Who doesn’t love fresh cut flowers? Immortalize their beauty through art — that way, when you can’t bring a bouquet home, you can at least have a nice reminder of their exquisite charm. Roses are one of the most popular flowers, which makes them a great bloom to draw. Learn how to draw a colored pencil rose step by step here!
Colored pencils have made a comeback in recent years with the adult coloring book craze. Although they were once seen as being for school children, they are powerful tools for drawing. One of their best characteristics is the fact that you can layer hues to create rich, full colors. Oil-based colored pencils are especially great for layering.
When selecting the colored pencils to use to draw a rose, consider the following characteristics.
Study the flower you’re going to draw. Select the hue that’s closest to it, but then take a deeper look. What other colors can you see? Hints of pinks? Oranges? Maybe some blue or green? Pick a colored pencil that you’ll use for deep shadows, too. For me, I selected blue. It not only offers a nice contrast but can be blended into a shade of purple.
I recommend a drawing pad that has paper designed specifically for dry media. I love Legion brand paper — their Stonehenge Colors pad is smooth with a little bit of tooth do it.
How to draw a colored pencil rose step by step
Step 1: Start with big shapesYou know all that studying you did on the color? Now, take notice of the big shapes that comprise your flower, from the petals to the leaves. Then, draw them as circles on your page using a light colored pencil. It’s Ok that they’re not the exact shape of the petals — at this stage, you want to ensure that your scale is correct and the relationships between petals are correct.
Step 2: Refine the big shapesOnce you’ve got the scale figured out, begin to refine your big shapes. Look at the edges of the petal and mimic them as contour lines. Where does the petal dip? Does it have any nooks or crannies? Go over the initial lines you made, but don’t be afraid to make new ones.
Step 3: Color all over your flowerNow you’ll begin the layering process. Start by selecting one color that you feel “sums up” the entire flower. For a red rose, for instance, select a light to medium red. Then, without pressing too hard, color in all of the petals and leaves. Make sure that you see some of the paper showing your color. This will be your base, and you’ll build more hues on top of it.
Step 4: Begin layering huesOnce you’ve got your base down on paper, start coloring petal by petal. You can select the same color as your base or a different hue — just don’t add your darkest color yet. Use this step to build layers of color. With each layer, you should see less and less of your paper and a more of a waxy finish.
Step 5: Add the darkest colorOne of the final steps is to add the darkest hue to your drawing. Do this to bring out the shadows or make a petal visually pop. When doing this, start by gently going over the area you intend to color. Then, build up the color to the very darkest areas, like where two petals meet or the center of the rose.
Step 6: Blend with a lighter color (optional)
If you want your color (especially your darkest hue) to look more smooth and blended, try this tip: Take a lighter color pencil (like something you’d use as a highlight) and drag it across the top of your colored pencil work. This will help blend it with the rest of your colors.