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How to Draw Flowers in Pen, Ink and Color
rose drawing in ink

(c) Helen South. Not to be used as clipart.

COPYRIGHT H. South, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Learn to draw flowers of all kinds, from simple daisies to complex roses, using a range of techniques. Try crisp line drawing and expressive, expressionist drawing, and learn to use colored pencil and pastel. On each page of this gude you'll find tips on successful flower drawing and links to step-by-step tutorials developing that technique.

Drawing Flowers - Where to Start
To begin with, you need a good subject or model. Drawing from life is ideal, as you can visualize the form and change the lighting and arrangement as you wish. I usually take a photograph as well, because light changes and flowers wilt. Choose a bloom with even color and a good, clear shape to make your job easier. For this example I chose a tea rose with a partly open bloom, which seemed to lend itself to line drawing

Paper for Flower Drawing
The "support" or paper you choose for your drawing can make all the difference. A heavyweight watercolor paper is ideal for ink drawing. Regular drawing paper, preferably cotton rather than wood pulp, may also be used - test a sample to see whether your chosen paper will allow the ink to 'bleed' into its fibers. Pure white paper looks crisp, while a creamy tone adds warmth. Softer dip-pens and fiber tips work well with textured paper which adds interest, as in this example; if using a hard-tipped drafting pen, a smoother surface will look better.

Pens for Flower Drawing
A traditional dip pen, as used in this rose sketch, allows variation in line, which adds interest and elegance to the drawing. Drafting pens can look rather mechanical, as they give a very definite line with no variation in weight (thickness). This can look very effective however, particularly if you are able to use a very smooth, continuous, confident line.

Flower Drawing Tips:
If you aren't confident with pen, try drawing a very light sketch in pencil first, then doing the ink line. You may choose to use a very even, regular line weight for a crisp, illustrative look. Alternatively vary the weight, lifting the pen for a lighter line where the petal curves away from you.

Step By Step Flowers in Ink Tutorials:

Draw a Rose in Fiber Tip Pen
Sketch a Rose Using Computer Graphics
Draw a White Lotus in 'Digital Ink'
Draw a Rose in Colored Pencil
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