How To Draw Corn

How To Draw Corn

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How To Draw Corn

Corn, also known as maize, is not just a staple food; it's a fascinating subject for artists to draw. The intricate details of corn cobs, with their rows of kernels and lush green husks, offer an excellent opportunity to improve your drawing skills. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, this step-by-step guide will help you master the art of drawing corn.

Materials You'll Need

Before we dive into the drawing process, gather the following materials:

Drawing Paper

High-quality paper is essential for creating a detailed drawing.


A range of graphite pencils (2H to 6B) for different shading effects


A good quality eraser for precise corrections.

Blending Stump

To smudge and blend graphite for smooth shading.


To keep your pencils sharp for fine lines.

Reference Image

Find a high-resolution image of corn for reference, whether in books, online, or from real-life observation.


Understanding Corn Anatomy

To draw something realistically, it's crucial to understand its anatomy. Corn, with its distinctive structure, consists of several parts:

  • Cob: The central structure, typically cylindrical, where the kernels attach.
  • Kernels: The individual grains that line the cob. They're usually arranged in neat rows.
  • Husks: The green outer covering of the corn, which protects the kernels.
  • Silk: The fine, thread-like strands that extend from the top of the cob.

Setting Up Your Workspace

Choose a well-lit, quiet, and comfortable space for your drawing. Place your reference image within easy view, and set up your drawing materials for easy access. Keep your drawing paper clean and free from smudges.

Sketching the Outline

Begin by sketching the basic outline of the corn cob. Use a light pencil (2H or 3H) to make faint lines as you don't want them to show through in the final drawing. Keep the shape simple and proportionate. Pay attention to the curvature and size of the cob. It should be slightly wider at the base and narrower at the top.

Adding Details to the Cob

Once you have the basic outline, start adding details to the cob. Observe the subtle curves and variations in its surface. Use a softer pencil (B or 2B) for this step to create more defined lines. Pay attention to any ridges or bumps on the surface, which give the cob its texture.

Drawing the Kernels

Corn kernels are the most challenging part of the drawing. Start with a row of kernels in the center and work your way out. Draw each kernel individually. They are typically oblong with rounded edges. Make sure to vary the sizes and shapes of the kernels to create a natural appearance. Use a 4B or 6B pencil for this step to create depth.

Shading the Kernels

To make the kernels appear three-dimensional, you need to add shading. Observe your reference image carefully to see where the shadows fall. Usually, the kernels cast shadows on adjacent ones. Use a blending stump to smudge and blend the shading for a smooth transition from light to shadow. Be patient, as this step requires attention to detail.

Drawing the Husks

The husks of the corn are an essential part of the drawing. They add volume and texture. Start by drawing the basic shape of the husks around the cob, ensuring they overlap slightly. Use a 2B or 3B pencil for this step. Make the lines irregular and slightly jagged to mimic the texture of the husks. Leave some gaps to indicate folds and creases.

Shading the Husks

Husks have a variety of shades, ranging from light green to dark green. Observe your reference image to determine where the shadows and highlights should be. Use a softer pencil (4B or 6B) to add shading to the husks, making them look more realistic. Remember that the husks are not uniformly shaded; they have areas of light and shadow.

Drawing the Silk

The silk strands are the final element of the corn. They are fine and delicate. Use a sharp pencil (2H or H) to draw these thin strands. They should extend from the top of the cob and fan out in different directions. Be mindful of their placement, as they can add movement and interest to your drawing.

Final Touches

Once you have completed all the elements, take a step back and assess your drawing. Look for any areas that need further shading or correction. Use an eraser to lift off any unwanted marks or to create highlights.

Tips for Drawing Realistic Corn

Observe Closely

 Pay attention to the details in your reference image. The more closely you observe, the more realistic your drawing will be.


 Drawing corn can be challenging, so don't be discouraged if your first attempt doesn't turn out as expected. Practice is key to improvement.

Use Layers

Build up your drawing in layers. Start with a light sketch and gradually add more details and shading.


 Use a blending stump to create smooth transitions between light and shadow. This technique will make your drawing look more realistic.


 Take your time with each step. Patience is crucial in achieving a detailed and realistic result.

Keep Your Tools Sharp

 Make sure your pencils are always sharp. Dull pencils can make it difficult to create fine lines and shading.


Drawing corn can be a fun and challenging endeavor for artists of all levels. By understanding the anatomy of corn, practicing your observation skills, and following the step-by-step guide, you can create a realistic and detailed drawing of this humble yet intricate vegetable. Remember, like any art form, practice and patience are key to improving your skills. So, grab your materials, set up your workspace, and start drawing your own delicious ear of corn!

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