Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing Flowers

Updated April 17, 2017

For budding artists, flowers are a great subject choice. Most people have them within easy access, either in their garden or in a vase inside their home. If you do not have a real flower in hand, take advantage of the wide range of photographs available to view for free online, and use one of these as your reference. If you are an inexperienced artist, start with a flower that is fairly simple to draw --- such as a dahlia, which is far easier to sketch than a rose.

Purchase a medium hard (2H to H), medium (F to HB) or medium soft (B to 2B) drawing pencil. These are all suitable for sketching; practice with a few different leads and work out what your preference is. Purchase good quality coloured pencils.

Sketch a rough oval to outline where the flower petals will be. Draw a smaller oval shape in the centre, within which the stigma and anther will be drawn. Draw a slim stem from the bottom centre of the large oval shape downward.

Sketch leaves at regular intervals down the stem, on either side. Keep your sketch lines faint at this stage so that you can easily erase and remedy any mistakes.

Draw individual flower petals inside the large oval outline. Keep the petal shapes smooth and soft with no rough edges. Work your way out from the centre until the outline is full.

Fill your petals, flower centre, stem and leaves with coloured pencils. Use dark green for the stem and leaves, yellow for the flower centre and pink or lilac for the petals. Use quick, light, even strokes to fill in the colour.

Shade and add texture to the flower. Apply more pressure with the coloured pencil to create darker areas on the leaves and stem to create texture. Work from the centre of the flower to the outer edges of the petals to create shadows. Refer to your photograph or the flower in front of you to observe what parts of the flower are light and dark. Leaves tend to be darker toward the bottom of the stem.

Define your flower petals. Sketch a criss-cross pattern, or lots of tiny circles, to create texture. Follow the shape of the petal to give a three dimensional effect.

Sketch over your texture pattern with a slightly different colour pencil --- for example, a red pencil over pink, or a dark purple pencil over lilac. This adds further texture and depth of colour.

Things You'll Need

  • Drawing pencil
  • Coloured pencils
  • Reference book or flower
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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."