How to draw a banner - 3 ways to master any banner shape

Learn how to draw a banner with simple step-by-step instructions. 3 different banners: a simple straight banner to get you started, a nice wavy banner for a better look and an ultimate double banner to show off all the tricks you might need for any banner shape.
How to draw a banner - 3 ways to master any banner shape - step-by-step-drawing tutorial featured image

Our first banner is a really simple straight banner, made out of three rectangles - a  perfect way to learn how to draw the banner folds without getting lost.

For the second banner, we draw a similarly shaped ribbon but with some smooth wavy lines. The result is a softer and more interesting banner shape.

Our final banner is a double banner. It will teach you how to join the two lines of text and fold the banner and its ends to either side - the variations that will teach you how to draw a banner of any shape

Drawing time:
about 10 minutes
You will need:
pencil
eraser
colour pencils
drawing paper
 or 
sketch book

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How to draw a banner: an easy straight banner

Finished straight banner drawing

Our first banner is really simple - made just out of three rectangles and few extra straight lines. It is the perfect start for learning how to draw the banner folds without getting lost in all the curves. The line shading gives the banner some depth and nicely suggests the folds in the ribbon.

How to draw a an easy straight banner: base sketch

 

Step 1: Draw the base banner rectangles

Drawing step: Draw the base banner rectangles

Start the banner drawing with a rectangle that is long enough for whatever message you intend to write into it. Then add two shorter rectangles slightly offset on each side - these will be the folded banner ends.

Here we are drawing the banner folds lower than the main rectangle. If you want your banner folded the other way round, just move them up.

 

Step 2: Draw the banner fold lines and end cutouts

Drawing step: Draw the banner fold lines and end cutouts

To make the folded banner ends connected to the main banner, join the outer corners of your main rectangle with a simple straight line to the inner corners of the smaller fold rectangles.

Finally, add two "V" shaped cutouts to the banner ends - one at each side. And that's it - with just two steps we have the simple banner sketch done.

How to draw a an easy straight banner: outline

 

Step 1: Outline the banner

Drawing step: Outline the banner

Outlining the banner is as simple as sketching it. Outline all the lines, only leaving out the outer edges that are cut out.

 

Step 2: Shade the banner

Drawing step: Shade the banner

The final important detail, that will make the banner pop out into 3D, is the shading. Here we want to keep the banner as simple line art, that can be added to enhance the hand lettering. So our shading is done with simple individual lines.

Shade the two ribbon fold triangles with spaced vertical lines. Then add some horizontal lines to the main banner edges - these suggest the tension folds in the ribbon. Notice the lines are shorter in the middle, and longer at the top and bottom.

How to draw a banner: finished easy straight banner drawing

Finished straight banner drawing

 
Finished straight banner drawing

And here is the completed simple banner drawing after we have erased the sketch lines, with some lettering added. Made of three rectangles and drawn in just four steps, this indeed is the easiest way how to draw a banner.

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How to draw a banner: a simple wave banner

Finished wavy banner drawing

The second banner is not much harder than the previous one. We are drawing a similarly shaped ribbon, but instead of the simplified square folds, we are drawing the folds with some smooth wavy lines. The result is a softer and more interesting banner shape.

How to draw a wave banner: base sketch

 

Step 1: Draw the base banner curve

Drawing step: Draw the base banner curve

Let's draw the base curve for our wavy banner. It is made of two distinct parts: The first part is the long wide arch at the top - again, draw it wide enough to fit your intended message. Then add the folded ribbon ends. These are made of two mirrored "S" shaped curves, one on each end.

 

Step 2: Add banner sides

Drawing step: Add banner sides

Next, add the sides of the banner - four short lines up from the base curve, all the same length, as tall as you want your ribbon to be.

Add two lines at the ends of the line, and two more at the top corner of the "S" curves, to the furthermost point where the line changes direction.

If you have a keen eye, you will notice that our lines are not completely straight, but slightly curved in, to keep the overall dynamic, wavy feel of the ribbon.

 

Step 3: Draw the upper edges of the banner

Drawing step: Draw the upper edges of the banner

Now it is time to draw the upper edges to close the wave banner shape. These are simple curves parallel to the contour of your baseline.

 

Step 4: Add the missing banner fold lines and cutouts at the end

Drawing step: Add the missing banner fold lines and cutouts at the end

The very last step to complete the wave banner drawing is to add two more upward edge lines at the inner folds - the two low corners of the "S" curves.

An option to add some contrast to the smooth lines is again to draw the "V" cutouts at the ribbon ends (or leave your ribbon edges straight for a change).

How to draw a banner: wave banner outline steps

 

Step 1: Outline the banner

Drawing step:  Outline the banner

Similar to the previous simple banner, outline all the lines, leaving out only the far edges that are cut out (if you have decided to sketch the cutouts, that is).

 

Step 2: Shade the banner

Drawing step: Shade the banner

The shading for the wavy banner is again the same as for the simple square version above: Shade the two ribbon fold corners with spaced vertical lines. Then add some horizontal lines to the main banner to suggest the tension in the folds - shorter lines in the middle and longer at the top and bottom.

How to draw a banner: finished wavy banner drawing

Finished wavy banner drawing

 
Finished wavy banner drawing

And here is the completed wave banner drawing with the sketch lines erased and some lettering added. While adding the curvy corners is a slightly harder way how to draw a banner, the result is more dynamic and interesting. The smooth curves also make the banner look more rustic and old-fashioned.

This is the perfect banner to combine with the heart drawing or some flower drawings for your Valentine's day or Mother's day cards!

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Combine the the wave banner with a heart: How to draw a heart: 2 ways, one simple, one bold
How to draw a heart: 2 ways, one simple, one bold - step-by-step-drawing tutorial featured image

How to draw a heart: 2 ways, one simple, one bold

How to draw a heart in two ways: a classic flat heart icon and nice dynamic side-view curved heart. Add highlights and shading to make the heart pop out!
 

How to draw a banner: double banner

Finished double banner drawing

The third banner is a double banner - you will learn how to draw a banner with two lines of text. For some variety and practice, we bend the main text area up and each of the ribbon ends to a different side - one up and the other one down.

How to draw a double banner: base sketch

 

Step 1: Draw the base banner text areas

Drawing step: Draw the base banner text areas

Star drawing the double banner by sketching the two main text areas. This time the text will be bent up.

Draw a rectangle with curved sides, as wide as your text will be. Then split it into two parts of the same height, one for each line of the text, with a narrow space in between.

 

Step 2: Draw the folded ribbon ends

Drawing step: Draw the folded ribbon ends

Next, add the folded outer ribbon edges - just simple "S" curves - one at the top left corner, another at the bottom right.

 

Step 3: Add the remaining ribbon edges

Drawing step: Add the remaining ribbon edges

Draw the other edges for the ribbon ends - these just follow the other edge curve in parallel, at the same distance as the height of your text fields (or the ribbon width).

Then draw the hidden folded edges between the two text lines - these are just two "C" shaped curves that smoothly transition between the two lines.

 

Step 4: Draw the end ribbon cutouts and fold the sides

Drawing step: Draw the end ribbon cutouts and fold the sides

The last few lines that complete the folded ribbon banner shape are the vertical sides at the furthermost point of the "S" curves, where the line changes direction. And finally, the "V" shaped cutouts at each ribbon end. That is our banner sketch complete.

How to draw a double banner: outline steps

 

Step 1: Outline the upper banner line

Drawing step: Outline the upper banner line

Since the double banner drawing is a bit more complex, we will outline the banner in several steps, so we do not get lost. Start with drawing out the upper text area of the banner - the top "S" curve and the lower "J" shaped edge that turns down to the next line. Notice we are not drawing the line all the way out to the end - that is because we will round off the sharp corners later.

 

Step 2: Outline the lower banner line

Drawing step: Outline the lower banner line

The lower text area is a mirror image of the upper one - the "J" curve at the top, and the "S" curve for the bottom edge. Again, do not draw all the way out to the corners.

 

Step 3: Close the vertical sides of the banner

Drawing step: Close the vertical sides of the banner

Now it is time to close off those corners! Draw the vertical ends of the ribbon on both sides for both text areas slightly curved out, and round off those sharp corners.

 

Step 4: Outline the final ribbon edges

Drawing step: Outline the final ribbon edges

Complete the banner shape by outlining the remaining sketch lines - the cut-out edges and the vertical lines for the folds.

 

Step 5: Shade the banner

Drawing step: Shade the banner

Here comes the important shading part again to bring out the shape and folds of the banner.

As with the simple banners, hatch the small triangles in the "S" shaped end folds. Then use the same vertical hatch lines to shade the middle part between the two banner rows, where the ribbon returns from one line to the other.

How to draw a banner: finished double banner drawing

Finished double banner drawing

 
Finished double banner drawing

Here is the completed masterpiece - the finished double banner drawing once we have erased the sketch lines and added some lettering.

If you did not get lost in drawing the double banner, you are well on your way to knowing how to draw a banner of any shape - curved up or down, with the ends flying either side as well. And of course, you can add more layers of text as well - just repeat the same transition between the lines as many times as you need.

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