How to Draw A Cactus

Try this simple cactus drawing tutorial. I’ve done two to make it extra fun!


What Is A Cactus?

A cactus is a type of succulent. Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves, roots or stems. Cactuses are identified by having areoles; basically hairy cushions on the surface of their stems. Plus most have spikes.

This is why something like aloe vera is a succulent, not a cactus. It doesn’t have areoles or spikes.

So… now that you’re full bottle on what makes a cactus, a cactus, let’s get into the drawing!

Nicola xx

Ps: Don’t forget all artwork on this site is original art created by me. I’d love you to recreate it and share your stuff on social, just remember to tag me @nicolamilanart (and no commercial resale allowed. Thanks!)

Simple Cactus Drawing Summary

Pin it if you know it and share the cactus love. Nicola xx


Onwards With the Cactus Drawing Tutorial!

Ready to smash this cute cactus drawing? Let’s do it!

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step One: Start With the Pot

Unless you feel like drawing a whole Mexican desert scene (which, I highly encourage by the way), your cactus drawing will need a pot to sit in. 

Fortunately, this is easily drawn. I’ve gone with a traditional looking garden pot so we will start by drawing the base.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Two: The Top of the Pot

Top your pot off with a simple rim. Notice how mine isn’t 100% straight. Well, that wasn’t deliberate (haha!) but I think it looks cute a bit wonky so I’m going with it.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Three: Add Some Decoration

This is a fun step. You get to decorate your pot! I was feeling a boho/ tribal pot vibe so I did a couple of simple lines and circles that I could add some color to later.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Four: A Blob in the Pot

Ah ha! Time to actually draw in the cactus. Our simple cactus drawing today is going to begin its life as a blob. Kind of looks like a decorative icecream in a way… 

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Five: Segment the Blob

To make our cactus, look more like itself, we’ll add three segmenting lines to the middle of the blob. This makes it look like the cactus has bumpy sides rather than being a round, smooth blob.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Six: Give the Blob Some Hair

Hello… fun step! This is where you get to add some spikey cactus hair. I went for a gelled up motif similar to Bart Simpson.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Seven: Ohh Right! It’s a Cactus…

All that is left is to draw some cool bumpy bits all over your cactus. You can also do spikes if you want. Just between you and me, spikes you look more authentic, but I was in a bump-drawing mood when I did my simple cactus drawing so I went with the flow.

Cactus drawing with purple flower

Time to Color!

Tada!!! Traditional green cactus? Not here my friend. I decided purple was the way to go and I used lots of shading to show the harsh sun environment you would find these little guys stuck in. 

I wonder if next time I should draw him with a hat and sunnies. Sun protection is important after all….


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Ready for Sassy Succulent Drawing #2?!

This next cactus is a little more complicated, but I have no doubt you will breeze through this tutorial, no problem. Let’s draw.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step One: Repeat steps 1-3 from cactus #1 so we already have a pot

Skipping ahead just a bit for this tute. I used the same pot for both my cactuses but feel free to mix it up. 

By the way, if you’re one of those word snobs silently mocking me with your eyes for my use of the word ‘Cactuses’ instead of ‘Cacti’, I actually did look up which was ‘proper’ before I started this blog and both are acceptable. 🙂

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Two: Add Random Pebbles

This is one of those knobbly looking cactuses rather than a simple cactus drawing like the first one. 

Even though my need for symmetry was screaming at me during this drawing, I know for a fact that cactuses never grow evenly in any pot I’ve put them in, so we’re going with the random pebbly wonkiness.

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Three: The Pebbles Grow Arms!

Once you’ve drawn in a bunch of random pebbles, we then draw pebbles on top of the pebbles. 

Frog Drawing -Milan's Mischief

Step Three: Hairy Pebbles…

Once you have a mound of pebbles, we now turn them into a cactus! All I did was add some strokes on the top and bottom of each ‘pebble’ plus some little flowers on the top of a few and added hairy looking strokes over all of them to finish.

You can go to town on the spikes or fuzziness of your cactus in this step if you want. 

Cactus drawing with blue flowers

Step Four: Blue Cactuses Are Actually A Thing

…and we’re done! Considering our first cactus drawing ended up purple, I felt it was only fair to give our sassy succulent here a cool color. So blue it was. 

I hope you enjoyed today’s fun drawing tutorial! If you did, let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to show me your creations on insta: @milansmischief.

So what next? Discover why the puffer fish is the deadliest animal in the ocean!

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