How to draw the solar system (2023)

The sun is at the center of our solar system and is surrounded by eight planets and several moons. The eight planets, in increasing order of distance from the Sun, are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Pluto was considered the ninth planet until 2006, after which the International Astronomical Union decided to demote it to a dwarf planet.

This step-by-step guide will show you how to draw a solar system model diagram. It's pretty easy to draw the solar system once you know the position of the planets around the sun.

Step 1: Start with the sun in the center

Since all other solar system objects revolve around the sun, it's good to start with the sun. Draw a large circle and paint it with a mixture of orange, red and yellow to represent the sun. If you are using a canvas, make sure there is enough space left to draw the eight planets around the sun.

When drawing the Sun, remember that it is the largest celestial object in the Solar System, containing almost 99% of the total mass. Its gravitational pull keeps the planets and moons in their orbits. Therefore, the sun should appear most prominently and clearly on your sketch.

How to draw the solar system (1)

To add some effect and give it more meaning, you can draw some pointed triangles around the sun to represent the fact that it's a giant ball of gas burning its fuel through a process known as "nuclear fusion".

Step 2: Draw the first planet around the sun

Draw a slightly elliptical circle around the sun (and not very far from it). This represents the orbit of Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. Then draw a small circle on this orbit and paint it metallic gray to represent the planet Mercury.

How to draw the solar system (2)

Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system. It has a very thin (almost negligible) atmosphere, which is why it reflects back most of the sunlight and appears gray. Mercury's surface has an appearance similar to that of our moon.

Step 3: Next is Venus

Next to Mercury's orbit, draw a slightly larger elliptical orbit. Draw an orange and yellow circle (larger than the size of Mercury) on it to represent the planet Venus. This second planet in the solar system is almost as big as Earth.

How to draw the solar system (3)

Unlike Mercury, Venus has a thick and dense atmosphere that is full of toxic gases. It orbits the Sun in retrograde motion, meaning the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east on Venus.

Step 4: Draw our home planet, Earth

Earth is the third planet from the sun and only slightly larger than Venus. To show Earth's position, draw a larger ellipse next to Venus' orbit, draw a circle on this elliptical orbit, and paint it blue. To make it a little more realistic, paint some patches of the earth green, emphasizing the point that our planet has a perfect mix of land, water, and atmospheric gases.

How to draw the solar system (4)

Earth is the largest and heaviest of the four inner rocky planets.

Step 5: Draw the red planet, Mars

Mars is the fourth planet in increasing distance from the sun. To show the position of Mars, draw a larger elliptical orbit next to Earth's orbit. On this elliptical path, draw a smaller circle and paint it red. The size of Mars is significantly smaller than the size of Earth.

How to draw the solar system (5)

Mars is believed to have had water in the past, but it could not hold that water due to its weaker gravitational pull. Solar winds blew the lighter particles out of its thin atmosphere, and most of the oxygen reacted with the metals on its surface to form iron oxides. This gives Mars its distinctive rustic red color.

Step 6: Show the placement of Jupiter

Draw a large elliptical orbit next to Mars' orbit and draw a large circle on top of it to represent Jupiter. As you draw the circle for Jupiter, remember that it is the largest planet and the closest massive celestial object in the Solar System after the Sun.

Leave enough space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Here we have the asteroid belt, a collection of countless rocky objects of different sizes, ranging from a few centimeters to several kilometers. In this area, draw a series of small, uneven gray circles to indicate the asteroid belt.

How to draw the solar system (6)

Draw three to four horizontal wave bands in Jupiter and color these bands with different shades of orange. Draw an ellipse in one of these bands, color it "red" and draw swirling circles inside to show Jupiter's Great Red Spot, which is Jupiter's most prominent feature.

The Great Red Spot is a massive hurricane nearly twice the size of Earth, and miraculously it has been there since Galileo saw it through his telescope.

Step 7: Draw the planet Saturn, Lord of the Rings

Saturn is by far the most picturesque planet in our solar system. What sets it apart from other planets is its magnificent rings. To show Saturn's placement, draw an elliptical orbit next to Jupiter's orbit, and on that orbit, draw a circle slightly smaller than Jupiter. Use a mix of gray and brown to paint Saturn and give his rings a distinctive look by using a mix of gray and white.

Saturn's rings have several identifiable bands, and most of these rings contain ice particles of various sizes that reflect most of the sunlight, which is why the rings look so spectacular.

How to draw the solar system (7)

An interesting fact about Saturn is its low density. It's the only planet in our solar system with an average density less than that of water, meaning if there were a giant pool of water the size of Saturn, the planet would miraculously float on top of it!

Step 8: Draw Uranus next to Saturn

Sketch the orbit of Uranus next to the orbit of Saturn. Use a mixture of blue and green to color the surface of Uranus. Uranus is the seventh planet in the solar system. It is one of the ice giants composed mainly of particles heavier than hydrogen and helium, such as oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen, etc.

How to draw the solar system (8)

The most striking feature of Uranus is its wild tilt of more than 90 degrees, which is why its equator is almost perpendicular to its orbit. Like Saturn, it has a series of rings, but unlike Saturn's rings, Uranus' rings are not as prominent. Draw thin ring lines around Uranus, but in a vertical fashion, which also show Uranus' unusual tilt.

Step 9: Draw Neptune, the eighth planet of the solar system

Neptune is also an ice giant that appears blue like our home planet. To represent Neptune, draw an elongated elliptical path next to Uranus' orbit and draw a filled blue circle on the orbit. Neptune is slightly smaller in diameter than its neighbor Uranus, but interestingly it is heavier than Uranus.

How to draw the solar system (9)

Neptune also has a thin set of rings, but they're not as noticeable. Neptune is so far from the Sun that it takes an incredible 165 years to complete one orbit around the Sun.

Next to Neptune's orbit, you can draw an elliptical band of irregular objects to show the Kuiper Belt, which is similar to the asteroid belt but almost 20 times wider. However, it is optional and entirely up to you whether you want to show the Kuiper Belt or not. Draw the Kuiper Belt at the edge of your canvas to show the periphery of the solar system.


Aside from the Sun and planets, our solar system contains several prominent moons, but fitting them all onto a small canvas is not easy. For example, Ganymede is one of Jupiter's moons and its radius is larger than Mercury and Pluto. Europa is another intriguing moon out of all 80 known moons of Jupiter. Similarly, Titan is Saturn's largest moon and is special about Titan's dense atmosphere and the presence of a stable liquid form on its surface. How can we forget our own moon, which makes up almost a quarter of its mother planet. It is unusual for a planet to have such a large moon, and scientists believe it is our moon's gravitational pull that stabilizes Earth's tilt, giving us a stable weather pattern that has allowed life to emerge and thrive on Earth.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duane Harber

Last Updated: 02/11/2023

Views: 6136

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duane Harber

Birthday: 1999-10-17

Address: Apt. 404 9899 Magnolia Roads, Port Royceville, ID 78186

Phone: +186911129794335

Job: Human Hospitality Planner

Hobby: Listening to music, Orienteering, Knapping, Dance, Mountain biking, Fishing, Pottery

Introduction: My name is Duane Harber, I am a modern, clever, handsome, fair, agreeable, inexpensive, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.