I love drawing roses. They’re so beautiful and elegant. A timeless design feature, especially in the tattoo world.
But they are tricky to draw!
Here’s a step by step breakdown of how I draw this simple rose....
I love using this formula for drawing roses as it can adapted and changed to make a unique rose every time.
Firstly I lightly pencil sketch two circles to mark the overall shape of the rose and the centre ‘bud’ of the rose (above left). Then I mark in where my first petal will be with a line that cuts through the lower part of the inner circle (right).
Next I begin constructing the centre of the rose. I divide the centre circle with two diagonal lines from the centre of the first line. Then I add another perpendicular line between those diagonal lines (left).
Next I finish constructing the bud by sketching out the widths of the petals. And I add two more petals at the top of the inner circle (right).
If you look carefully you will notice that all of my lines are ever so slightly curved. Curved lines create more organic shapes than straight lines.
Next I roughly sketch in the remaining petals, working outwards from the bud. I don’t overthink the number of petals or use dividing lines to do this. I just begin with the most forward petal (in this case the one at the bottom of the flower), and draw it in using a ‘C’ shape. Then I work outward adding more ‘C’ shapes. You can see how this creates underlapping petals.
You will also notice that the petals I sketch in have overlapped the initial circle. That circle is only a guideline. Don’t feel restricted by it. If you want your rose bigger make it bigger!
Now comes the fun part. Adding the petal details. I like to take each petal and add some texture and shape to the edges. I break each petal into ‘C’ and ‘S’ shapes to create creases and indents (above).
Once I’m happy with my sketch I outline it in pen (left). If you look closely at the outlines you can see that I add a slightly thicker line (aka heavier lineweight) to the underside of the petals. This helps to create depth in a line drawing.
Then I add in the line shading details. I work from petal to petal and use the indents and creases to dictate where my first lines will be. Then I build up the lines in any areas that would be shaded, for example where the petals overlap. The trick to this type of shading is that all the lines must flow into the middle of the flower and follow the shape of each petal.
And there you have it, a simple rose!
I have some free worksheets available to download....
Remember that it can take a lot of practice to make a drawing
that you’re happy with. If you first one doesn’t come out the way you would like try again, you’ll get there in the end!
Hey- if you liked this blog post, you might be interested in my Floral Sketchbook Vol. 1
for more inspiration and drawing reference! You might also want to consider signing up for my patreon
, where you can get access to over 20 ebook drawing tutorials on different flowers, time lapse drawing process videos and step-by-step talk throughs of tattoo designs.
Interested in seeing the tattoos I've been working on? My instagram
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Blog post edited by Sabrina