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Learn How to Draw Thousands of Flowers Using the Same Simple Technique

How to Draw Any Flower

There are hundreds of thousands of types of flowers in the world, but you can start drawing each in a similar way. Whether you’re sketching a rose or a daisy, the process is the same—so once you master it, you can draw all the bouquets you’d like.

If you’re just learning to draw flowers, we recommend working in pencil because it’s a forgiving tool. Here are some of the best drawing pencils both enthusiasts and professionals love.

Here are three different flowers that each use the same drawing technique.

How to Draw a Flower

Photo: Sara Barnes / My Modern Met

 

Step 1: Break the parts of the flower into simple shapes. 

How to Draw a Flower

Photo & artwork: Sara Barnes / My Modern Met

Study your flower (or bouquet) for a moment to determine its overall shape. The carnation (light purple flower) is in the shape of an oval, while the smaller, darker purple blooms beneath it are a series of clustered circles.

 

Step 2: Refine the large shape into the smaller characteristics (like the petals).

How to Draw a Flower

Photo & artwork: Sara Barnes / My Modern Met

Once you’re feeling confident that you’ve got the overall shapes down, start to refine your sketch. Block out the center of the flower. Observe—are the filaments showing? The stamen? If so, what kind of shapes do they make? Additionally, study the scale. How big is a petal compared to the center of the flower? How big is it compared to the overall size? Record those characteristics, along with the petals, on your paper.

This is the most important stage of your drawing because it’s easy to correct mistakes. So, be prepared to spend extra time getting things right. You don’t want to have to erase all your hard work later just for one small error!

 

Step 3: Distill the shapes even more.

How to Draw a Flower

Photo & artwork: Sara Barnes / My Modern Met

How to Draw a Flower

Photo & artwork: Sara Barnes / My Modern Met

Now that the drawing is getting more detailed, continue to refine your sketch even more. Carefully look at every petal shape and observe if it has creases or overlaps with other petals. If so, record the new form. Don’t fret about erasing; this is your last chance to alter your line drawing before you start adding shading.

 

Step 4: Apply shading and intricate details to complete the drawing.

How to Draw a Flower

Photo & artwork: Sara Barnes / My Modern Met

How to Draw a Flower

Photo & artwork: Sara Barnes / My Modern Met

Bring your drawing to life by applying a range of tones to your artwork. The back and forth shading technique is popular, but also consider hatching and cross-hatching in order to imitate some of the veins and textures you find on real flowers.

 

Next: Additional flower-drawing instruction.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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