How to Draw Flames for Decals

Written by james tennant
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How to Draw Flames for Decals
It's fairly easy to construct flames using a basic framework. (2 fire flames - vector illustration image by rgbspace from

It's fairly easy to construct flame decals using a basic framework. Fire patterns are often seen on hot rod cars and on the sides of shoes. The flames give the impression of speed and power and can add striking contrast to dark colour schemes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Fine liner or ballpoint pen
  • A4 white paper (standard printer paper)
  • Felt-tip pens, crayons, marker pens or paints

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    Reference and Sketching

  1. 1

    Find some reference shots of flames from real life, these will help add accuracy to your drawing and when you add colour. Find some images of flame decals on the Internet or in magazines to help you with your drawing.

  2. 2

    Observe that basic flame decals and flames in general. They have a wide base and a pointed tip, with wavy, elongated "S" shaped lines joining either side of the base to the tip. It is very simple to draw and can be copied over and over to add density to your flame decal. Some flame decals have two points coming from the same base, employ the same technique as above except split the base in half.

  3. 3

    Draw smaller flames inside the larger flames to give the impression of a more intense fire. Whatever your are adding the flame decals to, remember to keep your pencil strokes faint and avoid erasing too often.

  4. 4

    Draw as many flame decals as you want, but remember that subtlety can help to create a striking image when it comes to drawing fire. Too many flame decals can create a messy feeling to your drawing.

  5. 5

    Take your fine liner pen and draw over the pencil lines you want to keep. Take care with this step to avoid mistakes and let the pen ink dry before your erase the pencil marks to avoid smudging. You should be left with a clean line drawing.

  6. 6

    Take your felt tip pens, crayons, or marker pens and add some colour. Oranges, reds and yellows work well on flame decals and even white can help add some intensity.

Tips and warnings

  • Symmetrical flame decals help create a uniform look.
  • Unsymmetrical flame decals help create a more realistic look.
  • Use a technical pencil for clear sketching lines.
  • Marker pens are great for adding colour.
  • Avoid erasing too much.
  • Don't trace your reference, you won't learn anything.
  • Pens can leak, so be aware.

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