he rose holds special meaning and symbolism in many cultures. For some, it represents beauty and love. It can also represent perfection, grace, and all things joyful in life. This makes it a very popular symbol to draw among many artists and amateurs alike! Drawing a rose is very particular; it consists of much detail, many layers in the form of petals, as well as a lot of shading. Read on to learn how to draw a rose as we provide you with detailed steps on how to create this challenging flower. You will soon understand how to draw a rose perfectly, and even be able to paint this beautiful flower in watercolor as well!
Table of Content
- 1 Equipment You Will Need to Draw a Rose
- 2 How to Paint the Perfect Rose
- 3 A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Draw a Rose
- 4 Tips to Make Rose Drawing Easy
Equipment You Will Need to Draw a Rose
We have created a list of all the materials you will need to draw this delicate flower. You will need everything on this list at the ready before moving onto the step-by-step instructions for rose drawings. You will also learn how to draw a rose and complete the rose in watercolor.
The Right Paper
It is essential that you use the correct paper when doing any watercolor painting. You may struggle to achieve the desired gradient should you use the incorrect paper. This is because when painting with watercolors, you use a lot of water. In order to learn how to draw a rose properly, one must choose the right paper first. Choosing a good quality watercolor paper is extremely important! If you would like a little more insight into how watercolors are done, have a quick glimpse at our handy tutorial for watercolor painting. We recommend using Strathmore’s Paper 300 Series cold-pressed watercolor paper.
The Perfect Pencils
Just like having the right paper is so important, so is having the right pencils. And that means pencils of high quality! It does come in handy to have various pencils in different lead sizes and thicknesses, as this will help you find which you prefer for the different drawings you create. Each pencil in its varying softnesses will offer you varying results. While rose drawings may seem like a simple task, having a couple of options for pencils is never a bad thing! We recommend using Misulove’s Professional Drawing and Sketching Pencil Set.
- Drawing pencils allow for lines of any thickness and color saturation
- Special bonding makes the graphite leads extra break-resistant
- Easy to sharpen and erase and are suitable for all skill levels
The Ideal Brush
There is a wide range of choices when it comes to the best watercolor brushes. While there may be suitable and higher-quality synthetic brushes on the market these days, nothing quite compares to a good brush made from natural fibers. That said, if you are on a budget, a good-quality synthetic brush will also do. If possible, having a large range of brushes in many sizes, shapes, and thicknesses can help you to paint the perfect rose with all its finer details and effects. We recommend using Benicci’s Professional Artist Paintbrush Set.
The Proper Paints
Try to use the best possible quality of paint that you can afford, because it is the more expensive artist-grade paints that contain more pigments, thus providing a more vibrant, long-lasting color. That said, while you are still learning the ins and outs of painting a watercolor rose, it is perfectly fine to start with cheaper paints geared more to beginners. You will easily be able to mix and match shades and colors just by adding more water to the same colors. We recommend using MozArt’s Watercolor Paint Essential Set.
Other Utensils You May Need
Of course, you will need more than just paint, paper, and brushes! It is important to be prepared and have all your materials and extra utensils ready and within reach. Your watercolor painting will require a couple more utensils, such as a kitchen towel for blotting, some water in a glass for wetting and rinsing your paintbrush, and an eraser for working on your simple rose drawing.
How to Paint the Perfect Rose
When it comes to painting a rose, especially a watercolor-painted one, you have two paths that you are able to follow. Before you let your creativity overtake you, it is important to look at both approaches and be able to distinguish between them both.
Loosely Styled Watercolor Rose
As can be seen by the image above, a loosely styled watercolor rose is exactly what you may think – there is no rigid form. To be able to execute this style properly, you will need to understand a rose’s anatomy quite well. This is so each brush stroke is placed correctly to form the rose’s petals.
Detailed Representation of a Watercolor Rose
More detailed rose drawings are those that look more realistic. First, begin by sketching your rose drawing with a pencil. Once complete, you will be able to precisely create a rose in all its contrast. The idea is to be able to create a watercolor rose that is as realistic as possible, all without looking like an actual photograph of one.
In other words, you want to pay attention to the petals and fine details without overdoing it. Do not fret if you leave a petal or leaf out, what matters is the final product shape.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Draw a Rose
Ready? It is now time to gather all your equipment and draw your very first rose! Now that you understand all the aspects needed for your creation, all that is left is to follow our simple steps, and you will soon have your perfect rose watercolor creation.
Sketch the Rose
First, choose a finer pencil for this important step, and be sure to only press lightly, as this will allow you to erase any mistakes. This will also ensure the pencil does not show through the watercolor paint. This first sketch is to be used for the rough orientation, and so you will be able to erase any pencil that shows through when finished with the paint.
With some types of paper, you may not be able to erase pencil marks very easily, so this is something to consider. A possible way to combat this problem is to use a watercolor pencil instead, like one from this set by Arteza. Be sure to use a color that is similar to the color you plan on using for your rose. If you so wish, you could also trace the outline of an already drawn rose.
Remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with needing to trace to practice – it can actually help you learn and better your drawing skills in the long run.
Shadow and Light Definition
By looking at a rose closely, you will be able to determine and take note of exactly where the shadows form, or in other words, where less light reaches. The least shadowy parts will be brightest. This step is essential; it is important to be accurate when observing shadow and light, particularly if you want your rose to look lifelike and have depth.
Wet-on-Wet Technique: Painting a Loosely Styled Rose
When you look at a rose, it is obvious that the innermost petals are tighter and closer to one another. This also means that light does not reach this area as easily. As the rose unfolds on the outer areas, more light hits these petals. Thus, each of these petals will be lighter in color. Remember, there is also a lot of overlapping of petals when doing a drawing of a rose.
Once you have chosen the color you will be using for your watercolor rose, remember to keep in mind that you want a watery consistency. In your mind, picture a circle.
- Begin on the inner part of the circle with narrow, crescent-shaped strokes.
- As you reach the outer part of the circle, you can increase your brush strokes and make them both larger and wider.
- Do not forget the overlapping of petals.
You will now be able to create the shape of a rose with ease!
Remember, while you paint your loose-styled rose in watercolor paint, you can use what is known as the wet-on-wet technique. This easy technique can be achieved by taking water up with your brush and then by painting a rose as we explained above, but with only water (and no paint).
Then, choose your watercolor paint and allow your brush to take up the color. All you do now is apply the color to the same areas as to where you applied the water-only petals. This will allow for a gorgeous gradient of color while the water runs unpredictably across the surface.
Wet-on-Dry Technique: Painting a Detailed Rose
The wet-on-dry technique can be seen as the opposite of the wet-on-wet method detailed above. With this approach, you will be painting on dry paper. This method allows for better control and prediction of where the color will bleed as well as what sorts of gradients to expect. To begin, create your sketched pencil outline of the rose.
- Once completed, you will choose the lightest color and shade for your flower. Be careful when deciding exactly where the brightest areas of the rose are. These could be white areas, and right from the start must be excluded from color. As we know, we should always start working with light colors before moving on dark. You will struggle to lighten up areas that are too dark, but lighter ones can be darkened easily. Using your lightest tone, color your entire rose in paint, remembering to exclude the white areas.
- Continue your painting from lightest to darkest. Remember that once dry, watercolor paint will appear lighter. Thus, you may even need to recoat the paint once it has dried in order to achieve the perfect dark shade.
- As is the case with most flowers, a rose’s darkest areas are its innermost petals and structures. Keep in mind that these areas include those where the petals meet one another, as well as where they are held together at the stem. These areas should be a little darker in tone than the base tone used for your rose.
Using a tiny bit of darker earth-toned paint, you can darken some of the rose. Brown is a good option for this.
- As we reach our next layer of watercolor painting, we arrive at the sections of the rose that are neither dark nor light. Here, we will apply a layer of color more intensely – it should be a shade darker than our base tone.
- Each of our different colors will now be fading into one another ever so slightly, resulting in beautiful transitions and gradients. The rose is starting to take proper form! If you want to create a little more fading, just dampen your brush and apply it to the areas you desire. This will help to bring those colors into one another, blending them a little more.
- You may notice that some of your darker areas need some reworking. You can blend and apply various colors and shades, or even allow the art to dry before applying more. This will allow you to create a great deal of depth and expression in your rose watercolor artwork.
By now, you will be able to see the contrast of dark and light within the rose’s petals.
- Now is the time to go back to applying your basic tone on your rose wherever you feel some color brightening is needed.
- And, you’re almost done! Once dry, all that is left to do is to erase any visible pencil lines on your artwork.
- Looking at the image above, you will be able to notice that more contrast is needed, and that the lightening and softening of the veneer will finish it up nicely.
- It may be necessary to place your finished painting down and have a look at it from another perspective. This will help you notice any mistakes and possible proportional blunders that were harder to see up close. Make sure that it is completely dry before adding any final finishing touches.
Well done – your rose drawing is now complete!
Tips to Make Rose Drawing Easy
- When you first start painting roses, you should try finding an image and style of the one you like best, and then try to recreate this exact rose. Remember: Do not post images of these online, because the original artist may be able to file a copyright infringement against you if you do not mention or credit them as your inspiration.
- It is very important to look as closely at the image as you possibly can in order to recreate it to the very best of your ability.
- Another tip is to look for photographs of roses to use a reference. This is because using a real, live rose in front of you can be tricky. It seems to be a lot easier using an image of a rose instead, especially when it comes to proportions.
- Practice, and then practice some more! Once you feel more confident in your drawing of rose skills, you can move on to using a live flower or rose rather than an image if you so wish!
Painting in general, but especially themes such as roses and nature, can really be a wonderful, calm, and relaxing experience! By following our easy guide on how to draw a rose step by step, you will be well on your way to drawing a beautiful rose in no time. Remember to practice and to have fun!