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How to Draw Flowers

If you want to learn how to draw flowers, just by following the easy steps below, you'll be able to produce believable flower sketches in almost no time at all.

You'll be using a series of basic shapes to get the size and proportions of different types of flowers, with the photos below as the inspiration for your sketches.

For more information on these shapes click on the link here to go to the relevant section.

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How to Draw Flowers

Flowers are a consistently popular subject for drawing and painting and no wonder.

There are literally thousands of varieties across the world, growing wild and free or cultivated and nurtured by man (and woman!) in every size, shape and color imagineable.

Look closely at any flower and at first, you see only a complex layering of petals - the ever-popular rose is a good example of this. Nevertheless, on closer inspection, most flower outlines can be easily represented by just a few basic shapes. It's just knowing where to start.

So let's start here and go to Stage 1 of 'How to Draw Flowers'...


How To Draw Flowers - Stage 1

If you look closely at the photos at the top of the page, you'll see seven different shapes of flower. To make this easier, I've reproduced them below overlaid with some basic shape which more or less encompasses the main outline.

How to Draw Flowers Stage 1

See how we have the oval shape of the tulip (bottom right), the round shape of the daisy (top right) and the triangular shape to represent the 'trumpet ' outline of the foxglove (bottom left). 

Now let's look at the petals. Again the shape of the daisy is no more than a series of fairly regular, oval 'spokes'. On the other hand, the rose (bottom centre) has its petals wrapped around and around like a spiral.

The tiger lily on the other hand has a combination of a triangle shape and ovals. Once we understand this, it's much easier to 'read' the shape of the flower and petals and you're well on the way to learning how to draw flowers quickly and effectively.


How To Draw Flowers - Stage 2

Stage 2 of learning how to draw flowers sees the photos removed and we're left with the basic shapes to use as building blocks for our image.

Even though these are simple shapes, they already look 'right' in terms of overall shape and proportion.

How to Draw Flowers Stage 2

In the next stage, you're going to start filling in - in pencil - the more realistic shapes of petals. Don't draw your lines too hard at this point.

Concentrate on getting the shapes right first. I've actually done my lines in ink at this point because it makes it easier for you to see what I'm on about. But for now stick to pencil.

You'll find that if you use light lines, you'll get much more of a feel of delicate petals, which is the effect you're trying to achieve.


How To Draw Flowers - Stage 3

Now you'll start to feel you're really getting somewhere. In this stage of learning how to draw flowers, we're concentrating on inking in a fairly accurate outline of each flower, going over our pencilled outline. 

How to Draw Flowers Stage 3

However, don't, at this stage, worry about putting in details such as shadows and veins. That comes next.


How To Draw Flowers - Stage 4

In this final stage, we can now come to the part which brings everything to life - the shadows, the lights and darks and the delicate folds and curves of each petal.

Take your time over this but don't overdo it. Think all the time about the delicacy and lightness of a flower and try to replicate this in your work.

Of course you might say 'what about those flowers that have very narrow, spiky petals or the many varieties of Dahlia, with their round, ball-like profile?

Well if you look at any flower, you'll see that each of the shapes we've drawn here can be adapted slightly to cover pretty well any variety you can think of!

With a little practice, you should be able to create an authentic image of any type of flower you want - whether it be a single stem or an entire bouquet!

Leaves also conform to the same general patterns - broad and oval, long and slim or quite rounded, like a Geranium for example.

However, if you look at any leaf, you'll soon learn to associate a shape with it that will enable you to draw it without any problem.

Go and look in gardens or in the fields and see which shape suggests itself to you for a particular flower.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this article on how to draw flowers.  It's really satisfying creating something you may not have thought possible for you.

Now if you go through the whole site, you'll find lots more 'how to draw' articles on all sorts of subjects. Have a browse and enjoy them!

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