Putting pencil to paper seems like such a simple pursuit, but it’s not as easy as it sounds to draw realistic objects true to life, especially when learning how to draw the intricate details of a flower, step by step. And yet, drawing is an artistic practice that many people dream of trying. According to Melbourne-based artist Marco Corsini, the hardest part of learning to draw is “overcoming doubt and the idea that we can’t draw.”

As an art teacher and the director of Melbourne Art Class, Marco is perfectly placed to guide aspiring artists to learn the basics. “I’ve been an art teacher for about 23 years and have passionately taught drawing for the last 13 years,” says Marco. “It’s a powerful way to observe the world, and to express our experience of it. I think people intuitively know the impact and benefits of drawing. Drawing slows us down, enriches our experience and increases our observational abilities. It also seems to rewire our brain to a calmer state.”

The best way to learn how to draw is gradually. As Marco says, “it's possible to get good results if you take it one step at a time.” To help, Marco breaks down the basics. This month, he shares how to draw flowers with an easy step-by-step tutorial for three lovely blooms. 

Follow his guide to help you unleash your inner artist, and embrace drawing. 

How to Draw Flowers: The Waratah

 Embrace the benefits of drawing with this easy step-by-step tutorial for learning how to draw a native Australian flower.

This Australian native is, as a drawing specimen, a wonderful challenge. 

Step 1: Using a HB or 2B graphite pencil, draw the shape of the outside contour of the waratah.

Step 2: Draw the floral bract at the base of the flower, paying attention to their shapes and how their size and shape relate to the main body of the flower.

Step 3: Mark the centre of the flower and extend a line from that point to mark the stem. 

Step 4: Draw the stem and its leaves. Note the angles of the leaves. Also notice the size of the leaves as opposed to the spaces around them.

Step 5: The waratah flower (scientifically known as telopea speciosissima) is actually made of many small flowers. Begin drawing the styles (stalks) of the small flowers from the centre outwards, observing the pattern they create when densely packed and their shape and spacing when they are loosely arranged.

Step 6: Complete the styles of the flowers, observing the elliptical nature of their patterning which orientates around the centre point of the flower.

Step 7: Add darker tones in between the styles, where you can see small petals.

Step 8: Complete the tones across all the leaves.

What to Try

Hot Tip: It’s okay to correct and then correct again, this is a process of seeing.

SEE ALSO: How to Express Yourself Creatively, Even if You’re Not Arts-y

How to Draw Flowers: The Gerbera

A hard charcoal pencil is the perfect tool for drawing the contours of a gerbera.

This bright and beautiful bloom graces many gardens, and often features in cut bouquets. Gerberas make a good beginner’s subject for drawing because of the simplicity and regularity of the petals. 

Step 1: First plot the shape. Using a hard charcoal pencil which is lighter in tone, sketch a circle roughly the size of the outer edge of the flower.

Step 2: Sketch a concentric inner circle to mark where the inner edge of the big outer petals will start from. 

Step 3: Mark the centre of the flower with a 't'-shaped cross. 

Step 4: If you can see the stem, note where it intersects the flower and at what angle. Represent it with a line which leads to the centre.

Step 5: Now, using the inner and outer circles, draw in the shapes of the big outer petals. 

Step 6: If you can partially see petals poking out from the outer edges, draw those in also.

Step 7: Draw in the indented centre circle of the flower which sits within the disc. Use your charcoal pencil to illustrate the textures you see by adjusting and varying the types of marks you make. You may use the medium or soft charcoal pencil to darken the tones.

Step 8: Altering the types of marks you make, draw in the rest of the disc. 

Step 9: Draw the trans flowers which is the ring of small stubby petals between the darker centre circle and the outer big petals.

Step 10: Notice the way the light falls on the petals and shadowy, darker tones you see. Render in those tones.

Step 11: Finish the stem with a second line, and add tone. 

Step 12: Put in any additional smaller petals you may see. I’ve used the blending stump to blend and soften the outside fringe petals that sit under the main petals. I liked the visual impact this had on the drawing and I added a few more of these petals.

Step 13: I then redrew some of the edges of the petals that were unclear or too soft. I also slightly erased a part of the stem to give the impression that it leads away from the flower. 

What to Try

Hot Tip: Work from the observation of simple objects.

SEE ALSO: Why You Need to Try Mindful Colouring for Adults

How to Draw Flowers: The Rose

Follow this step by step guide to learn how to draw a rose.

By any other name, it would be as sweet. This step-by-step guide will help you learn how to draw one of the world’s most beloved flowers. 

Step 1: Again, start by plotting the shape. Using a HB or 2B graphite pencil, draw in the outer contour shape of the rose. 

Step 2: Draw in the sepals at the base of the rose, following the shape and position of each.

Step 3: If you can see the very centre of the rose, mark it and make a line representing the stem that leads up to this centre.

Step 4: Study the shapes of the petals and the angles of their upper edges. Make marks on your drawing to represent the way these angles cut across the rose.

Step 5: Gradually build all the petal shapes into your drawing.

Step 6: Draw in the leaves by observing their shapes, the angles they sit on and the spacing between them.

Step 7: Choose the lightest colour of the rose and begin colouring in with colour pencil the areas where you see that colour present.

Step 8: For the shadows and darker tones in the rose, use the complementary (opposite) colour from the red/blue/yellow colour wheel. This should darken and dull your initial colour to create its shadow. You may need to experiment with various combinations on a scrap piece of paper. For my drawing, purple was the complementary colour of yellow.

Step 9: If there is a second colour on the rose, colour that in also. I continued to use purple and some yellow for shadow areas in both the red and yellow of my rose.

Step 10: I used a kneadable eraser to blend and also to lighten some parts of the petals.

Step 11: Lay in the lighter colour of your leaves and stems.

Step 12: Add the darker coloured areas to your leaves. I have used a darker green, blue and purple pencil to do this.

What to Try

Hot Tip: Schedule a regular time to draw, a time that you protect from the other demands of your life.

SEE ALSO: 5 Beautiful DIY Canvas Painting Ideas for Your Home

This article was originally published in December 2021 and has been updated.