Sunflowers are some of the most beautiful blooms. From their bright yellow petals to the way that they turn their faces to the sun, there is no doubt that they are aptly named. In this sunflower sketch tutorial, we guide you through all of the necessary steps to help you create realistic drawings of sunflowers.
Table of Contents
- 1 A Step-by-Step Sunflower Sketch Tutorial
- 1.1 Step 1: Construct the Center of Your Sunflower Sketch
- 1.2 Step 2: The Sunflower Petal Drawing Outline
- 1.3 Step 3: Construct the Stem of Your Sunflowers Drawing
- 1.4 Step 4: Draw the Small Leaf Branches
- 1.5 Step 5: The Leaves of Your Sunflowers Drawing
- 1.6 Step 6: Filling the Floret of Your Sunflower Petal Drawing
- 1.7 Step 7: Adding the Base Color to the Sunflower Petal Drawing
- 1.8 Step 8: Coloring the Seeds of Your Sunflower Sketch
- 1.9 Step 9: Adding Some Color to the Leaves and Stem
- 1.10 Step 10: Applying the Second Color Coat
- 1.11 Step 11: Time to Apply Some Highlights
- 1.12 Step 12: Finish Coloring the Sunflower Petal Drawing
- 1.13 Step 13: Color Detail for the Internal Florets
- 1.14 Step 14: Shading the Sunflower Florets
- 1.15 Step 15: Blending Your Colors Together
- 1.16 Step 16: Detailing the Leaves and Stem With Color
- 1.17 Step 17: Creating Texture in the Leaves
- 1.18 Step 18: Shading Your Sunflower Sketch Leaves
- 1.19 Step 19: Adding the Finishing Touches to Your Leaves
- 1.20 Step 20: Highlighting Your Stem
- 1.21 Step 21: Finishing Your Sunflowers Drawing
- 2 Our Flower Drawing Tutorials
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
A Step-by-Step Sunflower Sketch Tutorial
In this tutorial, we want to show you how to create hyper-realistic drawings of sunflowers. In order to make your sunflowers drawing as realistic as possible, we begin the tutorial with several construction steps. We then go on to form the outline sunflower drawing, before adding details, textures, and colors. You can see an outline of the tutorial steps below.
For the coloring of your sunflowers drawing, the choice of medium is wide open. If you are a more physical artist, you can use any coloring medium from paints to coloring markers. If you are a digital artist, then you can use your drawing tablet.
Step 1: Construct the Center of Your Sunflower Sketch
Before we begin the construction steps, we have a quick note about how to draw the construction lines. If you are using a physical medium, we suggest using a very light and easily erasable pencil. For digital drawing mediums, draw the construction lines on a separate layer, so that you can simply delete the layer at a later stage. To begin our drawings of sunflowers, let us begin by locating the center of our drawing canvas.
Here, draw a large circle to represent the inner part of your sunflower sketch.
Step 2: The Sunflower Petal Drawing Outline
We are now going to begin constructing the sunflower petal drawing. Begin with the first layer of petals around the circle from the previous step. Once you have the first layer, you can then begin to draw partially visible petals behind the front layer. Repeat this process a few times, until you are happy with your sunflower sketch.
Step 3: Construct the Stem of Your Sunflowers Drawing
We are now going to outline the stem of your sunflower sketch. Draw two slightly curving lines that extend from the central point of the bottom of your sunflower. This stem should be fairly long, as sunflowers tend to have very long stems.
Step 4: Draw the Small Leaf Branches
On either side of the stem, you can now draw a series of small protruding branches. In the next step, we will outline the leaves of your sunflowers drawing. This step is one of the first where you can make the decisions about how many leaves you want and on which side of the stem.
Step 5: The Leaves of Your Sunflowers Drawing
In this step, we are going to draw the leaves of your sunflower sketch on the ends of the small branches you drew in the previous step. The leaves should be almost heart-shaped, with a sharp point at the end. The edges of the leaves should be slightly jagged to give our drawings of sunflowers a little more realism.
To increase the realism further, you can place your leaves at different angles, some overlapping and some only partially visible.
Step 6: Filling the Floret of Your Sunflower Petal Drawing
We are now going to fill the inner circle of the sunflower petal drawings with the sunflower seed details. Draw this detail by creating several patches of tightly packed circles that do not overlap each other. Around this inner detail, you can now draw small circles and incomplete circle shapes with a wider space between them.
Step 7: Adding the Base Color to the Sunflower Petal Drawing
With a regular paint brush and a yellow shade of paint, apply an even coat of paint to the sunflower petal drawings and the inner circle of the sunflower sketch. Make sure that this coat does not have any darker patches and sticks within the outline sunflower drawing.
Step 8: Coloring the Seeds of Your Sunflower Sketch
With the same regular brush and some light brown paint, you can now fill the inner disk of sunflower florets with an even color coat.
Step 9: Adding Some Color to the Leaves and Stem
For this step, you will need a smaller brush and a shade of olive green. Use these tools to carefully apply an even coat of color to the stem of your sunflowers drawing and each of the leaves.
Step 10: Applying the Second Color Coat
Now that we have the base color coat applied, we can begin to add some more coloring dimension. You will need a small blending brush and some orange paint. Using these two, carefully apply a blended layer of shading to the edges of each sunflower petal drawing.
You can also apply a more general blend of color around the central disk of the drawings of sunflowers.
Step 11: Time to Apply Some Highlights
In the last step, we began to create dimension by using a darker contouring shade. We can now complement this with a touch of highlight. With a clean small blending brush and some bright, light yellow paint, apply a touch of highlight to the edges of each sunflower petal drawing. Apply this highlight gently, being careful not to hide the first color coat and the shadows.
Step 12: Finish Coloring the Sunflower Petal Drawing
We are now going to finish coloring the sunflower petal drawing. With a very fine brush and some bright yellow paint, add some fine hairlines within each petal.
You can then repeat this step with some orange paint to create a realistic texture on each petal.
Step 13: Color Detail for the Internal Florets
Now that the petal details are complete, we can move on to applying details to the florets of our drawings of sunflowers. Use a fine detail brush and some yellow paint to fill each of the circles that you drew in the previous steps with yellow color.
Step 14: Shading the Sunflower Florets
Now that we have added the yellow color to the sunflower florets, it is now time to add some dimension with shading. With a very small blending brush and the smallest touch of black paint, begin to apply some shading to the darker patch within the inner floret disk. You can also add a slight amount of shading around the outer edge of the circle.
Finish this step by using a clean small blending brush and some yellow paint to enhance the color around the shading.
Step 15: Blending Your Colors Together
With some orange paint and a small blending brush, you can now shade the majority of the painted dots, ovals, and circles in the center of your sunflower petal drawing. You can repeat this process one or two times with increasingly darker shades of orange to add variety and depth to the sunflower seeds. You can finish the step by using a large soft blending brush and applying an even coat of darker orange right in the central shaded area.
Finally, for a smoother blend between your colors, use a clean blending brush and softly smooth all of your colors together.
Step 16: Detailing the Leaves and Stem With Color
Up until this point, we have been focusing our color detailing on the sunflowers drawing itself. Now, we are going to focus our attention on the stem and leaves of our drawings of sunflowers. Begin this process with a regular paintbrush and light green paint. Apply dashes of light green to each leaf in an abstract pattern, leaving the base color coat visible. Next, use a darker green shade and a soft blending brush and apply a shadow to the stem and small branches leading to each leaf.
Finally, complete the step by blending a bright shade of green onto the top leaf of your sunflower sketch and gently apply the same color to the center of the florets.
Step 17: Creating Texture in the Leaves
We are now going to use a small detailing brush and some white paint to create some vein details on each of the leaves. Use the curvature of each leaf to help you find the right direction for each texture line. These lines look a little like lightning strikes, but they are slightly simpler.
Step 18: Shading Your Sunflower Sketch Leaves
With a small blending brush and a dark green shade of paint, carefully shade along the edges of each leaf and on the small branches leading to the stem. You can then finish this step by repeating this process with a small blending brush and a touch of black paint, enhancing the shadows carefully.
Tip: whenever you are shading with black, always start lightly and deepen the color as needed. You can always add more black, but you cannot take it away.
Step 19: Adding the Finishing Touches to Your Leaves
To complement the shading, we can now highlight the leaves with some grass green paint. Use this shade as an intermediary color, blending together the existing colors of each leaf. For a lighter shade, you can repeat this process with some white paint to add spots of highlight.
Step 20: Highlighting Your Stem
To brighten the highlighted areas of your stem and branches, use a fine detail brush and some white and bright green paint. You can then use this same color combination to brighten the hairline textures on the leaves.
Step 21: Finishing Your Sunflowers Drawing
To finish our drawings of sunflowers, we are now going to remove the outline sunflower drawing. Use a very fine brush to trace the outlines and the inner texture lines of your entire sunflower with a corresponding color of each area. This will create a final seamless result and a realistic sunflower drawing.
Congratulations on finishing our step-by-step tutorial on how to draw a sunflower. We hope that you have enjoyed the sunflowers drawing process and that you are happy with your final sunflower sketch! Come back and visit us for more flower drawing tutorials.
Our Flower Drawing Tutorials
- Flower Drawing Basics
- Tulip Drawing
- Hydrangea Drawing
- Lily Flower Drawing
- Poppy Flower Drawing
- Orchid Drawing
- Magnolia Flower Drawing
- Hibiscus Flower Drawing
- Calla Lily Drawing
- Lotus Flower Drawing
- Peony Flower Drawing
- Daffodil Drawing
- Dandelion Drawing
- Daisy Flower Drawing
- Cherry Blossom Drawing
- Rose Drawing
- Forget-Me-Not Flower Drawing
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Outline Sunflower Drawings Realistically?
The process of creating the outline of your sunflower drawing is very simple when you follow the construction steps for our tutorial. We construct every element of the sunflower sketch separately to ensure that we have the correct shapes and dimensions.
How to Draw a Sunflower Realistically?
As with any realistic drawing, we begin by ensuring that we have the right dimensions for the construction steps. Then, we create our final outline and add realistic coloring in several layers. Finally, we remove the outline to create a seamless sunflower sketch.
Matthew Matthysen is an educated multidisciplinary artist and illustrator. He successfully completed his art degree at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, majoring in art history and contemporary drawing. The focus of his thesis was to explore the philosophical implications of the macro and micro-universe on the human experience. Matthew uses diverse media, such as written and hands-on components, to explore various approaches that are on the border between philosophy and science.
Matthew organized various exhibitions before and during his years as a student and is still passionate about doing so today. He currently works as a freelance artist and writer in various fields. He also has a permanent position at a renowned online gallery (ArtGazette) where he produces various works on commission. As a freelance artist, he creates several series and successfully sells them to galleries and collectors. He loves to use his work and skills in various fields of interest.
Matthew has been creating drawing and painting tutorials since the relaunch in 2020. Through his involvement with artincontext.org, he has been able to deepen his knowledge of various painting mediums. For example, watercolor techniques, calligraphy and lately digital drawing, which is becoming more and more popular.
Cite this Article
Matthew, Matthysen, “How to Draw a Sunflower – Creating a Realistic Sunflower Sketch.” Art in Context. April 26, 2022. URL: https://artincontext.org/how-to-draw-a-sunflower/
Matthysen, M. (2022, 26 April). How to Draw a Sunflower – Creating a Realistic Sunflower Sketch. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/how-to-draw-a-sunflower/