how to draw a ladybug

How to Draw a Ladybug – Ladybird Beetle Drawing Lesson

Learning how to draw a ladybug is a really fun creature to draw because it is so small yet so interesting in its features. Ladybugs are so unique in their symbolism as they can often be associated with good luck and peace. Ladybug art can be really beautiful in its simplicity as it is a creature that can stand on its own as a singular ladybug drawing. Ladybug drawings can also be done in so many ways, as it works well within an illustrative genre, and a ladybug illustration can be a beautiful addition to their artworks. In this easy ladybug drawing tutorial, we will look at how to create a realistic ladybug with a simple few-step drawing process.



An Easy Guide to Drawing a Ladybug

In this tutorial, we will find that making a realistic ladybug drawing is quite an easy process. This easy ladybug drawing tutorial breaks down the drawing process into a few simple digestible steps. In this tutorial, we will look at how we can develop a simple ladybug sketch into a beautiful and nuanced ladybug drawing. Ladybugs also have a unique structure, which provides us with a unique challenge to create shining effects on its exoskeleton as well as capture the unique qualities of a ladybug.

All these features that make the ladybug unique are easy and simple to draw and only require common materials that are often accessible.


Necessary Materials

Learning how to draw a ladybug requires only the simplest materials. In this tutorial on how to draw a ladybug, we will be drawing it both in pencil and pen, which will give it a contrasted illustrative quality. This means we will want to have at least an HB and 2B pencil as well as a ballpoint pen.

A ladybug drawing can have moments that will be a little intricate.

Because of this, we will want to have a sharpener for fine lines and an eraser for any silly mistakes that we might make along the way. Lastly, we will want to have some good paper. All these materials can be found through the links below:

  • HB pencil
  • Red pencil
  • Orange pencil
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Eraser
  • Sharpener
  • Good paper (200 g/m – 250 g/m recommended)



Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Draw a Ladybug

In this tutorial on how to draw a ladybug from a side angle. We will start with a simple ladybug sketch, where we will work on shaping the ladybug. from there we will then proceed to add some light shading to our ladybug sketch, slowly working out the shadows and light within our ladybug drawing. From there we will slowly work on some darker shading, taking our time capturing the different tonal values within the ladybug drawing.

Lastly, we will work with our ballpoint pens to create more contrast within our drawing.

This will give the drawing a darker and more vivid effect that will enhance the features within the ladybug drawing. Now that we are aware of what to expect, we can get into the tutorial on how to draw a ladybug.


Step 1: Sketching the Ladybug Shape

We want to start by using our HB pencils to draw a dome shape. We want to draw this shape in the middle of the page, which will represent the larger part of the ladybug’s body.

Since we are drawing the ladybug from the side view, we want to imagine if we are seeing the dome shape from the side view.

ladybug drawing 01 From here, we want to then draw an opening on one side of the dome shape. We will be drawing the ladybug from the side view, which means this opening should have slight distortion as if seen from the side.

ladybug drawing 02 We then will proceed to draw another little dome pebble shape by the opening of the first larger dome shape. this second shape should be significantly smaller and should fit into the opening that we drew on the first dome shape.

Imagine it as a second dome shape that could slide into the larger one.

ladybug drawing 03 Lastly, we will draw a third shape, which will be smaller and connected to the second shape we drew previously. We want to imagine it as a set of pebbles, from large to small, all placed together. They should seem as if they could fit inside each other like Russian nesting dolls.

The last shape will have more of a flat arrow-head shape.

ladybug drawing 04


Step 2: Sketching the Ladybug’s Features

We should be left with a generic ladybug structure, that consists of three shapes placed next to one another. Again, the ladybug shape consists of three basic shapes, all three are dome-shaped and fit together like three pebbles. The smallest shape, where the ladybug’s face will be, is more of a spearheaded shape with a flat top.

Since we are drawing the ladybug from a side angle, we want to place only a single eye on the smallest shape.

easy ladybug drawing 05 From here, we can begin to draw the first leg since we are only seeing the ladybug from a single side, this means we will only have to draw one side of the legs. The front legs sprout from the front area of the elytra or the largest dome shape. We want the leg to be divided into two sections emphasizing the exoskeleton quality of the bug.

easy ladybug drawing 07 We want to make sure that we are using our erasers during the sketching phase. This way, we can tweak and edit as we go along. You are more than welcome to use any visual reference to assist you in your drawing process.

Again, make sure the leg sprouts away from the body, giving the bug a more realistic quality in its structure.

easy ladybug drawing 09 With the face of the ladybug drawing, remember that we are drawing the insect from a side view angle. This means that one side is predominantly visible, whilst the other side is only slightly visible. Consider this as you draw the eyes, perhaps allowing for a small bit of the other eye to be present. We can also add in the pronotum shapes within the ladybug drawing, which are two rectangular shapes that fall along the sides of the middle shape.

Again, consider that the bug is seen from a side angle, this means that only one of the shapes on the pronotum will be completely visible.

easy ladybug drawing 10 Since we will be predominantly coloring the face and pronotum area of the ladybug drawing in black, we can use our HB pencils to add shading within this area of the bug. Remember, the ladybug has these shapes on the face and in the pronotum area that will remain white, so we want to color shade around them.

easy ladybug drawing 11 We will be using colored pencils to color in our ladybug drawing, which means we want to make sure we draw in the shapes on the wings or the elytra. Remember, we are only seeing the ladybug from an angle, this means that we will only see the features on one side of the ladybug.

As you draw in the spots that will be black, remember not to add too many, as this is unrealistic for a ladybug.


Step 3: Adding Color to Our Ladybug Drawing

Using our red pencils, we will proceed to add color to the ladybug drawing. With ladybug art, there are many ways to color in the insect, however, we want to use our coloring pencils to create a variety of different tonal values within our ladybug drawing.

Start to add in some red coloring, lightly within the ladybug’s elytra or wings area.

ladybug sketch 12 Now we want to be a bit tactical with how we add our colors, so the intention will be to depict some shine or highlights within the ladybug. We do this by coloring red in sections or strips along with the ladybug, rather than coloring in the whole ladybug at once. This is where we will want to start using our orange pencil as a way to define a gradient within the ladybug’s elytra.

By doing this, we will suggest that light is interacting with the smooth surface of the ladybug’s structure. Use your orange pencil to start blending into the red strokes within the ladybug’s elytra.

ladybug sketch 14 Remember, you want to color around the spots you drew, which will be black eventually. You can also draw in shapes within the wings, which you may leave out white to suggest a starker shine or highlight the ladybug’s wings or elytra. We want to use our red pencil and orange pencil to suggest a gradient within the ladybug’s structure.

However, we want to make sure that red is the main or most predominantly seen color, making the ladybug vivid. Allow yourself to play around with how you add in these colors.

ladybug sketch 16 A good tip to remember is that you can have sharp lines of color, as this is representative of a smooth surface which is the case for the ladybug’s structure. Remember, that as you add color to the ladybug, you want to work around the spots, which you can at this point start to color in black. Let us use our ballpoint pens to add in the black features within the ladybug, emphasizing the contrast between the color and the shiny black areas.

Remember, we want to slightly go over our colors more and more, with emphasis on the red as the dominant color.

ladybug sketch 18 We want to slightly darken the red a little more by adding layering over it with our coloring pencil. We want to make sure that we are also using our orange pencils to develop the gradient within the ladybug, from the red areas to the moments of shine or highlights.

ladybug sketch 19 Again, the surface of the ladybug’s wings is smooth like a metallic surface. This means we can play around with adding in areas of highlights to suggest a shine or reflection off the surface of the elytra or wings.

Play around with adding highlights to the ladybug drawing to capture this effect.

ladybug illustration 21 Slowly keep working in the black spots with your ballpoint pens. Be cautious with your ballpoint pen, proceed to shade in these black spots as if you were using a pencil. A ballpoint pen can be treated with the same approach to shading.

ladybug illustration 22 Taking your time using a ballpoint pen to shade in certain areas and add in some details is ideal, as it is easy to make mistakes using a pen. We also still want to slowly add layers into our red areas of the ladybug drawing until we are left with a deep red quality within the ladybug drawing.


Step 4: Shading in the Ladybug Face with Pen

We want to now move on to shading in the ladybug drawing with our black ballpoint pens, emphasizing the dark areas of the ladybug insect. This includes the pronotum and face area of the ladybug. With your ballpoint pen, proceed to shade in the pronotum area.

Make sure that you shade around the rectangular shape.

ladybug illustration 24 Again, the exoskeleton quality of the ladybug means that its shell is hard and smooth, which is the same for the pronotum and face area. This means that we want to create highlights within these areas as well. Take your time creating a gradient from dark to light with your ballpoint pen, to suggest the smooth and hard quality of the ladybug. The process will be the same for the face and eyes as well, which means we can approach these areas with the same intention.

Again, take your time as the pen is quite susceptible to mistakes. Be cautious as you attempt to create little sections of light and shine in the black features.


Step 5: Shading in the Ladybug Legs with Pen

We will proceed to do the same with the legs of the ladybug, where we use our ballpoint pens to shade in the legs. However, again we can leave little sections of white in the legs to suggest a hard exoskeleton quality the legs.

By doing this we will have a more realistic ladybug drawing in the end.

ladybug illustration 26 The hind legs will be seen as curling into the elytra or underneath the wings. This means that they poke out of the elytra structure slightly, as they bend inward. Again, for both legs, they are divided into two sections.

However, the shading process is still the same, where the legs are predominantly black with little light areas of white.

ladybug illustration 27


Step 6: Adding in the Last Little Details

Let us return to the face of the ladybug, where we can start to add in the antennae. We can add these features with our ballpoint pens as they are quite simple structures to draw. However, still, take your time and be cautious as you add them on the face.

ladybug art 28 We can also add in the little shadow underneath the ladybug, just to further the three-dimensional quality of the ladybug drawing. We can use both pencil and pen for this, but remember to keep it relatively light.

ladybug art 29 You can go through your drawing one last time if you’d like to, but that is it! A few basic steps to drawing a realistic ladybug. Ladybug art can be done in various ways, although it is a great creature to play around with in the drawing medium.

Now you know how to draw a ladybug and can use it in other artworks!



Tips to Remember

  • Work on blending the colors. As you add color to your ladybug drawing, you want to make the gradients as seamless as possible, so work on this skill.
  • Highlights are important. Most of the ladybug, if not the entire structure, is hard and smooth. This means there will be a lot of reflective and shining areas.
  • Work out the general shape. Again, regardless of which perspective you draw a ladybug from, it will always have the same set of three basic shapes that make up its body.
  • Less is more. This is especially true when it comes to drawing the black spots on the wings, so don’t draw too many.
  • Adapt the skills you have learned. Play around with the features and how you use them in the ladybug drawing.


A ladybug drawing is simple but there are a few ways to enhance it and make it look more interesting. In this tutorial, we see how ladybug art can be approached with a unique perspective and how we develop a simple ladybug sketch into something more unique. This tutorial breaks down the basic process of creating a ladybug illustration that has some realistic characteristics. Remember that this tutorial describes a set of skills that can be used in various ways that can be used for other artworks.



Frequently Asked Questions


How Do You Draw a Shine on a Ladybug Shell?

Creating the shine on the ladybug wings is quite a simple process, as we are essentially using negative space as the highlights. This means that as you color in the wings of the ladybug, we want to create a sheen and smooth effect on the surface of the wings. We do this by drawing shapes onto the ladybug’s wings, around which we will color, leaving the shape blank and white. As we add color to the wings and leave the shape blank, we are allowing the white shape to represent the highlights on the surface of the wings. This will give the impression of light reflecting off of the surface of the ladybug’s wings, resulting in a shining effect. As you create your ladybug drawing, you want to play around with adding highlights on the surface of the wings. This is because ladybug wings are quite smooth and are able to reflect light. Using the process that has been described will enable you to achieve this effect in your ladybug drawing.


How Do You Draw the Ladybug Body Shape?

A ladybug drawing can be drawn in various ways, although, the shape of the ladybug is always relatively the same form. You want to imagine that the ladybug is made of three conjoined pebbles that these pebbles are connected from large to small. The largest part would be the elytra or the wings, the second largest part would be the pronotum or face, and then the smallest part would be the head. The angle at which you are drawing the ladybug will determine how they are formed along a single plane. However, we can imagine that each pebble is flat near the ground with a rounded top, depicting a dome shape. From there, it’s a matter of adding extra features to contextualize the insect and define certain characteristics more distinctly. However, the body shape will always be the same in the drawing process, where connecting the three pebble shapes together creates an accurate ladybug drawing.


Cite this Article

Matthew, Matthysen, “How to Draw a Ladybug – Ladybird Beetle Drawing Lesson.” Art in Context. July 1, 2022. URL:

Matthysen, M. (2022, 1 July). How to Draw a Ladybug – Ladybird Beetle Drawing Lesson. Art in Context.

Matthysen, Matthew. “How to Draw a Ladybug – Ladybird Beetle Drawing Lesson.” Art in Context, July 1, 2022.

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