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How to Draw a Flower

Learn how to draw a flower from artist Rebecca Schweiger in this Howcast drawing tutorial.


We'll now focus on how to draw a flower. When drawing a flower, you really have the opportunity to capture the beauty and the essence of the flower, and how you connect to a flower.

Your first step is going to be to find an actual flower, whether it's live or a photo of that flower. You can really choose something that inspires you. I'm going to be drawing this flower here. What I want to start looking at, the basic shapes of the petals of the flower. Instead of capturing the entire flower, I'm going to really break it down to each of the flower's petals.

The first thing I'm going to do is just to choose where I'm going to place it on my paper. I'm going to make a big oval to just represent where that flower is even going to be positioned. I'm going to draw a very simple squiggly line, curved line, to represent the flower's stem; this way I know where on my paper it's going to be. I'm going to start by really looking at petals. I'm going to go petal, to petal, to petal. I don't need to include every single petal, but I want to include as many petals as I need to, so that it really feels like a blossoming flower.

You can start anywhere you want. I like to start from the bottom and work my way up. The bottom petal is really just one curve, so I'm going to do it on the side here. It's like a very, very wide U. At the tip of that petal is another curve that comes inward. Laying on top of that petal is another petal, but first, that bottom petal folds over slightly. Again, I'm going to just look at that shape and draw one line at a time. The petal comes up, it comes down, and it comes over. The next petal is almost parallel to the bottom petal, but slightly different; it comes up, it comes over, and loops around. A little bit of that bottom petal shows through right here. I'm going to move up to the next petal. Again, I'm just focusing on the shape that's in front of me.

You can keep it as simple or as detailed as you want. There's not one right way, you want to really find your rhythm in drawing the flower. Again, it loops up, it comes over. It's all really starting from the center of the flower, and comes right over. There's another petal, just sticking out back here, so I'm just going to throw that in.

I'm going to move to the other side. There is, again, this semi-U shape, and this curve that comes and meets it right there. I'm looking very, very closely. As you can see, I'm not guessing, I'm not thinking that every flower looks the same. I'm realizing every flower has its own personality, so I'm not guessing how to make the different petals. I'm constantly looking at the information in front of me. Regardless of what level you are when drawing, if you're a total beginner, that's fine, or more advanced, as long as you get into the habit of really looking at what is in front of you and really focusing on the different curves and the different lines of that which you're looking at, you will do a great, great job.

I'm just continuing, again, petal-by-petal, line-by-line, shape-by-shape. Now I reach a point where the petals really start to come together. The left side of the flower and the right side of the flower are joining. As I reach the top, there are a lot of overlapping petals that are almost all the same shape. As you can tell, drawing a flower can be really, really meditative and very, very relaxing. I'm looking at something that's visually, really beautiful. I really have nothing else that I need to take care of, other than focusing on the beauty of this flower, and expressing the beauty onto my paper.

Now that I've drawn the petals, I'm going to come back down. This is a simple line drawing. I could always come back in with shading, but I'm just focusing on the basic outlines. I'm coming into the stem, and again, it's one curved line, connected to another curved line, connected to another curved line. I'm going to allow it to come all the way down the page. If I wanted to, I could shade in aspects of the flower. I'll started off, but I won't necessarily do the entire thing. I'm just using the tip or the side of my pencil. I would start looking through the flower, finding where are the darkest areas of this flower? I would start shading those in, accordingly. Then I would think about, "What are the medium grays?" I like to think of, if I looked at this flower through a black-and-white lens, what are all the different shades of grey that I would see? You would move through the flower, accordingly. The longer amount of time that you spend on your drawing, the more detailed it can be. Even just a simple line drawing can be very, very beautiful.

I'm just going to come through my drawing as my last step. I'm just going to make some of these lines slightly darker, just to allow some of these areas of the flower to really pop out. I'm allowing myself to be expressive with my lines, really allowing my personality, my feelings, and my own unique self-expression to come into the drawing. In a short while, I've created a drawing of a flower that really expresses how I see this flower.

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