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Roses are undoubtedly one of the most popular flowers in the world—and with good reason. These delicate blooms are given as a token of love and celebration, they’ve long inspired poetry and songs, and they make beautiful inspirations for botanical art, as well.
If you want to learn how to draw a rose, stick around for step by step instructions and plenty of rose drawing ideas!
There are a variety of ways to learn how to draw a rose in pencil, but many artists swear by the “heart method.” To begin, gather a piece of paper, a pencil, and a hearty eraser. Next, lightly draw a heart where you’d like the top of your rose to appear on the page.
Now, draw a U-shaped line beginning on either side of the heart symbol’s upper point and extending below its lower point. This will create the overall shape of the bloom.
Once you’ve completed the outline of your rose, you’ll add detail to your drawing following the same heart method. Draw interior hearts that run diagonally to the original heart, continuing to fill each heart in with smaller ones. These hearts form your petals!
Now, you’ll simply add additional lines to support the flow and shape of the rose and its petals. Try to follow the outlines of your hearts, building upon them with curvy lines, to create depth and dimension.
From here, you’ll begin drawing your rose stem by extending a curved line from the base of the rose down the page. You can create breaks in your line to make the rose a bit more realistic, though a solid line works just as well.
Next, you’ll add leaves to your rose—both up near the base of the bloom and on the stem. The leaves by the base of the rose should be slightly smaller and teardrop-shaped, whereas the stem leaves will be a bit larger.
A final (optional) step is to trace your drawing onto another canvas. Lay a piece of opaque tracing paper over your pencil drawing, and trace the lines with a black fine-tipped pen. You can use a lightbox if you have one but, so long as your tracing paper isn’t too thick, it isn’t necessary.
Whether you chose to end with your pencil sketch or trace with black ink, you’ve officially mastered rose drawing step by step! Now, let’s take a look at a few more examples that’ll help you learn how to draw a rose in all kinds of different ways.
If you’re new to this type of art, start with easy rose drawings to build confidence in your skills. In this course, Skillshare instructor Aska will show you how to draw the outline of a rose and then fill it in with simple details.
Sometimes the best drawings are the simplest ones. Follow along as Skillshare instructor Cally Lawson teaches you a bit about roses and shows you how to create a simple rose drawing from a reference flower or photo.
Once you’re familiar with the basic process for how to draw a rose, sketching realistic blooms is a natural next step. The best way to achieve this true-to-life look is with shading, and Skillshare instructor Jasmina Susak will teach you how to hone your shading skills to create an incredibly realistic rose.
Scarlet red is the hue that often comes to mind when we think of roses, and whether you’re a fan of the flower or just the color, these vibrant beauties are fun to draw! You can make your red rose drawing realistic, like the one shown above, or more abstract—the choice is yours!
Now that you’ve drawn a few red roses, how about moving on to a yellow rose drawing or a pink rose drawing? (Or a blue rose drawing, a white rose drawing… the possibilities are endless!) Skillshare instructor Alice Ladkin will show you how to incorporate colored pencils into your rose drawing so that you can create florals in any color you like.
Prefer monochromatic tones? Black and white rose drawings can be just as striking as their full-color counterparts. Skillshare instructor Antonia Dewey will teach you how to improve your sketching skills so that you can learn how to draw a rose step by step with pencil.
Create Rose Art With Watercolors!
Step by Step: Watercolor Rose
If you prefer big, vibrant florals, try drawing open roses. All it takes is a few simple adjustments to your usual rose drawing process. Essentially, you’ll widen the lines that you use to form your petals to change the shape of your rose to a more open design.
Once you’re proficient in petals and leaves, you may find yourself wondering how to draw a rose with a stem. To achieve this, you’ll start with a bud drawing and simply extend a line from the base of the bud to the bottom of your page. Your stem can be as long as you choose, and you can play around with the thickness and the number of leaves that you want to include, too.
Want to take things to the next level and create 3D roses? Some artists take the approach of making 3D rose drawings digitally, but you could also achieve this effect by using perspective to your advantage.
We know what you’re thinking: “How do you draw a rose that is cute?!” It’s actually much simpler than it sounds. Cute roses have exaggerated features, rather than realistic ones, and often include facial features and expressions or appear in bright, fun colors. There are no hard and fast rules for cute rose drawings, so enjoy yourself and see what you create!
Wondering how to draw a rose for kids? These flowers can be complicated, so stick to simple designs, at least at first. Look for courses and projects that are aimed at children or beginners, using kid-friendly lines and shapes. Once your little one has grasped the basics, they can move on to more advanced line work and details.
Draw Your Rose!
As you can see, rose drawing offers seemingly endless options for artists. Whether you opt for a black and white pencil drawing or go all-in on a realistic, 3D rose project, you’re sure to end up with something as beautiful as—you guessed it—a rose!
Ready for More Roses?
Embroidered Botanicals: Woven Roses & French Knots