How to Draw Planes

Learn how to draw this World War II plane and other aircraft in this article.

Drawing can be fun -- and it's not as hard as you may think. One of the secrets of drawing is that any object can be broken down into its smaller parts.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can use this secret to learn to draw many different kinds of planes. By copying these pictures, you will learn basic drawing skills. You will be able to use those skills to draw other planes ... or even other objects!


Before you start drawing, there are some basic tools you need. Make sure you have a pencil, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, a felt-tip pen, and grid paper where you'll make your drawings.

Throughout this article, the sketches start with larger basic shapes. Draw the full shape, even if all of it will not be seen in the final drawing. You can erase the part you don't need later.

Each consecutive step adds more detail until you have the finished drawing. The steps are colored to show exactly what to draw when: The drawings for each new step are shown with red lines, while the lines from previous steps are shown in gray.

After all the steps are drawn, use a felt-tip pen to trace the pencil lines. Go over only the lines you need in the final drawing. After giving the felt-tip ink some time to dry so it won't smear, use an eraser to erase the extra pencil lines.

And there's your completed picture! The next step is learning to color the plane.

Start off by using coloring tools that are familiar to you. For example, if you enjoy coloring with crayons, use them. When you get more comfortable with coloring, you can try other methods like colored pencils, watercolor paints, markers, or even colored chalk. Try different techniques on the drawings to see what looks best.

When you are ready to start coloring, pick colors that seem to fit the drawing best. Start by lightly adding the main color to the drawing. Remember to keep the colors light at first -- it is much easier to make a color darker than it is to make it lighter.

After the main color is finished, gently add darker colors to areas on the plane that would be in shadows or less light. Adding colors this way is called shading, and it helps the drawing to look more realistic.

After shading the drawing, add lighter colors where more light would be. This is called highlighting, and it is usually done on the top areas of the shapes in the drawing. Think of sunlight coming down and lighting the plane from above.

Look at the color pictures in the article and try to copy the light and dark shading of the colors. Once you fill in all the colors, your illustration is complete!

In this article, you'll learn how to draw several different kinds of planes, from biplanes to space shuttles. Here's a preview:

Let's get started! If you'd like to learn how to draw one of the earliest plane types, our first plane is for you. ­

See all How to Draw articles.