How to Draw a Rose Step by Step

Red Rose Drawing

In this drawing lesson you learn how to draw a rose with my detailed 10 steps instruction, going from basic sketch of the flower outline to shading your final rose drawing in fully rendered colors.

This step by step tutorial only concentrate on drawing the rose itself, not the whole flower with stem, leaves and barbs. I will soon create another guide to show you how to draw roses in general, which will deal with common shapes found in rose flowers. For now, let's enjoy the detailed explanation to help you create a well executed, beautiful and romantic drawing of a rose.

How to Draw a Rose Sketch

Step 1: Begin by establishing the flower outline frame for your rose drawing.

This is very easy to do, simply quickly draw a shape that looks like circle, but not too smoothly circular, as we want our rose flower to look natural and organic. So be brave to give it some definition my actually straightening a bit here and there.  

Then move onto rosebud outline - a roughly drawn cylinder that has top surface look like simplified version of heart-shape. 


Step 2: Start working on rosebud details.

As you see, I started to sketch from the very center and then worked it further. If you learn to draw a rose this way you won't have to erase any overlapping pencil sketches and thus keep your drawing of a rose super clean and tidy!

Note: I also faded the original sketch of rose outline in previous drawing step.

Step 3: Draw petals further of rose bud.

You might have noticed that this how to draw a rose step has become a bit more complex. The petals start to expand create various shapes of folds and openings.

My advice is to find yourself a good reference picture of a realistic rose to help better understand its anatomy and how rose petals looks like in nature. 

Step 4: Add more petals to your rose sketch.

The trick here is to draw fewer and larger rose petals as you move further away from the flower center. 

Keep an eye for any distinctive shape or swirls that you like and that add to the softness and delicate nature of rose flowers. 

The key to drawing really beautiful roses lies in keen observation and ability to depict those findings in your artwork.

Step 5: Final 'how to draw rose sketch' step.

Sketch some extra petals on the outer edges of your rose drawing to fill in the structure outline we created in step 1.

This is how I was able to draw a rose that have an artistic touch yet look balanced and natural.

How to Draw a Rose in Color

Step 6: Fill in a light pink color 

Depending on your chosen rose color, you might as well do it with any other hues as you like, for example: purple, blue, orange, yellow or light red.

For this red rose lesson you need to start with a light pink color just like in the illustration to the left. 

Step 7: Shade your rose in color

In this learn to draw a rose step I picked a red color that has some pink in it and quickly went over the dark areas first.

If you're unsure - start with shadows and then work your way out. 

Step 8: Add mid-tones to your rose flower

For this how to draw a rose example I used a little bit of red-orange along with light purple to smoothen the transition between light and shadow. 

Don't worry about any textures at this stage, all you are doing here is establishing tones and values to create a 3 dimensional drawing of a rose.

Step 9:  Learn to draw a rose with texture

Your rose flower drawing is almost done. Now is the time to create interest in your art by sketching in some crease lines - contouring the curls of rose petals.

This is how you create an illusion that your red rose is actually a three dimensional form instead of appearing as a 2d flat drawing.

Use a darker color pencil or any other mediums of you choice, like: soft pastels or Conte crayons.

Step 10: Finish red rose drawing

We created some interesting patterns in previous step, but you rose flower still need some definition in the center area to create focus.

Perhaps, work on a bit more details and use sharp ink lines to create contrasting edges of rosebud's petals.

Don't be afraid to increase the color intensity by drawing over it with brighter colors.

To help you with drawing and sketching, its a great idea to use real life photographs, such as ones found on this red rose pictures and flower meaning page. There are many kind of roses, each will have subtle difference in colors, shades, and petal forms. Paying attention to those little details will improve your drawing skills by many folds.

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