How to Draw a Rose in Adobe Illustrator | Spencer Martin | Skillshare

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How to Draw a Rose in Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar Spencer Martin, Graphic Designer & Content Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.

      Making the Rose Petals


    • 3.

      Creating the Stem


    • 4.

      Building Leaves & Thorns


    • 5.

      Adjusting Colors


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About This Class

In this class, learn how to draw a rose in Adobe Illustrator. This is a step-by-step class that anyone can follow, even if you're opening Adobe Illustrator for the first time.

What You'll Learn

This is a great class to learn Illustrator if you’re a beginner. You will learn tools like the pen tool, the shape builder tool, and more!

Drawing in Illustrator can be done by creating vector shapes and editing the paths and anchor points. Using the basic shape tools and the pen tool, we can create the petals of the rose. After that, it’s simple to create the stem, leaves, and thorns using the same basic Illustrator tools.

We will utilize colors that are a little less saturated and less bright to create a more natural look to your rose. In Illustrator you can create global swatches that allow you to make automatic color adjustments to your entire design.

Overall, this is a great project-based Illustrator class for beginners and I can't wait to see your projects!

Discover More
I also have tons of tutorials available on my Illustrator YouTube channel or my main channel, Pixel & Bracket. See you over there!

Meet Your Teacher

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Spencer Martin

Graphic Designer & Content Creator


My name is Spencer Martin and I'm a designer from Indianapolis, Indiana. I also run a YouTube channel called Pixel & Bracket where I share tutorials, livestream my process, and educate other creatives.

Skillshare is a place that I can build and develop structured courses and I'm excited to share those with you! I hope that you'll gather little nuggets of information from my lessons, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned designer.

Take a look at my courses below, or check out my YouTube channel here!

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Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome!: Hi, I'm Spencer Martin and I've been a designer for over ten years. In this Illustrator class, you're going to learn how to draw a rose. We're going to use a ton of basic essential tools in Illustrator, the pen tool, Direct Selection Tool, shape builder tool, and more. And even if you've never even opened the program, you're gonna be able to follow step-by-step and complete this project. I can't wait to see what you guys create and I'll see you in the class. 2. Making the Rose Petals: Hey everyone, Today I'm going to show you how to draw a rose in Adobe Illustrator, just like this one right here. So let's go ahead and open up a new document. I'm going to make the art board 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels. So it's just a square. And then all of your stroke sizes and everything will match up with mine. I'm going to use RGB color mode. We'll use one art board and just hit Create. Okay, we've got this new art board out here. Let's get started. First thing I want you to do is turn on Smart Guides. Go up to the View drop-down and make sure Smart Guides is checked. This is going to help you line things up on your document. Now, we're going to press the L key. That's the shortcut key for the ellipse tool. You can find the Ellipse tool by clicking on the Rectangle tool and holding and then letting go on the Ellipse tool. Alright, so let's just draw a circle. Draw a quick circle here. It doesn't matter, it doesn't have to be a perfect circle if you want it to be, you can hold shift. But I'm going to make something like this. Now we're gonna go ahead and adjust the colors. First thing with the stroke, I'm going to make it 10. And with the fill here on the left side, you could double-click on the fill. And let's go ahead and find a red color that we want to use. I'm going to pick something in here. If you go too far to the edges, It's not going to look quite as natural. I do want it to be saturated. And then we can adjust the hue like this, make it red and a little brighter, a little saturated red in there. Hit Okay, and we've got the start of our rows here. And you can adjust these colors at anytime. In fact, if you want to, you can create swatches and create global swatches so you can adjust them later and it actually changes and your design. So with this selected, what we can actually do is click on the new swatch icon. And it's going to pull in this red color. Make sure global swatch is checkmarked. Hit Okay? And we've got this new swatch. We can actually create a new color group so we can keep all these together. We can call it rose, and I'm going to create it from the selected Swatches instead of the selected artwork because we're going to change the stroke color as well. So I have this red selected and I hit Okay, and it actually pulls it down into this color group. Let's make a quick adjustment on the stroke color. We're doing this in the beginning so that everything going forward has the same fill and stroke. I'm going to double-click on the stroke color, go back up into the red area. And then we're going to grab something that's like a deep hue of red just to pull a little bit of color into the blacks. Hit, Okay, and now it still looks black, but it's going to, it's going to just match a little bit better than pure black. So now that we've got that and we've clicked it so it's in front of the fill. We can actually go back to swatches. We can click on our little color group and add swatch. Checkmark Global again in case you ever wanted to change that hit. Okay, and now we have this swatch in here. So these are nice because whenever you create shapes, you could click on these to apply them to the fill or stroke color. Alright, so back on here, I'm going to click on this shape. We're going to start to create the petals of a rose. I'm going to press P for the Pen tool that looks like this over in your tool panel. And we're going to find something that's lower than the top of this circle and further out to the left. And we're going to just click and drag in the direction we wanna go, which is toward the center of our rows. And now I'm going to hold Shift at the same time to keep this dragging out this way and kind of locked in and we'll just let go. It doesn't matter how far out you drag this handle Somewhere in there. Then you can see how the path is going to be. The next time you click, I'm going to find something outside of the circle, maybe down here. And actually we're gonna go in the center. So this is going to help you line up, see those smart guides are popping up. It's helping me line up. Somewhere in the center, down here below, I can click and drag and do the same thing. I can hold Shift again, let go. Then I can click on this anchor to finish my path. Okay, so what am I do is grab this direct selection tool. I'm going to click on this anchor point right here. And right now it just has a handle out to the side, which is fine. What we can do with this handle down here though, is click and drag it out further. So we can line it up like that. So that this comes up directly into this edge. And we can make adjustments to these handles to make this pedal look like how we want it to look. Now you can do this with any anchor point. You can also grab the anchor point tool, which is shift C, that's inside the Pen tool click and hold. You can find the anchor point tool. And if you hover over any of these paths between anchor points, you can actually just click and adjust the curve of these different paths. As is, it's going to create handles and adjust the handles to match the curve that you want. I'm going to undo that a little bit, and I actually might pull this one out a little bit more like that. So what we can do with this is move it around and then we can copy up here and edit copy. And then we can paste in front, which is Command or Control F, depending on if you're Mac or PC. So we paste in front and now we have a duplicate, right? So this duplicate we can click on Select, find our Properties panel, and there's a little flip horizontal right there. We could bring this guy over here if we match them up a little bit to cover up the bottom, just like that, we've started to create our shape now these are the inside pieces and we're, might make some adjustments later. But if I click and hold Shift, select both of them. I want these inside pieces to be a little bit darker. I'm going to double-click this fill. Maybe darken them up a little bit. So just come straight down and hit Okay. And I could then add this swatch to my swatches down here. Same way we did before. Click the Plus global hit. Okay, so now I have a darker and you can move these swatches around. So the lighter, the darker than the outline that we're just creating layers here for our rows. I'm going to click on this circle just to pull in its colors over here. And now when I press P for the Pen tool, I can do the same thing. Kinda come out here to the side a little bit lower than these inner petals and did the same thing. Click and drag holding Shift. When I come down here, maybe create, actually I might go like this and we'll come back up, just finished that shape, then press a for the direct selection tool. Click on this handle, kinda bring it out and we can make some adjustments here just to get the shapes that we want, just like that. Now I'm going to select this command or control C, then command or control F paste in front. I'm going to grab that flip horizontal again, bring this piece over here, so they kinda cover up. Now I feel like these should be, maybe this whole thing needs to be a little bit skinnier or taller. So what I'm gonna do is click and drag to select everything. And we could just squeeze it a little bit like this. Then I might hold shift and grab these two inner pieces, maybe bring them out a little bit. And of course, I want this circle, maybe it to be a little bit flatter, kinda bring it up like that. Then what we can do is make a lot of adjustments here. So I think no rows is really perfect. You can, if you wanted like a perfect design, you can leave it like this. But what I might do is grab my Direct Selection tool shortcut key is a, and then start selecting some of these points. I can bring some of these up with my arrow keys or I can just click and drag. And what I can do is kind of, you know, adjust some of these points of my rows just to make it a little asymmetrical. Now sometimes you might accidentally grab the whole shape instead of a point. If you do that, you can just press Command or Control Z to undo and click on that point and then click to move it. You can create something that's a little bit less symmetrical, maybe this way, something like that. And whatever do maybe it is grab both of these and bring them over a little bit to center this up. Just slightly. I don't want it to feel to offset. But there you go. And you can make adjustments to this circle just by clicking it, kinda grabbing the handles, moving it around as well. But once you get that to your desired look, we can move on to the stem. 3. Creating the Stem: For the stem, I'm gonna go back to the Ellipse Tool. The shortcut key is L, gonna kinda make a circle down here, and we're gonna change this to green. So I'm going to grab something in the middle of the green here. And I think this is a little too bright. I want it to be more natural. Someone bring it down a little darker and maybe a little bit more muted, less saturated. Somewhere in there. Hit Okay, now the circle, obviously we want to send it to the back so we can right-click on it and go Arrange Send to Back. And then we can bring it up underneath this flower. And what I would like is maybe to select all of the petals up here and group them together. So we can right-click, click on group, that's Command or Control G. Now with that, we can grab everything. So I have the group and I have this circle part of the stem down here. I can click on the top rose petals part, and now it's highlighted darker. That means I can arrange or align things to it. It's the key object. Now, I find my Alignment panel, any panel you don't see us up in window like a line. But in the properties panel you'll see some alignment options. And I can actually align that bottom circle to the left, right, or center. And I just wanted to make sure I would center it up on the pedals up top. I'm going to bring this up a little bit more. So it's closer to the top loops and I might even widen it a little bit. Now. I think I like where it's at, so I might actually make it a little bit skinnier. The opposite. Okay, So we just wanted a little sliver of that circle there. And now what we're gonna do, I'm gonna move this up a little bit, is create the stem itself. So I'm gonna actually grab that rectangle tool and I'm going to find somewhere in here and just click and drag down. Let go V for the direct selection tool so I can grab this, move it up a little bit, make sure everything is centered. So I'm going to align to key object will align everything to this centered. Good, nothing really moves. So we were in the center. Now I can grab this right-click, arrange, send to back. It's now we're behind. And what I wanna do here is I would really like the width of the stem. So the green to match the stroke size, you remember the stroke size was 10. So I'm going to grab this. And what I'm gonna do with the stroke is click on it to open up the options. And I'm going to align it to the outside. Aligning it to the outside allows me to define the width of the rectangle without the stroke overlapping it. With this still selected, I can find my Transform panel. Here's width, the w, and I can change that to ten. Now it adjusted the height as well. I don't want that to happen. So I'm going to Command or Control Z to undo, unclick this chain. So now it's not linked with the height. And I can adjust the width independently of the height. So I'm gonna make that ten again. So now this is a 10-point stroke and ten pixels in-between, because we align the stroke to the outside. Perfect. Now of course, I always want to make sure I didn't screw something up and uncentered. So grab everything again, click on the petals center. Okay, we are good. 4. Building Leaves & Thorns: So let's create a couple of leaves here. Easy way to do that is pressing L for the ellipse tool. I'm gonna create a couple of circles. This time I am going to hold Shift to make it a perfect circle. And once we create that perfect circle, I'm pressing V and hold Option or Alt, you get this double arrow. That means you can duplicate it. So I can duplicate this out. I'm also going to hold Shift. And what I'm going to do is bring it over. So the two circles would have maybe a little leaf shape aligning in-between. You can't see it, but if I do select both, now I can see the path here of both circles. Inside here it's kind of a leaf shape. So to get that cut out, I'm going to press Shift M. That's the, that's the shape builder tool, one of the best tools here in Illustrator. And it can actually see all these overlapping parts. So we can delete out the left and the right. So if I hold Option or Alt, I get the minus key. And I can just drag through the left and drag through the right. And now I have this leaf shape. Now it's possible I have to, and I do. So I'm going to just delete one of them because I'm gonna make some adjustments. We're going to create the leaf with a little stem on the leaf. And then we're just going to duplicate that so we don't need to make that all twice. We can just make it once and then duplicate. So I'm going to rotate this leaf. I could rotate it in 45 degree increments, which might make it a little bit easier. So I'm going to rotate it just 45 degrees. That will bring it right down here. And I'm going to draw a little path from the edge of it down into the stem. So press p for that pin tool. Find the anchor point here at the bottom of this leaf. Make sure you leave isn't selected so you're not actually editing it. Find that anchor point. Click and drag in the direction you want to go, which is toward the stem. Let go. And now we're going to create down here just a little connection to the stem. Just like that. Press V to get out of that pen tool, they see a sliver of green right here. That's because our path we created still has that Phil. I'm going to press none on that. And now we have a little connector here for the leaf. Now if we want to make some adjustments to this, remember Shift C. And I can actually pull this around and I think I'm going to do that to try to get a little, just a little bend in this path, then I might grab the direct selection tool shortcut key is a grab this anchor point, kinda bring it down a little bit. So this path curves into the leaf. I like that a little bit better. V for the selection tool, select this path. We're going to send him to the back, so it's behind the stem. Cool. Now, almost finished with this leaf. I would like a path that comes in here, like the middle of the leaf. We're going to press P Again, make sure nothing is selected. Find that same anchor point. Click on it. And we're gonna come up here and find that other anchor point and click on that. So we've aligned directly through the leaf. Now I'm going to press a for the direct selection tool. Click on that anchor point and drag it back while holding Shift and put it somewhere right in here. And then what I would like to do is go to my Stroke options of this path and round the caps. You see how it's very squared off. We can round that off just by clicking round cap right here. And last but not least, I want to change the width of the end of this stroke. So Shift W is the width tool. You'll find it right here. It kinda looks like that. And what we can do is click on this anchor point and we can actually change the width, both large and small. So we can just make it a little bit smaller and you'll see it starts big and get small. Now that was in my opinion, a little too small. So we can make an adjustment there and just kinda fit this to the size that you would like. So it gets a little bit smaller as it goes into the leaf. Now the other thing we can do, I don't really like the angle of this compared to the leaf. So we could select the leaf and this inner path, group it together to make it a little bit easier to move around. And then we could maybe rotate it a little bit just like that and then bring it down. So it kinda matches this little stem part right there. Now once we have that guy done, we can select all of it, group it by command or Control G or right-clicking and going to group. It brought this up back in front. So what we can do is grab the whole group, arrange and send him to the back. And then we can take this leaf, kinda move it up and down. I like holding Shift to keep it in line. And then we can hold option to click and drag and make a duplicate options also, Alt, if you're on Windows, go back up to our properties panel transform, kinda flip that over and then bring this leaf down here. None of this is really an exact science. You're just moving things around. I mean, you're making an organic objects so it doesn't really need to be perfect. But as long as everything lines up properly. Now what I would like to do now that we have this stem properly sized and the width is good and everything, if we click on it and we zoom in a little bit, That's Command or Control plus and minus. You see these little circles that will allow us to round off the end of this stem. Now I would like to do that. I'm going to pull it all the way in. And so now you notice it's nice and round. That just creates a softer look to this. And speaking of softer look, I'm going to press Z and then click and drag to zoom in. You see how the corners are all very, very sharp. We can actually round those off a little bit. So let's select the entirety of our rows, everything here and go to stroke, since everything has a stroke and corners, instead of this miter join, which is basically a sharp corner, I'm going to do a round join. And you can see the difference that makes up here. So if we undo, see how pointed it is and then we could round those off. Same thing with the leaf. If we come down here. It was a little bit pointed before, but we can round that off. So we're just kinda softening up all of the edges by rounding the bottom of the stem, rounding any of the corners. The last thing that we can do is add maybe some thorns to this if you want. So what I would do to do that is press L for the ellipse tool. Click and drag. And then I would keep these more rounded. So it's more like a representation of a thorn rather than actually creating something super pointy. I mean, this is, this is a rose, right? It's not supposed to be like threatening in any way. So the fill, I actually want to cancel that. What I wanna do with the fill is click and drag this stroke to just make that a part of the fill. So we've got that. And then I can just grab this circle. If I zoom out, I can kind of understand how big it is that might be about where I want it. We can right-click, arrange, send to back. And if we want to make it a little bit smaller, we can zoom in and out a lot when I'm using Illustrator. And you know what this stroke on this one might be just a little bit much. So we're going to drop it down to five. And that'll help reduce the size while keeping it nice and round. I'm going to bring this one over to the left-hand side. It might be hard to click and grab that. So you might need to zoom in a little bit, bring it there, can hold Shift and just kinda hold Option or Alt to duplicate it. Landed up to the center. You saw that smart guide. We kind of move this guy down. If we click and grab and pull in the middle, just like that, we're just creating some of these little thorns in and around our rows. Doesn't have to be perfect. You notice I just missed that click again. So some of this is a little bit delicate. I don't want too many thorns. Maybe something like that if you would like thorns on your row. So then we can click and drag, grab the whole thing, right-click group. And then we aligned to the art board and we can center both horizontal and vertical. Put it right here on our art board if you'd like to, you could create a background. I would do that with m, which is the rectangle shape tool. Find where this intersects up here on your art board. Click and drag. Bring it down here. Okay, there we go. Now I want no stroke on this. I want it to be 1080 by 1080 and it should be centered on my art board. You could grab it and center it up if it's not going to right-click send to back, arrange send to back. Then we can change the color of this. Maybe grab some really light tan ish, yellow color, something like that. Just so it's not like stark white. Kind of see the difference there. 5. Adjusting Colors: Now let's talk about color really quick. I didn't add the green, so we can double-click into this group and click and select a stem which has that green. Go up to the swatches. Make sure we click on this folder and add this green as a global swatch and hit Okay, I want to show you something really quick, so we just have these four colors. You can quickly change the colors of erodes because we created these as global swatches. So this color is the brightest color of the red. Maybe I feel like it's got more pink than red in it or something. So I can double-click on it and I can actually make adjustments here. Can click preview, and I can maybe pump a little bit more red into it, a little less green, right? So maybe I want some more blue, maybe I want it to be pink. You can adjust the colors as simply as moving around these sliders right here, and then hit Okay, and that adjusts that red for anything that had that red in it. If you felt like the green needed to be changed, oops, didn't mean to do that. Make sure nothing is selected when you click on these swatches and then double-click. Same thing. Maybe I wanted this green to be brighter. I could pull that up, make sure I click preview. And I can see now I clicked on the swatch of the stem and made that a global swatch. But the global swatch wasn't applied to these others because I created them separately without it being the swatch. So what I could do is just hit Okay, make sure as you create these, that everything uses that swatch. So if I press my Direct Selection Tool, carefully select each of these shapes and not the anchor points but the shape themselves. Then I can apply that swatch to it. So then I can double-click outside of that, go back to that swatch and make those, make those same adjustments, preview, and move my colors around inside the swatch options, the global swatches are really powerful if you want to really control all the colors in your artwork, that is how to make a rose here in Adobe Illustrator. Hope you guys enjoyed the tutorial, and I'll see you in the next one.