Learn How To Draw
In this drawing tutorial, you will learn how to draw a realistic honey bee. Perfect for beginners and novice artists.
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Image by Kathy Büscher from Pixabay
The image above is the reference for this tutorial.
Drawing supplies needed for this lesson:
To learn more about drawing pencils, read Best Drawing Pencils For Beginners And Professional Artists.
Bee Drawing Tutorial
Follow the easy steps below to learn how to draw a realistic honey bee.
Draw A Bee Step 1
Make one-inch blocks on the reference paper. It is not necessary but changing a colored image to a black and white image will make it easier to see the values easier. You can change an image to black and white easily with Photoshop.
Draw the same exact grid on your drawing paper. Use light lines for the grid because you will be erasing the grid lines after you have sketched the bee and the flower.
The grid method is a method used by professional artists to draw accurate proportions.
To learn how to use the grid method check out How To Draw Realistic Drawings, Video Course.
Sketch the honey bee and flower using the grid method.
Erase all of the grid lines when you have completed dawing the thorax, antennae, eyes, legs, wings, and flowers.
Step 3 Add Value To The Darkest Areas
Step 3 is to find the darkest areas and start adding value to those areas with a 2H pencil.
Gradually darken the areas by adding more lines to the dark areas and gradually make the value lighter by reducing the lines.
Follow the shape of the bee’s thorax (body), eye, and legs. Study the reference image and identify where the darkest darks are.
Drawing Tip: Make sure there is no space between each line drawn. If there is a space, go back and fill in the line with graphite.
Step 4 Draw The Fur On The Honey Bee
The fur on a bee is vital to its survival. Virtually all bees have branched hairs somewhere on their bodies. . As a bee goes from flower to flower, pollen grains get caught in the branched hairs, which facilitates their collection by the bees. (Source: HoneyBeeSuite)
The body of a bee is covered with fur. To draw realistic fur, start the line at the fur’s darkest area and draw towards the fur’s lighter part. Release pressure as you work towards the lighter section and lift the pencil off the paper when you get to the end of the fur to give it a feathered look.
Drawing Tip: The fur on a bee will go in different directions. Do not draw all of the furs in the same direction.
Step 5 How To Draw A Bee’s Wing
To draw a bee wing, start by adding graphite to the area around the wing. The wing of a bee is more transparent, and it will take on the values of the area around the wing. Observe the dark areas and the highlights of the wing.
Drawing Tip: Draw what you see, not what your mind thinks should be there.
Step 6 Add Value Around The Bee
This easy step will start to make the honey bee look like it is popping off the paper.
First, identify where the darkest values are then start drawing dark to light.
Use small lines with a 2H pencil and make areas darker by cross-hatching.
Notice that the values are lighter around the head and darker around the body and wings.
Drawing Tip: Add the value slowly. It is easier to make an area darker than to lighten a section.
To learn more about shading visit How To Shade Drawings With Graphite.
Step 7 Add Value To The Darks And Fur
The value that has been added to the background will make the bee appear lighter. Start adding in more values to the head, eyes, and body.
Study the reference image and discover where the darkest darks are and the highlights. Continue to draw dark to light. This will create the bee’s shape and give it a three-dimensional illusion on a two-dimensional piece of paper.
Drawing Tip: Fix any imperfections while you are drawing, like white spots or spaces you missed. You want to have smooth value changes. It is easy to overlook any perfections if you decide to go back to it later.
Step 8 Draw The Shadow Of The Wings
Add the shadow of the wings while you are drawing the details of the body. The shadow is towards the top side of the bee’s body. The shadow is light, but you will still want to draw in the darker value.
Drawing Tip: When drawing the shadow, use long lines that go over the dark and light furs. This will make the values consistent. Notice how the darks are a little darker, and the lights are also a little darker on the body of the bee.
Balancing The Color Of The Background
The next few images will show you how to continue to add and blend the color of the background.
Blend in the values of the background to soften the lines. Work from dark to light just as you did with the pencil.
Use an HB or 2B pencil to make the darker sections darker if needed. Lightly blend in the background with the shape of the bee. You do not want a halo around the bee.
Drawing Tip: Do not press down too hard with the blended. Doing so will ruin the tooth of the paper, making it impossible to add more graphite.
Step 9 Draw Value To The Flowers
The next step is to draw the details of the flowers. Study the reference image and study the values of the flowers. Draw the shadows of the flowers and continue to draw dark to light.
Notice in the reference image that one side of the flower has darker values than the other side.
If you enjoy drawing bees, you will also want to practice drawing different flowers for your compositions.
Step 10 Draw Highlights On The Hairs
The last step in drawing a bee is to draw the details in the bee’s fur. To draw the fur add value to the darkest areas by drawing lines in different directions, starting from dark to light. The lines that you are drawing are not single hairs. The lines are actually the dark shadows that the fur creates.
After you have added some graphite to the area, lightly blend the lines. Next, take your eraser and pull out some highlights. After you have taken out some highlights, continue to draw more lines, blend then erase more highlights. The more you do this, the more layers of fur you will create.
Final Thoughts On How To Draw A Bee
We hope you enjoyed the easy steps of this bee drawing lesson. Follow the instructions above for any bee drawing including a bumble bee.