Floral Doodling for Beginners: How to Draw a Floral Cascade | Chloe Wilson | Skillshare

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Floral Doodling for Beginners: How to Draw a Floral Cascade

teacher avatar Chloe Wilson, Floral Doodler

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Project Overview


    • 3.

      Why Doodling Is Magic


    • 4.

      How To Doodle Basic Leaves


    • 5.

      How To Doodle Basic Flowers


    • 6.

      Sketching Your Design & Tips for Composition


    • 7.

      Adding Ink & Details


    • 8.

      Sharing Your Doodles Online


    • 9.



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About This Class

Are you looking to calm your busy mind and be more present in daily life?

Join floral doodler, Chloe Wilson of Magic of Florals, as you learn to overcome the overwhelm of a blank piece of paper and turn it into a beautiful, soothing, floral-cascade doodle.

You don’t need to be “creative” or “artistic” to take this class, it’s suitable for absolute beginners and anyone interested in discovering the pleasure and inner-calm provided from doodling!

What you’ll get out of this class:

  • Understand the deeper purpose of doodling. Gain insight into how doodling can help you to be present, unplug from screens and notice the beauty of the world around you;
  • Step-by-step guides to doodling some basic flowers and leaves (found in the Resources tab);
  • Tips on how to put a cascade design together;
  • The tools to start a tangible hobby that will give you a wonderful sense of achievement and satisfaction as you enjoy learning and improving your drawing skills. 

All you’ll need is:

Additional resources:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Chloe Wilson

Floral Doodler


Hello, I’m Chloe – a floral doodler, small business owner and creative mama from Nottinghamshire in the UK.

I fell in love with putting pen to paper a couple of years ago, teaching myself to doodle whilst in hospital recovering from major surgery! Since then, doodling florals has become my daily self-care ritual and I’m on a mission to help you discover and enjoy its magic too.

In addition to my classes, you’ll also find plenty of floral doodling inspiration on my Instagram account @magicofflorals where I post most days and my website www.magicofflorals.com


See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: If you'd love to sit down and just doodle something beautiful, overcome the overall off a blank page, and enjoy the creative escape and to be able to unwind after a busy day, then this class is going to help you get started. I'm Chloe and I'm a busy, self-employed mom based in the UK, and I'm an entirely self-taught floral doodler. Throughout the class, I'll teach you how to doodle some easy flowers and leaves and how to combine them and put them together. You'll be able to use these skills to create your own floral masterpiece for a piece of art at home, to add to some stationary or perhaps to add some florals to your journal. This class is for absolute beginners, you don't need to be creative or artistic at all. It's for anyone who's just craving a bit of screen-free time and just wants to sit down and do something relaxing. I'm excited to teach this class because doodling brings me so much calm and I hope that it will do the same for you. It's finally a hobby that we can fit around family life. I promise that if I can do it, you can do it too. 2. Project Overview: The class project is to doodle a floral cascade. I know that sounds complicated, but it's just a series of dots and lines and curves on the page. It's basically a selection of hanging vines and plants and flowers, and it's one of my favorite things to doodle and a great place to start for beginners. You can use your floral cascade to create a piece of artwork for your home, to add it to your journal, it looks lovely on a planner, or to add to a postcard or a greetings card to send to a friend. We'll start with the basics and I'll break down some easy flowers and leaves and show you how to doodle them step by step. Then we'll talk about some tips for composition and how you can add details to really elevate your doodles. You don't need anything fancy at all to complete this class. Just a pen, a pencil, an eraser and some paper. But anything you have at home is fine. If it's paper off the printer and a biro pen, don't worry. I do like to use fine liner pens. I'll put a link below this video to the ones that I use if you want to check them out. Before we get started and get into the florals, I'm just going to quickly share with you how I got started doodling and why I love it so much. 3. Why Doodling Is Magic: To me, doodling is pure magic. It is the best thing that I've found to calm my busy mind, and it has so many benefits for your mental health. There is so much research to show that doodling relieves tension, it helps you to think more clearly, to reprocess information, to express yourself. The list goes on and on. As a busy mom to a toddler, I certainly need a way to relax at the end of a busy day. Although early motherhood can be quite stressful in itself, I unfortunately developed a severe chronic illness which led to me needing major surgery. It was while in hospital that my husband bought me a notepad and pen from the gift shop, and I started doing my first doodles. Believe me, they were absolutely dreadful, but they took my mind off how poorly I fell and helped to pass the time. When I came out of hospital, my recovery was pretty long and I carried on doodling. That's when I decided to start an Instagram account. On there, I discovered a challenge called the 100 day challenge. Now this challenge is about doing something creative every single day for 100 days. Around that time is when the pandemic hit, and I was feeling more anxious and opening my sketchbook at the end of a busy day, just became his daily ritual and something that brought me a little bit of calm. I decided to take part in the challenge and somehow managed to complete it and did 100 days of floral doodling. That time really helped me to develop my style, to make lots of friends on Instagram, to practice and experiment and really hone my skills. I didn't know how I did it in lock-down with a toddler and running a business, but I did, and that's why I'm confident that if I can learn and teach myself how to do doodle florals, then you'll be able to do it too. I feel like it just gave me so much, and I finally discovered my thing. I've uncovered my passion, and that's why I'm really excited to share it with you today and introduce you to floral doodling because hopefully it might uncover yours too. 4. How To Doodle Basic Leaves: In this lesson, we're going to focus on doodling some basic leaf shapes. I think fairly, it's quite underrated and can really add an extra dimension to your floral doodles. I'll break these all down into simple, easy to follow steps and then show you how you can vary them just a little bit to come up with even more leaf doodle ideas. I've gathered a few leaves from my garden just to give us a bit of inspiration and to help us get started. When I'm drawing leaves, what I'm doing is breaking down the leaf into very simple shapes and lines. That's all it is. I can see I've got one line down the center, which is my stem, and then I've got a nice smooth curve which goes up either side. If I draw that on the page, and this is probably the basic leaf shape you've been drawing since you were little, is then I stem up at the center and a nice smooth curve which goes around to a point at the end. It's nice and straightforward, but there's lots of ways you can vary this. We could draw this much thinner. We could draw it with more of a jagged edge rather than a smooth edge. What else could we do? We could flip it over so the point's down here and the smooth base is at the top. This is almost like an oval shape which comes down. We could also add some little simple veins in. Then just wiggle this line around the edge so that it doesn't touch them to bring it back in. There's just a few different basic leaf shapes that we've drawn. Just by looking at this one, it prompted me to think of how I could change it. How can I interpret this leaf and how could I exaggerate features to create some other doodle shapes? Doodling should be fun and it doesn't have to be perfect. If it doesn't look perfectly symmetrical or you make a mistake, don't worry. It's all about how you interpret the leaf and I'd be really interested to see which leaf shapes you come up with in the class project. Let's move on to something a little bit more delicate, something like this. I would break down by just looking at one of these stems because all of that might be a little bit tricky to start with and to doodle. I'm just going to focus on one of these stems. Bring it up as we did before. Then these look like little teardrop shape, little raindrops. I'm just going to add these little teardrop shapes all the way down my stem. It looks a little bit of lavender, but we can then vary this by adding different stem. If I drew two up here and perhaps a third, you could see that with a very simple shape, we can represent this one here. The other thing I like to do is to put little clusters of these. It almost looks like a little butterfly. Little group of four, so it's two going upwards and two going downwards, which also looks really sweet. The other one I like a lot is inspired by eucalyptus. I start with two little teardrops on the end and then to do a very loose or wiggly circle. It doesn't matter that we've gone over this for central vein because when we add ink afterwards and we drew around this, we'll just erase that center line. Then I do two more just to vary a little bit. As we move down, you get the effect of eucalyptus, which looks really nice. Let's have a look at this one, for example. How would you draw this guy? For me, these little buds look almost like little upside down hearts. If I was going to draw this one, I would add a heart to the end and then add them down my stem like this. That's a very simple version of that. But it looks really nice. How could you vary this one? You could use the rounder shape as we did before. You could add little stems. There's lots of different leaf shapes that I have a play with. Then you can perhaps think about how to add some details to them. There's lots of different ways we could add some more details to these bigger ones. We could bring some lines across to create some veins throughout the leaf. You could do these really close together or the more spaced apart. You could perhaps not go all the way to the edge and just add some little Vs up your stem. You could add little dots and change the direction. You could just add little dots all the way round. Think about what patterns and simple shapes you could add to give them a little bit more detail and definition. You'll find a step-by-step guide to doodling all the leaves that we've covered in this lesson in the Resources tab below. I hope this will help you really master and practice the leaf shapes that we talked about. I look forward to seeing which one you incorporated or new ones you've come up with in your class project. 5. How To Doodle Basic Flowers: We've reached the main event. In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to doodle some simple flowers. We'll break all of these down and I'll show you how you can add different centers or different petal shapes to make them look entirely different. I really look forward to seeing if you can come up with any new ones that I've never tried too. Try not to let the flowers intimidate you. There is no wrong way to doodle so just try and be loose and be playful and do it in your own style. If we think about the most simple flower shape we could draw, we always start with a center, which in the basic shape is a circle, and then around that, we add some petals. That's a very basic outline of a flower, but we can evolve this by changing those petal slightly. We can bring them into the center. All I've done there is add these upside down raindrop shapes all the way around. You can vary the look of this by leaving more space in between them by making them longer or shorter, wider, or thinner. Have a little play around and see what you come up with. The other thing you can do is change the shape of the petals a little bit. You can do this by adding a little dip in the end so that it almost looks like an upside down heart shape. This is a flower that I draw quite a lot of because I think you can have lots of different centers to this to make it look different. But again, you can make these petals thinner. To vary the look, you can leave some spaces in between to make it nice and natural or you can do much larger centers and do a very wide petal, for example. If you struggle with keeping all your petals the same, one thing you can do is draw a circle around your center to act as a guide. This will just show you where to take your petals out to, but I wouldn't worry too much about this in doodling. It's supposed to be fun and flowers aren't perfect in nature so don't worry too much. You could also add petals with a point on the end and you can also build up layers of petals. You could do some on the inside and then draw some longer petals around the outside perhaps if you're peeking out in between these gaps. This would be a very simplified version of the flower that I've got on my desk here. Apart from varying the petal shapes and sizes, you can also add different centers to your flowers to give them a different look. We could add just random little circles, which looks a bit like pollen. You could just repeat the flower on a much smaller scale on the inside. I'm just doing more little loose tear drop shapes on the inside or you could do something really loose which is just nice and scribbling. I'm just scribbling in the center making sure I'll bring a little bit of scribble into each petal and that adds some nice contrast to your flower and adds some darkness to the center. You could also add some something like this. From above they would just look like little circles. You could do more and more circles or a little spiral in the center or you could just use something very loose. I'm just doing little tiny C shapes here just bringing a few out into the petals. You can see that by adding different centers, it also changes the look of your flowers. There is infinite possibilities of combining different petal shapes and sizes with different centers and that's where the fun comes in. Now let's have a go at some flowers looking at them from the side. A very simplified version of this from the side would be these petal shapes. A very simplified version of this flower would just be to draw these rain drop shapes around here to the center. You could also do this one with the heart and this is one I use a lot in my doodles. Let's have a go at this one here. You can add more petals to this if you like. You can also add little bud style flowers to your doodles, which give it a good variation. You've got ones on the side, ones that are fully open, and then ones that are in bud format. If we go back to this one here, I do one in the center and then almost a half one coming off each side. This one would look like this or you can just simplify right down to a circle on the end of the stem and perhaps do something coming out the top like this. I hope you enjoyed seeing how you can take some very simple flower shapes and evolve them and to create even more flower doodle ideas. As before, I've created a download for you, which is in the Resources tab if you want to practice some of the florals that we covered in this lesson. Now we can talk about putting them together. I'll give you some tips on composition and detailing in the next lesson. 6. Sketching Your Design & Tips for Composition: In this lesson, we'll put together the flower and leaf doodles that we've covered in the previous two lessons to create your floral cascade design. I hope you can relax and have fun with this. You can either follow along with me or create your own design. I really can't wait to see what you come up with. My number 1 tip would be to always start in pencil though because this just means the pressure is off and you can amend as you go along. Try not to let the blank page scare you. I'm working on an A5 sketchbook here, and it's positioned vertically. I've actually only got half a page to fill, which makes it a little bit easier for beginners. With the cascade design, what we're going to do is pull down some vines hanging from the top, roughly a third to a half of the way down your page. Then we're going to use one of the leaf shapes, which we covered in the other lesson, and we're going to bring these leaves all the way up along our vine. Then we just start another one. This time I think I'll go for flower. I add a nice curve into my vine just to make it look nice and natural. I'm going to go for one of the flowers on the side here. This is one of my favorites. Then I'm going to pull little stems and repeat that all the way up. Sometimes we're going to vary the size because that's what would happen on a vine in nature, that it won't have to be identical. I think because we've used a fairly big flower, I'm going to go with something fairly delicate next to it. Here where you are overlapping with the vine next door, you can either carry on that line because we're in pencil, then when you ink it just the relevant things, or you can lift your pencil and start again the other side if you know where it would finish. As I go across my design, I'm trying to vary the lengths of these vines a little a bit. We don't want them all perfectly straight because that wouldn't look very natural. But we also don't want all the longer ones down this side of the page and the shorter ones up here. I'm just almost imagining a wavy line across the bottom of this design here. It's also good to have some vines overlapping slightly, and others where there's a little bit of space. Now we'll just add more interest to your design. Now I've sketched out basic design, I think it was perhaps a little bit too much space between these two here. What I can do is go in and mend it. I'm going to remove this leaf here, and then I'm going to split my stem to bring another vine of leaves down here. Play around with this and get creative and have fun. Not every design will be great, so don't worry. Just start again and go back to those flowers and leaves that we doodle before and see how you could incorporate them and play around with them. If I was going to go again here, I'll just show you quickly what I would do, or it could be seen as a continuation of this one. I won't talk too much [inaudible] that you follow along with my drawings. Don't be afraid to repeat shapes that you've used already on the page. It adds a nice bit of consistency sometimes to see them added in again. I hope you've enjoyed combining your flowers and leaves together and you're happy with your floral cascade design. I really can't wait to see them. I'm going to show you in the next lesson how I ink my drawings and how you can add a few simple details to really elevate your design. 7. Adding Ink & Details: In this lesson, we're going to apply the ink and finish off your design. If we were drawing realistic life-like flowers we'd now start adding some shading into the petals and the leaves. But with doodling, I like to just add a few simple lines and dots to really elevate your designs and add some more contrast. The pen I like to use is a Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment pen and a nib size 0.3. But any pen you've got home is fine. If you've got an ink pen, then even better. I'm right handed so I'm going to work from left to right just so that my hand doesn't smudge the ink as I go. This is where I really relax. This is where the mindful element comes in. What I'm going to do is trace these lines, and I'm focusing on completing the very simple shapes. I'm making sure that my lines don't overlap and they meet where they should. If there are any areas that you can improve when you go in with the pen, then do so. Sometimes I don't stick exactly to my drawing, but it's there to just completely make this process nice and easy for me. I'm just doing the basic process of tracing these leaves and flowers. There we go. Now we've got all the ink applied. I'm going to go ahead and erase all those pencil marks. Before we start adding any details, I'll just check all the veins and lines are complete and there's no gaps anywhere that I've missed when I was retracing them. Then we can start adding some detail to this. Not every vine needs details add in, but there are a few places on here where I think you could add some nice contrast and detail. The first thing I would do here is to pull off some little lines on these petals. I have to do a line and a little dot. This is a very simplified version of petal shading. It just adds a little bit of darkness from the bottom of the flower and indicates those natural lines and shadows that would exist if we were looking at a real flower. Then here on these little cups, I'm going to add some lines to make them nice and stripy, bring them down from the top. Then I think I'm going to add some details to these leaves here, because we've got quite a bit of contrast and darker colors here. I'm going to make these veins fairly wide. Now, let's add some of those centers that we did to these flowers. I think I'm going to go for my favorite scribbly one here. This really brings these flowers to life. Let's move on to the second half. This time, I'm going to go around the inside of my shape. I think I'll keep it simple on these guys and just add some little dots. Here, I think I might repeat the stripes that we had over here. I think I might add some little dots to these too just to make the eucalyptus stand out a little bit more. Let's do these ones too to make them the same. There we go. I think I'm happy with that. If you wanted to, you can now add some color, some watercolor, awesome colored pencils would look really nice. Make this [inaudible] and have fun with it. 8. Sharing Your Doodles Online: I thought I'd do a quick lesson on how to take nice photographs of your doodles because I would absolutely love to see what you've come up with in the class project tab below this video. But also I thought that you might like to share the photos of your artwork on social media too. I shared my doodles on my account called the magic of florals on Instagram. I could do an entire course on Instagram. I still probably have more tips. But I'm going to summarize the key things I do when I'm taking a photograph of my doodles. The first thing is to choose a nice neutral background so that it doesn't distract too much from the doodle that I've done. Then I add a few simple props. Some nice fresh flowers or some foliage looks lovely. I always include my pen, sometimes my glasses or a cup of tea. Just something to help set the scene a little bit around your picture and tell a little bit of the story or give your audience a little glimpse into your world. Now probably the most obvious one. But always take your photographs in natural light. I find that the morning is best in my house and I take my photos in front of a nice big window. If it's a really sunny day, you might have to just come back from the window a little bit. Just say that you don't get shadows cast on your page. But if you move around, you should be able to find a position that with some nice even light on your paper. Instagram really likes square or vertical photographs. They tend to perform better than ones that horizontal or landscape. I tend to edit my photos just on the app on my iPhone. I tend to reduce the saturation a little bit, maybe the warmth, and then just increase the black point. If you can do that on your phone, that's a really good tip for doodles because it just brings out the ink on your paper that little bit more and just makes it stand out a little bit and that's it. Then you're ready to post online. In terms of posting, I would always recommend looking at your insights on Instagram and trying to find out when the majority of your followers are online, just so that you give people the most opportunity to see your post. Then to use good hashtags. You can use 30 hashtags on a post. I tend to use somewhere between five and 10, which really describe the time-sharing and they change for every post. For this project, could be things like hashtag, floral cascade, hashtag, hanging plants, that sort of thing. Then the other 20 are a little bit more generic. Things around doodling or line art or floral art. If you do some research, I'm sure you'll be able to find plenty of hashtags where you'd like your art to show up. Final tip is just to engage as much as possible on Instagram. There are so many talented artists out there, but the more love you spread around and comment on their posts, the more they'll come back and do that for you too. If anyone leaves a comment, I try my best to always reply to them, even if it's just a simple thank you because I really appreciate them taking the time to say some deliberately about my artwork. I know it's difficult. It's not always possible when you've got work and kids and everything and I hope that people understand if I haven't replied to some of them. But I always try my best. That way you build up a really lovely community and you'll find that you get some people who become friends and always comment on your post and always like your artwork, which is what social media is about. Yeah, good luck. 9. Conclusion: Congratulations, you've completed this floral doodling class, and I really hope that you've enjoyed it. I cannot wait to see your floral cascade designs, so please do share those with us in the Class Project tab below. I hope that you've gained enough skills to have a go at doodling some more florals and develop your own style a little bit more. You could have a go at using some of the flowers and leaves in this class to add them to some simple glass vases, for example, or have a go at doodling a bouquet. If you're struggling with facing the blank piece of paper and knowing what to draw, which I think can sometimes be the hardest part, I'd encourage you to think about the season that we're in. So what flowers are blooming right now? What flowers are around at this time of year? Pinterest is a really good place to look at reference photos. There are so many beautiful floral photos on there which you can have a look and try to simplify as much as possible for your doodles. Try to notice the different petal shapes, perhaps a different floral center that you could use in your doodles, and that will give it a nice fresh look. The final thing and which is an added benefit of this hobby really, is that it helps me to notice the beauty in nature around me, which I perhaps might have not looked at before. Take note of the leaf shapes out in your garden, or perhaps the wild flowers you see out and about on your walk, and they will really help you come up with some new ideas and will keep your work nice and fresh. Please keep practicing. The more you experiment, the more your confidence will grow. I know it's really hard not to let perfectionism stand in your way, but please don't let that stop you enjoying some creative time and keep it fun. Keep it simple. Take the pressure off. You don't have to create a floral masterpiece to benefit from doodling. Good luck. I hope you enjoy doodling more florals and thank you so much for taking this class.