how to draw a basketball

How to Draw a Basketball – Create a Realistic Basketball Drawing

Throw some hoops with us today! Learn how to draw a realistic Basketball the easy way! Follow along and learn how to draw a realistic basketball in this full step-by-step tutorial where we cover the very basic elements of detailing and coloring! This will be a great challenge for experienced and beginner artists. 



Step-by-Step Easy Basketball Drawing Tutorial

Basketballs are a fantastic object to draw for beginner and experienced artists alike. The perfectly round shape and lines on a basketball can pose a challenge to all artists. A slightly oval ball with crooked lines will lack the realism that many of us crave. To help you create that perfect shape of a basketball drawing, we begin the tutorial with a series of construction steps. These initial steps will set up the round shape and help you plan out the path of the signature lines on a basketball. Take a look at the basketball drawing outline below. 

easy basketball drawing

As you will see from the outline above, the last eight steps of the tutorial involve coloring and shading. For these coloring steps, you can use any medium that you choose. If you prefer to work with a more physical medium like acrylic paints or coloring pencils, then you can simply adjust the instructions to suit your process. 

A digital drawing tablet is also a great medium for this drawing tutorial. 


Step 1: Drawing a Perfect Circle

The first step of this realistic basketball drawing tutorial is arguably the hardest. Once you have your circular base, you can build off of it to create the lines on basketballs with ease. 

A quick note, if you are working with a physical medium, we suggest using a light and easily erasable pencil for the construction steps. If you are using a digital medium, draw the construction steps on a separate layer to the final outline and details. 

Begin by locating the center of your drawing area. Once you have found it, you can now draw a large circle. If you do not feel comfortable drawing a perfect circle by hand, try using any round object that you can find. You can easily trace this round object to get a perfect base for your easy basketball drawing. 

basketball drawing 01


Step 2: Create Quadrants in Your Basketball Shape

In this step, we are going to divide our base circle into four different quadrants. These divisions will help us to place the lines of basketballs in later steps. You can easily divide the circle into four quarters by drawing a center vertical line and center horizontal line.

basketball drawing 02


Step 3: Adding More Gridlines 

Continuing to set up the gridlines, simply draw two vertical lines on either side of the central division lines. This step is quick and easy. 

basketball drawing 03


Step 4: Finishing the Foundation Grid

To finish the grid, begin by drawing a rectangle that lines horizontally, with the top and bottom line sitting alongside the middle dividing line. Where these lines meet the edge of the circle, draw two short verticle lines to join them. For the vertical grid lines, do the same, by drawing two shorter lines connecting the outer two verticle lines. 

This will achieve a full grid on the circle that will help us wrap the pattern lines around the ball.

basketball drawing 04


Step 5: Drawing the Lines on Basketballs 

In this step, you are going to begin using the grid to help you draw the signature lines on basketballs. Begin with the first strip that wraps around the ball from the upper left side to the bottom right side. 

basketball drawing 05


Step 6: Constructing the Second Strip

You can now draw the second line, curving up and around the top left segment of the basketball drawing. You want this second strip to run from the bottom left corner of the horizontal rectangle, and meet the edge of the circle in the segment between the two grid rectangles on the top right. 

TIp: you want these two lines to cross just around the top left overlap of the two grid rectangles. 

basketball drawing 06


Step 7: Drawing the Third Basketball Strip

You can now draw the third strip. This one should curve up and away from the bottom of the basketball drawing, with the top being almost parallel to the first strip, and then back down to the right side of the basketball. 

basketball drawing 07


Step 8: Finishing the Lines on Basketballs 

To finish the lines on your easy basketball drawing, create a shorter, slightly curved strip at the top left corner of the ball. This strip should curve underneath the other strip at this point. 

Once completed you are ready to erase any still visible construction lines, grid lines, and overlapping lines.

basketball drawing 08


Step 9: Creating Realistic Basketball Drawing Texture

We now begin to add details and texture to our easy basketball drawings. Along the right edges of the basketball, and along the lines of each strip, use small dots to create a realistic basketball texture. 

Try to make the dotting more condensed around the edges of the ball, as this will help create a more three-dimensional and realistic basketball drawing.  

lines on basketball 09


Step 10: Applying a Base Color Coat to Your Basketball Drawing  

For the base color coat, find a slightly brown-orange shade. Use a large regular brush and apply an even coat of this shade to the entire shape of your basketball drawing. 

basketball drawing 10


Step 11: Coloring the Lines on Basketball 

For the signature basketball strips, you will need a smaller fine brush and some black paint. Using these tools, carefully trace the strips and fill them to create an even and dark coat. 

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Step 12: Contouring Your Realistic Basketball Drawing

In this step, you are going to use a soft blending brush and some black paint to create some contouring on your basketball drawing. Contouring is a fantastic way to add more dimension to a drawing. Apply a light layer of contouring to the edges of the basketball. 

The strips on a basketball are slightly indented, so you can also apply thin strips of light contouring around the strips to emphasize this. 

basketball drawing 12


Step 13: Adding More Shading

In this step, you are simply going to emphasize the contouring from the last step in certain places. Use a soft brush and a little more black paint and enhance the contoured areas, particularly around the edge of the ball. 

basketball drawing 13


Step 14: Begin Highlighting Your Easy Basketball Drawing

The very left upper right side of the basketball will catch the light, emphasizing the three-dimensional nature of your basketball drawing. Using a soft brush and some white paint, lightly color this area. Once you have applied the white paint, use a clean brush to gently blend all of your colors together. 

This blending technique will create a much smoother and more realistic transition between all of your colors. 

basketball drawing 14


Step 15: Strengthening Your Highlights

Now that you have the highlighted base, you can begin building up the intensity of the white color. Again, using a soft brush, apply highlights to the part of the ball where all of the strips converge. You can also add highlights to these parts of the black strips. 

basketball drawing 15


Step 16: Finishing Your Highlights and Shadows

Just before we finish our easy basketball drawing tutorial, you can now further emphasize your highlights and shadows. Use a fine brush and some white paint to add final highlight strips between the black lines. Finally, use a soft blending brush and some black paint to add a final layer of shading around the edges of the ball. 

basketball drawing 16


Step 17: Finishing Your Realistic Basketball Drawing

To complete this step, make use of a fine sharp brush and the corresponding color to trace the outline and inner texture lines to create a final seamless result without any visible dark outlines or texture lines. This helps us achieve a more natural look.

Complete the step by using a soft brush and black paint to apply a ground shadow.

realistic basketball drawing


Hopefully, by the end of this tutorial, you will have created a realistic basketball drawing with texture and contouring. Drawing a basketball is actually very easy when you break it down into simple steps, although it can seem intimidating at first. You now have all of the necessary drawing skills to draw many more types of balls, including tennis balls, soccer balls, and cricket balls. 



Video Tutorial on How to Draw a Basketball



Frequently Asked Questions


How Do You Draw a Simple Basketball?

Although a basketball drawing may seem intimidating, it is actually very simple when you can break it down into construction, detail, and coloring steps. In this easy basketball drawing tutorial, we show you exactly how to create a perfect realistic basketball drawing. 


How Do You Draw Basketball Texture?

Basketballs have a rough, dotted texture. To create this texture in a basketball drawing, you can simply create a pattern of small dots throughout the ball. 


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