Realistic Rose Drawing

Realistic Rose Drawing: Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Do you know what’s better than giving your lover a rose? Giving your lover a rose made by you. I mean, that would really fulfill its purpose of being a symbol of love, your love!

Rose is one of the most beautiful flowers. Therefore, to replicate the beauty of this nature’s marvel on paper needs a little attention and devotion. Like a real flower has a lot of layers and a definite pattern, you too will have to add a lot of layers by following a pattern.

However, the good thing is that I’ll be with you on every step, guiding you to the next one. Just by following this step-by-step guide, you will learn how to draw a realistic rose. So, let’s get started! 

Tools Needed

Since it is a beginners friendly but realistic Rose Drawing, so I won’t use any expert tools or techniques but if you still want to learn, you can check my glossary of drawing tools. Therefore, all you need is 

And no need to confuse yourself over the company and brand of the ballpoints. I believe that it is the skill and dedication of the artist that beautifies the art, and not the mere tools. Now, let’s understand what you’ll be drawing with these tools. 

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Rose Structure:

From an artist’s point of view, the rose consists of 4 parts. 

  1. Leaves and sepals
  2. The outer petals
  3. The middle petals
  4. The central petals

Though most people leave out the stalk and leaf part and draw solely the flower petals, I think that drawing leaves, too, gives a “whole” look to the rose, just as a symbol of love should have.

The purpose of explaining the structure is that all the parts falling into one category are drawn by more or less the same technique. So you should keep in mind not to draw the same category petals differently. 

Now that we are clear on tools as well as the structure let’s finally move on to connect those two together. 

Step-by-Step Guide:

The basic things you need to do for a rose drawings are 

  • Sketching

This is to separate different parts and make it easier for you to color and shade. 

  • Coloring

It consists of many layers that will be explained as we draw. 

  • Shading

Imagine there is a light source on the left side of the flower and show it using shading techniques. We will darken all the parts of the flower where less light is reaching. Shading when applied correctly would give it more of a 3D and realistic appearance. In short, your realistic rose drawing will only look realistic if you spend a bit more time in shading it.

However, the sequence is not necessarily the same as written here. But do not worry, here’s your complete step-by-step guide to realistic rose drawing. 

Step 1:

The first step is to sketch the outline of the flower. You can use a real flower as a reference object, or you can simply draw a sketch similar to the reference image below.

It will be easier to draw the flower in segments, as explained in “rose structure”.

And just like that, the outline is complete, and now let’s move to add details and then coloring.

Rose sketch

Step 2:

So, we are starting the first step of realistic rose drawing, let’s draw some veins of the leaves. For that, I am using the indentation technique. Here, we’ll use an indenting stylus and add some invisible veins on the paper. The purpose of these lines is when you will shade above them , you will notice that the ink will not reach this area and it will simply be left white. This step is very optional if you don’t have a stylus, you can simply use a gelly roll pen later on, no worries.

Leaf sketching

Step 3:

This is the coloring step, but not as simple as it sounds. It is the step that can render your drawing either childish, mediocre, or a true piece of art. 

  • First layer

First, take the green color ballpoint and start coloring the leaves, starting from the outermost boundary and all the way to the opposite end. Remember to keep the ballpoint slant; otherwise, the ink will be too dark, and it will give a child-like drawing look. 

leaf coloring

Be very careful near the corners, since any line gone outside the boundary is irreversible. So, it’s better to just slow down near the corners. You can color the corners before starting to color the rest, or in the end, after coloring the rest. 

  • Second layer

After the whole leaf is colored horizontally, we’ll call it as the first layer. You can see that it is too one-dimensional and does not have that realistic touch to it. To get this right, we need to add another layer in a perpendicular direction to it. 

Again, keep the ballpoint slant, and keep coloring the leaf in a vertical direction. After the two layers are done, the veins are highlighted, and it has already started giving a realistic look. 

leaf drawing
  • Third layer

Now that both layers are added, you can still see a lot of “whiteness” on the leaf. We can now remove it by coloring in the direction of light. This is actually the third layer, which is not going to cover the complete flower evenly. It will be darker in one direction and will keep on fading in the other direction, the same as light. 

In the painting below, you can see that the right side of the leaf is darker than the right side. 

It gives a realistic angle to your drawing. 

leaf drawing in a rose
  • Leaf Veins

To add the veins, use the white Gelly roll pen on the pre-added indentation lines. And for the final touch, use the black ballpoint to highlight the shadow on the parts that are in contact with the rose petals. 

Repeat the same steps to paint the other leaf, but remember to keep the coloring slightly darker to depict that less light is reaching it due to it being below the other leaf. Also, use a black ballpoint to draw the shadow of the other leaf on it. 

You can use a tissue to smoothen the ink if you feel it is too sharp.

Rose with leaves drawing

Step 4:

Step 4 is coloring the petals. By now, you must have understood the concept of how to color. So, pick up your bloody (colored) ballpoint, and let’s start coloring! 

Start with the petal that is right along the leaf. First, color the whole petal in a horizontal direction. After it’s done, add another layer in the vertical direction. Now, you see that though the whole petal is read, there are a lot of white spaces in between.

Red rose coloring

Unlike the leaf, the petal is plain red without any iota of whiteness, so you must draw it accordingly. For that, add a third layer that completely removes the whites. 

Similarly, move to the adjacent petal and repeat the same process. Since both are red-colored, there is not much difference between the two petals, and it is hard to distinguish the boundary between the two. So, how to solve this? The solution is “Shading” with a dark ballpoint.

Shade all the parts where you feel that less light would reach. In this way, all petals will differentiate from each other and will also give a beautiful aesthetic look. 

Shadowing also gives “depth” to the points which are deep down in the flower, like the parts between the central petals. To understand the importance of shading, have a look at the shaded vs non-shaded parts of the flower. 

Red rose drawing step by step

Now, color and shade all the petals. Remember to keep the direction of your hypothetical light the same while shading the whole flower. Keep on increasing the shade as you move from the outer to inner petals, as less and less light reaches there. And that would be the last step of our realistic rose drawing! 

Realistic Red Rose Drawing

This tutorial is made with the help of Ali Haider Rehman (using his video by permission). And here is the video that would further help with the drawing process:

The whole process of a realistic rose drawing can be concluded as sketching, coloring, and shading. But what differentiates a beginner from a master is practice. So, you better keep on practicing if you want to be good at it. Mere reading or watching is not going to make you an artist, as it’s all about practice. And you know what’s the best time to start practicing? “NOW!” so do not relax even if you just finished drawing, straighten your back and get back to drawing again now!

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