The outer shape of the rose.
When you’re looking at roses to draw — in real life or online — it helps to recognize the shape of its rough outline or silhouette. Illustrator Kevin Jay Stanton has made a career of drawing roses and other flowers. He often starts with a round, pentagonal, or oval shape, but always keeps his eyes open for new types of roses. “One of the most beautiful blooms I saw recently was extremely triangular with a teardrop interior, and I thought ‘Oh, that’s unique,’” says Stanton.
A step-by-step guide to drawing a rose.
These versatile methods can help you explore depictions of roses — no matter what type you’re drawing or what your illustration style is. Draw your own rose digitally in an application like Adobe Fresco to easily layer your sketch.
Create a layer of basic shapes.
Lay down the basic shapes and simple lines that will make up your rose drawing. Try starting each rose with a circle, pentagon, or triangle shape. “I block in the shapes before I block in the details,” says Stanton. “There's something about the shapes in plants that I really like. Foundationally, my work lies in the importance of shape and how shapes relate to each other.”
Add a center and petal direction.
Draw the center of your rose where your petals come together. Often this looks like a smaller triangle or pentagon in the center of your main shape. The younger the bloom, the tighter this open space will be. At this stage, you may also want to add in some lines indicating the general direction of your petals.
Start a new layer to add petals.
In Adobe Fresco, lighten the opacity of your first layer, and start a new one. Add petals one by one, starting with the outer petals. Think of each petal as a tiny piece of paper, slowly peeling away from the center bud. Go with an easier shape for your petals and then you can round out their edges later. Or, start with smoothly rounded petals and add more structure later.