Draw This Rose, Step by Step!

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Whether we're filling up a vase or creating some new artwork, roses have our hearts. And while it's always hard to compete with nature's beauty, colored pencils do a pretty darn good job of getting this flower's deep, romantic color just right. Want to draw one? We'll walk you through it.

How to draw a colored pencil rose, step by step

Step 1: Start with big shapes

Using a real flower as your model, look at the larger shapes that comprise the bloom. Draw them as circles on your page using a light colored pencil. It’s OK that they’re not the exact shape of the petals — at this stage, you want to ensure that your scale is correct and the relationship between petals is accurate.

Step 2: Refine the big shapes

Once you’ve got the scale down, you can being to refine your shapes. Look at the edges of the petals and mimic them as contour lines. Where does the petal dip? Does it have any nooks or crannies? Go over the initial lines you made, but don’t be afraid to make new ones.

Step 3: Color all over your flower

Now begins the all-important layering process! Start by selecting one color that you feel “sums up” the entire flower. For a red rose, for instance, select a light to medium red. Then, without pressing too hard, color in all of the petals and leaves. Make sure that you still see some of the paper showing through! This will be your base, and you’ll build more hues on top of it.

Step 4: Begin layering hues

Once you’ve got your base down on paper, start coloring petal by petal. You can select the same color as your base or a different hue — just don’t add your darkest color yet. Use this step to build layers. With each layer, you should see less and less of your paper and more of a waxy finish on your drawing.

Step 5: Add the darkest color

Now's when you bring the drama! Break out your darkest pencil and use it to create shadows or make other details pop. Start gently and build up gradually to bring bold color to the very darkest areas.

Step 6: Blend with a lighter color (optional)

If you want your color (especially your darkest hue) to look more smooth and blended, try this: Take a lighter color pencil (like something you’d use as a highlight) and drag it across the top of your colored pencil work. This will help blend your deepest shadows with the rest of your colors. Keep going until you're content with your final product!

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Draw This Rose, Step by Step!