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Design

How to Draw a Flower

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:
This post is part of a series called Drawing Nature.
How to Draw Grass, Ground, and Rocks
How to Draw Water in Nature
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Learning how to draw can be tedious sometimes—you need to practice a lot, rarely seeing any progress. In this tutorial I'll try to make learning more fun for you. I will show you how to use three pencils to plan, sketch, shade, and finish three beautiful flowers: a daisy, and orchid, and a lily of the valley. This can be a great exercise, and you'll actually end up with a fully rendered drawing when you finish!

Before you start, read the introduction of How to Draw Trees to learn which tools you need for this tutorial.

1. How to Draw a Daisy

We'll start with the simplest type of flower: a daisy. This little, humble flower is easy to draw, but we'll make it more challenging by using an interesting perspective. If you need a reference, you can check out photos on Envato Market, for example:

Step 1

Draw a short stem with a distorted cross on top. Draw very lightly, making the strokes almost invisible. The photo below is heavily darkened to help you see the lines, but you should barely see yours! Use this technique until I tell you to stop.

how to draw daisy stem

Step 2

Use the cross to draw an ellipse distorted by perspective. This will be the central part of the flower called the "disk".

how to draw daisy disk ellipse
how to draw daisy disk whole

Step 3

Draw a bigger ellipse around, with its center slightly above the cross.

how to draw daisy guide lines

Step 4

Draw another ellipse; place it even higher. This will help us establish the perspective of the petals.

how to draw daisy construction ellipse

Step 5

Now, draw radial lines coming from the center. First make them straight...

how to draw daisy petals lines

... and then they can be gently curved.

how to draw daisy in perspective

Step 6

Treat these lines as the middle axes of the petals—you can press slightly harder now. Make the "vertical" ones quite wide...

how to draw daisy petals in perspective

... and the "horizontal" ones narrower.

how to draw daisy petals in perspective short

Step 7

Add gentle arcs on top of every petal to finish them following the previous style. Vertical—wide:

how to draw daisy finish petals vertical

Horizontal—narrow:

how to draw daisy finish petals horizontal

Step 8

Add shorter petals under and above the others to fill the gaps and make it more natural.

how to draw daisy small petals

Step 9

Draw the outline of the stem. First do it very lightly, and then adjust it with slightly darker strokes.

how to draw daisy stem

Step 10

Let's work on the disk now. It has a special pattern, so let's create it with a trick. First draw spiral rays coming from the center—do it very lightly.

how to draw diasy disk pattern

Then cross them with rays coming in the opposite direction.

how to draw daisy middle

Step 11

Stress the pattern by pressing harder.

how to draw patter in the middle of daisy

Step 12

Subtly shade the disk—it can be concave or convex.

how to shade flower center

Step 13

Take a softer brush and accentuate the shading.

how to shade daisy center

Step 14

Let's go back to the petals now. Fill them with gentle rays following their perspective. Use a hard pencil.

how to shade diasy petals

Step 15

Use the same pencil to slightly shade the petals. Keep in mind they're white, so try to leave as much whiteness as possible.

how to shade diasy petals with hard pencil

Step 16

Give the tips of the petals a gently serrated edge.

how to draw diasy petals serrated

Step 17

Take a softer pencil and make the shading more visible. Accentuate the edges of the petals with it as well.

how to shade flower petals

Step 18

Take a hard brush and shade the stem. It's supposed to be darker than the petals, so don't leave any whiteness.

how to shade daisy stem

Step 19

Take a softer brush and increase the darkness of shading on the stem.

how to shade flower stem

Step 20

Use the softest pencil to finish shading the stem. The darkness part of it will be our point of reference for the overall contrast.

how to shade flower proper contrast

Step 21

Use a soft brush to adjust the contrast of the disk to what we've just established. Don't make it too dark—it's bright, after all.

how to draw daisy flower shading

Step 22

Use the same pencil to adjust the contrast of the petals.

how to shade daisy petals dark

Step 23

Use the softest pencil to add a pinch of black in the darkest crevices. This will increase the overall contrast of the picture and will make the petals brighter.

how to draw and shade daisy simple flower

2. How to Draw an Orchid

Orchids are a large family of very beautiful flowers taking many interesting shapes. I will show you just one species, but feel free to modify my lessons to create something on your own. Here are a few handy references from Envato Market:

Step 1

Again, let's start with the hard pencil. Draw the stem very, very lightly.

how to start drawing orchid

Step 2

Add little circles where you want the flowers to be.

how to plan drawing orchid

Step 3

Our flowers will look like birds. First, draw their "heads" with "eyes" and "beaks".

how to draw orchid buds

Step 4

Add the wings and tail. These lines should establish the perspective of each flower.

how to draw orchid structurally

Step 5

Add three more lines between the previous ones.

how to draw orchid simple way

Step 6

This is the central part of the orchid flower. You can imagine it as the curled feet of a bird.

how to draw orchid step by step

Step 7

Give those feet... horns (yeah, we can't use that bird metaphor anymore).

draw orchid step by step

Step 8

Add two curved "arms" to the tail part.

how to draw beautiful orchid

Step 9

Draw little butterflies using the "horns" as a support for the upper pair of wings...

how to draw orchid inner petals

... and the "tail arms" as a support for the lower pair.

draw orchid inner petals

Step 10

Connect the butterfly with the bird head with a long curved "neck".

how to start drawing orchid flowers

Step 11

You can now draw the big petals behind the butterfly.

how to draw orchid petals

Step 12

The flowers are fully sketched now, so draw the buds now—the farther, the smaller.

how to draw orchid buds
draw orchid buds

Step 13

Draw the rest of the stem.

how to draw orchid stem

Step 14

Time for shading! Use a hard pencil first to set the values. Make the stem and the butterfly part darker. This shade difference between them and the bright petals is what we need to follow until the end of the shading.

how to start shading orchid

Step 15

Draw subtle rays on the big petals.

how to start shading orchid petals

Step 16

Give the big petals clear middle lines.

how to shade orchid petals

Step 17

Create a spray effect all around those middle lines. These part is going to be darker than the rest of the petals.

how to draw orchid pattern

Step 18

Take a softer brush and make the stem and dark butterflies darker.

how to darken orchid stem
how to color in grayscale orchid

Step 19

Take the softest brush and make those dark parts even darker, but don't use black yet.

how to adjust contrast orchid
how to draw proper contrast

Step 20

Fleck the central part of the flower.

how to add orchid details

Step 21

Let's finish establishing the contrast: press your softest pencil hard to achieve black in some places.

how to achieve good contrast in drawing
how to shade with good contrast

Step 22

We need to adjust the contrast of the rest of the picture. Go back to the medium soft pencil and darken the pattern on the big petals.

how to darken orchid pattern

Step 23

Take a hard pencil and darken the petals subtly, leaving a thick, white outline at the edges.

how to shade white petals

Step 24

Take the softest pencil once again and use it to add a touch of black to the flowers. Not too much, though!

how to add ambient occlusion in drawing

Step 25

I decided to increase the contrast of the flowers by making the butterfly parts even darker.

how to draw simple orchid

3. How to Draw a Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley has a unique name and shape—its flowers form a row of tiny bells growing from a single stem. This construction makes it quite easy to draw, but feel free to check some references if you need help:

Step 1

Draw the stem first using the hard pencil, and then add gentle arcs all over it. They must follow gravity.

draw lily of the valley stem

Step 2

Attach a little "cup" to each branching stem.

draw lily of the valley flower cups

Step 3

Create guide lines for the petals...

draw petals of  lily of the valley

... and then use them to complete the shape.

 lily of the valley petals drawing

Step 4

Add some width to the stem and attach little "leaves" for every branching stem.

 lily of the valley stem details drawing

Step 5

Add a leaf or two to make the composition more interesting.

draw  lily of the valley leaves
draw leaf of lily of the valley
 lily of the valley leaves drawing

Step 6

Darken the steam and leaves using the hard pencil.

how to shade lily of the valley

Step 7

Take a softer pencil and subtly shade the same parts.

 lily of the valley shading

Step 8

Use the same pencil, but this time press harder to achieve a darker shade.

how to shade lily of the valley with pencils

Step 9

Take the softest pencil and add very dark accents here and there to adjust the contrast.

how to draw  lily of the valley with pencils

Step 10

Go back to the hard pencil to give a basic shading to the flowers.

 how to draw  lily of the valley flowers

Step 11

Take a softer pencil and darken the lower part of the flowers a little. The more white you leave, the whiter the flowers will seem in the end.

how to shade  lily of the valley flowers

Step 12

Press harder to add darker accents. Make sure your pencil is sharp before doing this, or you'll darken the white flowers too much!

how to draw lily of the valley

Beautiful! You Did It!

You have drawn a daisy, an orchid, and a lily of the valley, but you've also done much more than that—you have learned the basics of sketching and shading that you can use now in other projects. The same tricks will work for drawing anything you can imagine: vehicles, buildings, animals, fantastic creatures...

But if you just want to keep drawing simple, fun things, check out How to Draw Trees. You can also try my previous flower-related tutorial: How to Draw a Rose.

If you want to see more tutorials like this, please let me know—I'll be glad to hear your suggestions!

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