Every rose may indeed have its thorn, but that doesn’t mean that learning how to draw a rose has to be painful.
Photos and illustrations via CakeSpy
While the intricate, beautiful blossoms that are roses might seem a formidable subject for the beginner artist, once you begin to break them down into simple forms, they’re really not so complex. These five easy ways to draw roses break it down so that you can draw roses in a variety of forms. From easy cartoon roses that anyone can draw to the more complex shapes of fully open roses, the methods introduced in this post will give you a solid start. The techniques can be translated into a variety of styles and media, so you can make use of this newfound knowledge no matter what your artistic style.
Ready to get all rosy? Here are five easy ways to draw roses:
1. Easy cartoon roses
Drawing roses in this easy, cartoon method is accessible for artists at any level and can be rendered in pencil, pen and ink, marker, or whatever drawing media you prefer. While not an extremely literal representation of roses, it gets the point across in simple form.
To make easy cartoon roses, draw a wavy line in a spiral pattern. That’s it! Keep the spiral going for as many lines as you’d like; the more rows the spiral has, the larger and more grandiose the rose.
Since these roses are less representational, they benefit from context: leaves and stems, a vase or a bouquet.
2. Simple rose buds
While drawing a full rose might seem complicated, the shape of a rosebud is far more accessible yet just as recognizable. This method works for more sketchy pencil styles, but can also be done in more linear styles in pen and ink. You can start by drawing an almond or teardrop shape for the bud, and adding some leaves and a stem.
Then, you can add gentle ripples at the top of the rose bud to imply that the first layer of petals has begun to open. From there, you can add as little or as much additional detail as you’d like.
3. Gently opening roses
This contour-esque style of drawing gently opening roses looks very artsy, but it’s very easy to do, and is well suited to a variety of different drawing media.
Start by drawing a tiny version of the cartoon rose detailed in the first method. Then, draw a teardrop shape beneath it, so it’s sort of like a gently opening version of the rosebud featured in the second method. Now, begin to create petals around this central core of the rose, adding details to make the tops of some petals look folded. You’ll start to get the look of a gently opening rose.
4. A mix of open and closed roses
Combine the methods you’ve learned so far by creating several gently opening roses and several rose buds, and then connecting them with a common stem. An irregular array of heights and shapes will create a compelling, visually interesting drawing with all sorts of shapes.
You can make your drawing as involved or as simple as you like — a single stem with one bud and one opening rose could be quite elegant, while a melange of buds and opening roses can be a complex yet fascinating subject matter.
5. Fully open roses
Fully open roses are the most intricate to draw, but the process doesn’t need to be difficult.
You can start in the same way you would for the third method, by creating a bud with a slightly open portion at the top of the teardrop shape.
From there, draw petals opening around the central bud, going in a concentric pattern, and keeping in mind that as the size of the blossom expands, each petal should take up less and less of the radius of the circular shape. Draw small squiggles to imply where the top of each petal is, as it folds over. Make it as intricate as you’d like.
Even though this tutorial features simple line drawing versions of roses, learning the basic construction of how to draw a rose will act as a blueprint for moving on to more intricate drawings. From here, you can take these methods and create more realistic sketches by starting with pencil and incorporating shading rather than hard lines, and explore working with various media to discover what types of roses feel right for you.
For a streamlined voyage to drawing realistic roses, you can approach your subject matter by starting with a photo reference and creating a drawing using a grid.
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