How to draw a flower

(The newer sketch lines will be in blue, the older sketch lines will be in gray.) How To Draw Vase-1Step 1. Begin with basic shapes, start with a rectangle shape in the center of your page, sketch a circle for the vase's bottom, a narrow cylinder for the vase's top, and 3 curved lines for the stems. Sketch circles to form the flowers shape. Notice that 2 of the flowers are overlapping, while the 3rd is by itself. This is for composition – it makes it more interesting to look at.

How To Draw Vase-2Step 2. Divide the flowers into 6 parts, with a small circle in the center, add almond-shaped leaves, and a new thinner oval for the base of the vase.

How To Draw Vase-3Step 3. Start shaping the details in the flowers – create wedges between each flower petal, and connect the bottom oval of the vase to the rectangle by sketching a curved line on each side.

How To Draw Vase-4Step 4. Erase the guides you don't need. Keep making your flowers look more flowery, and the vase more curvy, remember to keep the vase looking symmetrical. Sketch in some light shadows using simple hatching technique, and another shadow on the right side of the vase. This means the light source is coming from the left side.

How To Draw Vase-5Step 5. Finish by adding more details, and darkening your shadows. Cross-hatching in a fast motion is best – but use light pressure and sketch in even, straight lines.

Flowers add cheerfulness wherever they grow – or wherever they are drawn. This is especially so when they also wear smiling faces.

Dancing, smiling flowers have been a common part of many cartoons for decades. A famous example of this is the 1932 “Silly Symphonies: Flowers and Trees” cartoon produced by Walt Disney. Today, such flowers often grace sunny window sills in the form of solar powered, plastic “dancing flowers.”

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

Would you like to be able to draw your own smiling, happy flower? Now you can, using this simple, easy to follow, step-by-step tutorial. All you need is a piece of paper and some drawing tools, such as a pencil, pen, colored pencils, crayons, or markers.

Each step in this guide is illustrated. Note that the new markings in each step are highlighted in blue. Sketch your lines lightly at first, as you will be required to erase some of the guide lines that you draw early on.

In just a few easy steps, you will have your own smiling cartoon flowers to brighten your day.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Sunflower, Tulip, and Simple Rose.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing Cartoon Flowers

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 1

Begin by drawing a long, wavy line.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 2

Draw another wavy line parallel to the first. The lines should be closer to one another at the top than at the bottom. This forms the main stem.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 3

Draw one curved line extending from each side of the stem.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 4

Draw another curved line parallel to each of the curved lines you just drew. These lines form secondary stems.


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Draw a circle above the tip of the left secondary stem.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 6

Draw five petals around the circle. Each petal will consist of a curved line in the shape of a very rounded “M.” The bottom two petals should connect the flower to its stem.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 7

Draw a circle above the main stem.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 8

Draw five “M” shapped petals around the circle. The bottom petals will connect this flower to the main stem.

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How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 9

Draw a circle above the right secondary stem.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 10

Draw five loosely “M” shaped petals around the circle. The bottom two petals will connect the flower to its stem.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 11

Now, you will add detail to the petals. Beginning with the flower on the left, add a wavy line to the interior of each petal. Each line should extend from the flower’s circle center, form three humps, then attach to the center once more.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 12

Repeat this process to add detail to the center flower’s petals.


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Repeat the process to add detail to the petals of right flower, again using five wavy lines.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 14

Extend a short, curved line from each side of the center flower’s stem. Draw similar lines from the left side of the left secondary stem, and the right side of the right secondary stem. These lines will form the veins of leaves.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 15

Outline the leaves using two curved lines each. The lines should extend from the stem and come together to form a point with the leaf vein line.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 16

Draw the grass in which your flower is growing. To draw grass, use short, curved lines that come together in a point, both at their base and at their tip. The result will resemble connected curving triangles with no base line.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 17

Complete the mound of grass by connecting the far sides with a straight line. Add detail to the veins of the leaves by drawing one to two short, slightly curving lines extending from both sides of each leaf vein.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 18

Now, you will add faces to your flowers. Within the center circle of each flower, draw two smaller circles for eyes. Below the eyes, form a smiling mouth by drawing a “U” shaped line. Draw a short line perpendicular to each end of the “U” shaped line.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 19

Within each eye circle, draw a smaller circle. You can determine the direction in which the flower appears to be looking by drawing this small circle on that side of the eye. Draw a tiny circle within each small circle. Shade the small circle.

How to Draw Cartoon Flowers: Step 20

Complete your sketch by coloring your flowers. Make them any color you want – have fun!

Your printable PDF drawing guide is ready for downloading:


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Here is a helpful hint that may make drawing flowers easier for you. Memorize this theory, and use it with everything you draw.

We all know that the preliminary sketch you create is made up of lines. (I call this an accurate line drawing.) It’s the foundation of your piece on which you build your rendering. But, each of those lines needs to be turned into an edge, so it doesn’t look outlined like a cartoon. To do this, remember what a line really is: merely a separation of two different surfaces. The line you drew is telling you that these surfaces are either touching or overlapping. To make the line you drew turn into an edge, there’s a pretty simple solution:

First, analyze your reference and look for the five elements of shading. This will tell you where the light source is and the cast shadows are.

How to draw flowers in graphite

Even in graphite, you can see the theory of “light over dark” and “dark over light” at work in the edges of these flower petals.

Second, identify in your reference which surfaces are dark and which are light. Now look at the darkness of the line you drew in your sketch. Which surface does the darkness of that line belong to? Is it part of a shadow below the surface? If so, you must blend out the darkness of that line into that area. Is the surface you’re drawing darker than the background? Then blend the darkness of the line into that surface.

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As you work, analyze all of the edges in your photo reference, and ask yourself: Is it light over dark or is it dark over light? Then, blend the darkness of your drawn line into whichever surface it belongs. Make sure it fades out gradually and completely. Voila! It’s an edge, not an outline!

Studying your edges is critical, especially since they can change. Don’t let them fool you. The edge of a single flower petal may appear light against dark in one area, and then switch suddenly to dark over light. Don’t try to draw edges without close observation, or you may miss some very important tonal changes.

I know this may sound difficult, but practice, practice and practice some more. Soon it’ll become second nature to analyze every line drawn. Study my examples here, and look for the beauty of edges in these florals. I think you’ll find that drawing flowers will make you happy too!

Have a wonderful week everyone!Lee

Edited by Cherie Haas, online editor of

Lee Hammond has been called the Queen of Drawing. That may not be fair these days, since in addition to providing the best drawing lessons, she has also created fantastic books and videos filled with the same easy to follow acrylic painting techniques, colored pencil techniques and more. Click here to see all of the instructional books and DVDs that Lee Hammond has to offer!

Free download! Easy Acrylic Painting Techniques by Lee Hammond

Where to Brainstorm

When I am designing a new flower I will almost always do this on paper in my sketchbook.  I suggest that you start a sketchbook just for primary elements.  This will be a great place for you to have the freedom to design new ideas.  This is also a great way to preserve all those ideas (both good and bad) that come to you throughout your career.

I started out with random sketches of flowers between many different sketchbooks and there was no organization about it.  Now years later I will still run across an interesting idea on a flower concept in a random sketchbook.

I have recently started a sketchbook for just this kind of work and that way I know where they are and can refer back to them whenever I need new inspiration for a piece.

Many times you will design a few flowers based on something you have seen and they just don’t work out the way you thought they would.  Then a month, year or a few years later, you will be perusing through the sketchbook and will run across these drawings and something will jump out at you.  All of a sudden you will see something different in them and find a way to make the design work.  This is a great way to insure that your vision for those elements is not lost.

So we have our sketchbook specifically for primary element design work.  How do we start drawing our elements?

I will show you how I start a flower concept here, but what this boils down to is just putting lead or ink on paper and seeing what happens.  This is why the sketchbook is so important… for any of your practice sessions in design work.  You need to be free from trying to make a perfect drawing.  You should be making as many marks on the paper as possible until the image in your mind is on the paper.

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Many new artists believe that they should draw very deliberately and make only marks on the paper that will be a part of whatever they are drawing.  This is just simply not the case for artists in any art form.  The majority of artists draw, paint or sculpt very loose at first and just get the basic shape of the form in place so that they have something to build upon. 

That is what I want you to do here.  Just “sketch” the basic shape of the forms.  It does not have to be perfect at this stage.  Much like what we talked about in the last article on Flow, we are just making decisions on size, proportion and any motion that will be present in the final flower or leaf.  After this is drawn, we can then begin to add the detail and style that we want to see.

As you can see in this drawing, I have roughly sketched the basic shape of the petals and basic outline structure of the leaf.

This gives me a chance to decide on size and proportion of each piece of the flower and leaf.

This is the way I decide if the size of each petal will work in the space I am designing for or if the number of petals I am using will work on this particular flower.

After the initial sketch is drawn, I now can play with different petal types and styles using the framework as a guide.

Once the size and placement of each petal or structure is in place, it is much less intimidating to try different petal styles and designs.

Designing in this way makes it much easier to layout a full pattern as well.  After the layout circles and flow lines are in place within the tooling window, you can add these framework flowers into the middle of the circles to get a feel of the size and shape of the flowers you want in the pattern.

The details of the flowers are just details and we do not need them for the layout process.  Doing this allows you to remain focused on the basic concepts of the design so that you can insure the placement and size if correct for your design.

As I mentioned before, the sketch of the framework is only the basic shape and size of the petals and the leaves.

The detail and style that you decide to use is completely up to you.  This is where the fun part of design comes in.

Since you know that the framework you have sketched is the proper size and shape, you can now just decide on how you want the petals or the leaf to look for your particular pattern.

This area of design is limitless in its possibilities.

One area of design where this is really useful is in areas where the space for flowers is limited or oddly shaped.

As you can see here, the shape and spaces in these two examples are less than open for flowers this large.

Using the rough sketch of the framework, we can easily adjust the petal placement to bend or squash the petals to make them appear to fit nicely.

Then as we begin adding the detail to the petals we still have a correct shape to follow as a guide.

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