Simplify Drawing Flowers by Studying Flower Anatomy

Whether you like to draw realistic flowers or more imaginative, freeform flowers, understanding flower anatomy and drawing flower parts correctly makes your sketches more believable.

I have said before that sketching from life is not my favorite thing to do. I quickly get bored with it and would rather use books or photos to get details right when needed. But I learn more when I draw from life and my drawing skills have benefited from it.

While your sketchbook flowers can be as artful as you want, learning some basic flower anatomy will enhance the flowers and make drawing easier and more enjoyable. 

Sketching Flowers

Studying flower details

Breaking flowers down into parts and not trying to draw the whole flower at once makes the whole process less confusion.

When you have chosen the flowers you want to sketch, it’s time to take a closer look at details. Look closely at:

  • The number of petals
  • What the center of the flower looks like
  • How the flower grows on the plant
  • The size and shape of the leaves
  • The placement of leaves on the stem
  • The stem’s rigidity

Make a few rough sketches to get a feel with your hand for the shape of the plant. Although you might take artistic license from here, the basic shape will imprint in your mind and you will draw the flower with ease.

Milkweed Flower Sketch

Flower parts to know

While observing the flower you aim to sketch, you’ll need to notice a few parts of the flower’s identity:


All flowers have a receptacle, though some are more bulbous than others. If this part of the flower is visible in your artwork, make sure that it is correct in shape and size.


These are the leaf-like outer coverings of a flower bud that unfold and become like a pedestal or a collar for the flower.


Thin, delicate spikes that shoot from the center with little seed shapes on the ends. Not all flowers have anthers.

Parts of Flowers for Sketching

Twisty stems and spiky flowers

When you want to draw flowers that have more freeform shapes, loosen your drawing hand and lighten your touch. With a little practice, you will get the shapes down just right.

Study the stem formation, curves and lengths before you start to sketch. Roughly draw in the general shapes of the flowers and leaves. Then, go back and refine the sketch.

Bell and Spike Flower Sketch
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