnomes by giving them unique expressions and stories.


Drawing gnomes can be a delightful and rewarding artistic endeavor. With a bit of practice, patience, and creativity, you can bring these mythical creatures to life on paper. Remember that there's no right or wrong way to draw a gnome; each gnome you create can be as unique as your imagination allows. So, unleash your creative magic, pick up your pencils and sketch a gnome that's truly enchanting and full of character. Happy drawing!

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