Inspiration,  Tutorial

How To: Draw Cacti Two Ways

Happy Friday everyone!

I hope you all had a good week. I am finally getting over my cold, so hopefully, we will have some video tutorials out by May. If you want to be the first to know when those videos come out, go follow me on Instagram at 9to5bulletjournal to get real-time updates.

This week, I am bringing you guys another quick, Friday tutorial on how to doodle. This week, I will be showing you all a step-by-step process, 6 steps to be exact, on how to create two different types of cacti.

Succulents and Cacti seem to be two of the most popular items to doodle, and I also really enjoy doodling them. In the future, I will definitely make more tutorials on other kinds of succulents and cacti, since there are so many kinds, but for today, I will be showing you two, so let’s get started.


This post contains affiliate links, please check out my disclaimer at the end of this post for more information.

Both of these cacti doodles can be accomplished in 6 easy steps. The first type of cactus I will be showing you is based off of a Prickly Pear Cactus and the second type is based off of the traditional Saguaro Cactus. Just remember that cacti grow in all different directions and shapes, so if yours ends up looking different than mine, or you chose to make yours bend in a different place, it’s all good!

If you’d like to check out any of the materials that I will be using in this quick tutorial, you can check them out below:

The Prickly Pear

Both of these tutorials are going to start off pretty similarly, with the pot. You could choose to put your cactus in the ground or in a fancier pot, but for the sake of this tutorial, it’s going in a basic, brown pot.

Step one, you’re going to create two lines. I chose to make my lines 1 row tall and 4 columns apart. Then, in step two, you’re going to connect the tops and bottoms of the lines with curved lines. These curves make your pot seem more 3-D. You want your connecting lines to dip down in the middle and connect the two ends higher up.

In step three, you’re going to create the base of your pot. You will start two vertical lines at the bottom of the existing shape we created in the first two steps. These verticle lines will taper in slightly to make the pot get skinnier as you go down. Before they meet, you’ll end the line and connect the two bottom points with another curved line, similar to our shape from the second step.

Then, step four, you’re going to start to add in the cactus. For this style cactus, you’re just going to add in 3 different shapes; small circles, ovals, and upside-down teardrops. These three shapes will be stacked upon each other to create our cactus. If you look at a photo of these cacti, they bend in all sorts of directions and each new section sprouts from the last. So basically, have fun, and if you’d like to try and recreate mine, I mostly created upside-down teardrop shapes with small circles on the ends.

In step five, I just added in color. I used alternating greens to give the cactus more depth and I used a corresponding brown to fill in the pot. But, step six is where you really make it your own with the details. All I really added in step six were some thorns along the plants and I outlined the pot with a darker brown. To add the thorns, you just create little lines along the outskirts of the entire cactus. These lines will go in each and every direction, overlapping the outline of the actual cactus.

And you’re done. You could also choose to add in some flowers blooming from the cactus, which does happen if you look at some pictures, but I chose to keep mine simple.


The Saguaro

The first 3 steps of this process are done the exact same way as the first cactus. The only difference for this one is that the pot is skinnier. So, my initial shape created in step one is still 1 row high but now only 2 columns apart.

So, skipping ahead to step 4 (also, totally don’t pay attention to how crooked my pot was in the first few steps), you’ll start creating this cactus by making a tall, skinny upside-down ‘U’ shape to create the center stalk of your cactus. Then, you’ll add in little arms on both sides to give your cactus it’s classic shape. These arms are quite easy to create and pretty hard to mess up.

You just want to create little ‘L’ shapes, forward and backward, coming off of the center. You’ll want to place one arm higher than the other because that’ more realistic to how these cacti actually look.

In step five, I just added in color again, using only the light green color on my cactus. And again, in step six, you add in the detail.  For this cactus, all I added in were the little thorns, similarly to the first cactus, and I outlined the pot with that darker brown color.

I hope you guys enjoyed this super quick tutorial, and I hope you learned something from it. If you recreate anything from my blog, be sure to post it on Instagram and tag me in it @9to5bulletjournal or use the hashtag #9to5bulletjournal so I can see what you make!

As always, thank you for joining me, and I hope you have a lovely weekend!


Thanks for checking out my blog and supporting my dream!


Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links provided in this post are affiliate links. I do earn a small commission if you purchase an item through that link. Please understand that I only promote products that I truly use and enjoy and have only included these links so that you can use the same products that I do if you want to recreate anything.