How to draw fire flame shapes

Written by deborah walden
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How to draw fire flame shapes
Use warm colours to capture the glow of a fire. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

When you are drawing fire, you may benefit from studying photographs of fire. Since this subject flickers and changes constantly in real life, photos can help to freeze a moment of stillness. Coloured pencils in warm colours provide an ideal tool for capturing the glow of flames. Feel free to substitute chalks, crayons or oil pastels if you wish. Make sure to keep your colours intense and your strokes smooth, since flames do not exhibit texture.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Yellow pencil
  • Red pencil
  • Orange pencil
  • Paper

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  1. 1

    Draw a straight horizontal line to create a ground or base for your fire. Use your yellow coloured pencil to make several waving lines from this base. Orient these lines vertically and make them at roughly 60 degree angles from the horizontal line. Start at the top tips of these lines and draw lines that mirror them, moving downward diagonally in the opposite direction from the original line. The shapes created by these lines should form waving, irregular triangles with no bases. You can make as many of these shapes as you wish, depending on the size of the fire that you want to draw.

  2. 2

    Continue to make these shapes behind your original ones in a second and third row. Draw your irregular triangles shorter in your second and third rows than those in the front. Make your second and third rows gradually narrower than the first. Make sure to taper each flame shape to a narrow point at the top. Create variance in the size of your flames by making some skinny with others remaining wide and thick.

  3. 3

    Use your orange coloured pencil to colour an area inside of each flame shape. Leave a border empty inside of each shape, only colouring the centre area up from the base of each flame.

  4. 4

    Colour the border that you left blank using your yellow coloured pencil. Colour over the region in which the orange and yellow meet to diffuse and blend these two hues together.

  5. 5

    Using your red pencil, colour an intense red centre starting from the base of each flame. Alternately trace the edges of each flame with light red and orange lines to create added colour and drama. This completes your fire flame shapes.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid making hard, straight lines. Keep them curving and fluid. Your flame shapes should appear more like inverted tear drop shapes without the round base than rigid, geometric triangles. Making sure your lines remain loose will achieve the general triangular character of flames without making unrealistically uniform shapes.

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