How to

How to draw a realistic rose

In this easy-to-follow tutorial, we will demystify the intricacy of drawing a realistic rose. While drawing flowers can be intimidating, fear not! By following these simple instructions, you’ll be able to create a beautiful rose in just a matter of minutes. Let’s get started!

Analyzing the Rose

One of the most notable characteristics of a rose is its multi-layered structure. To simplify the process, we will divide the rose into three sections:

  1. The center
  2. The middle petals
  3. The outer petals

The center petals are mostly straight with minimal curvature. They are closely packed together, leaving little space between each petal. As we move towards the outer layers, the petals gradually curve outwards and downwards. For the inner petals, we only need to draw the tips, while the outer petals showcase most of their length.

Additionally, it’s crucial to observe that the edges of the petals are not perfectly straight. They possess organic wiggles and imperfections. These minor irregularities are the key to giving your rose a realistic touch.

Starting with Guidelines

Bounding Box & Divisions

Begin by roughly estimating the placement of the rose on your canvas using a bounding box. The shape of the bounding box may vary, but for a frontal view, it would be box-shaped.

Next, draw a line straight through the center of the rose. The angle of this line depends on the orientation of your rose. For our example, the rose will face the upper left direction.

Divide the bounding box into six sections, each accommodating a layer of petals. Make sure to curve the lines as they wrap around the center line.

Adding the Petals

Now, let’s draw the petals within each section, ensuring they stay inside their respective boundaries.

Add a second layer of petals, remembering to follow the curve around the center.

To maintain clarity, add part of the center petals. The tops of these petals should touch the edges of the central division.

Proceed to add the petals in the third division. This section has ample space for two layers. Start by drawing only the tips, as the lower part of the petals will be covered by the layer beneath.

Now, add the second layer of petals in the third division. Additionally, add the inner part of the center.

Fill any remaining space by mimicking the appearance of other petals. Remember, the petals closer to the center should be relatively straighter.

Refine and darken each petal. Add wiggles and curves to create a more natural look. Some petals may have tips that curl over.


Add two ovals along the center line. Connect these ovals to the rose by drawing the stem, with thickness increasing towards each oval. Think of it as resembling a bamboo.

Shading the Rose Petals and Stem

The rose may appear complex at this stage due to the lack of shadows. To address this, we will use the hatching method.

Darken the areas where the petals are close together and have minimal spacing, such as the center.

Next, add shadows along the edges of the petals to eliminate the flatness.

Apply a light layer of thin hatching all over the rose. Although barely visible, it unifies the drawing. Repeat the same technique for the stem: apply a very light layer all over, then darken the edges to create the illusion of roundness. The rose also casts a shadow on the stem, so darken that area as well.

Optional: Leaf

If desired, you can add a leaf to your drawing following these steps:

Start with a bounding box, indicating the leaf’s direction and position on the stem.

Refine the shape by adding a centerline and refining the tip.

Erase any sketch lines and darken the final lines.

Add values to create a curved appearance for the leaf. Darken the bottom part as the tip curls at the end.

Final Result

Rose Drawing


Would you like to try your newfound skills on any rose of your choice? Apply the steps you’ve learned and create your own rose drawing.

Use the hashtag #Oleandered on Instagram for a chance to be featured on my stories. I’d love to see your work!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on drawing a lifelike rose. Stay tuned for more tutorials in the future!

♡ Laura

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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