Drawing the Acanthus Motif


The acanthus leaf is an artistic motif going back as far as Ancient Greek architecture. Once you learn to recognize it, you will see it everywhere and start to understand how to approach creating your own. In this class you'll learn to create the Roman period acanthus style and we'll apply it to a stunning stationery suite design with drawing, painting and wax seals. 

Topics Covered

  • History of the Acanthus Motif
  • Anatomy of the stylized plant
  • Drawing from simplified to complex
  • Stationery suite design
  • Acrylic paint embellishments
  • Wax seal stamp tips

Want to join us for class? It's offered on-demand and now available to enrolled students. Enjoy this video and printable worksheets today!

Enroll Now

Materials Needed

  • Sketch paper 
  • Pencil
  • Fine liner
  • Flexible tip black marker
  • Ruler
  • Vellum 
  • Envelope
  • Piece of cardstock 
  • Acrylic or gouache gold paint
  • Paint brush
  • Wax seal, ribbon, or string if desired

Reference links: WikipediaJstorTri.Shiba (youtube) 

Quick Tips

Check out the reference links to explore acanthus plant styles through the ages for inspiration towards your drawing or for you stationery design.

Keep an eye out for acanthus inspiration on furniture, rugs and other common decor pieces. With a motif this widespread you can find inspiration for your own acanthus designs under your very nose!

Homework Challenge

Want to see our students homework? Search the hashtag #kcaacanthus on Instagram to see samples from this week's homework. Our students who participate in this challenge get entered into a drawing to win prizes.

Instructor: Malka Klein

Website: malkaklein.com

Instagram: @malkaklein


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