How to Draw a Rose – Most Complete Guide

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In this guide, you will learn how to draw a rose in easy to follow steps. Drawing a rose is deceptively hard but I will show you what to look out for and I will give you plenty of tips to make it easier for you to draw your own rose.

This article is split into three different parts. Each part will teach you how to draw a rose in a different style.

Choose the Kind of Rose, That You to Draw. You Will Jump to That Part of the Guide

Learn to Draw This Rose

Learn to Paint This Rose

Learn to Draw This Rose

How to Draw a Realistic Rose With Graphite Pencils

In this part, you will learn how to draw a realistic-looking rose with Graphite Pencils. Before we start you will need to get the right tools.

I always give some recommendations but you don´t need to use the exact same pens and Paper, that I did. You will get similar results if you just use the tools, that you are most comfortable with.

What Tools Will You Need For Drawing the Realistic Rose?

    • You will need an HB – Pencil
    • You will need a 6B – Pencil
    • You will need Paper to Draw on. I usually use thicker illustration board or sketching paper
    • An eraser. I strongly recommend a kneadable eraser because you won´t damage your paper with a kneadable eraser and you can control the values of the drawing better.
    • A paper stump to smudge parts or your drawing in a controllable way.

Step 1: Establishing the General Form of the Rose

We will start by using the HB Pencil to draw the general form of the rose. Draw these lines very lightly. They are only guidelines and they will be erased later on.

We will start by drawing a simple circle. It doesn´t have to be a perfectly round circle!

Next up, we will add a line to the left and the right of the circle. These lines will be slightly curved.

We will connect the ends of the two lines with a circle-like shape. Now we have established the core part of the rose. All that’s missing are the pedals around this core.

We will simply draw two ellipses around the core of the rose to have a guideline for the Pedals, that are going to be arranged around the core along these lines.

And with that, we have finished our rough guidelines and we will continue on to define forms of the rose in more detail.

Step 2: Defining the Form of the Rose in Detail

Before we get to draw the more defined lines we have to lighten up our guidelines. This is where a kneadable eraser is going to be very useful. Just roll the kneadable eraser over your drawing a couple of times until the lines are light enough.

You can also use a regular eraser and just carefully go over your drawing with it. But It’s much harder to do and you may damage your paper if you are not careful.

Now use the 6B pencil and start defining the form of your rose.

Start with two lines that go away from the core of the rose. These lines will define the width of our first rose petal.

These lines look very chaotic and you may be struggling with copying them. One thing that helped me with understanding the more complex forms of the rose is imagining the petals of the rose as paper.

So think of the petals as very thin paper and these stripes of paper emerge from the bottom of the rose and the further out from the center the more the petals will “peel” off the core of the rose.

Start from the middle of the rose and work your way to the edge. The pedals wrap around the core of the rose. So follow the guidelines that you drew earlier.

The further you get to the outer edge of the rose the bigger the pedals get and they also tend to fold further away from the core of the rose.

Continue drawing the Petals by following the guidelines and keep in mind, that the petals that are further from the core also have slightly differently shaped petals.

The top of these petals is curved in a wave shape.

The petals that are right at the outer edge are curved quite far away from the core of the rose. So you can see a lot of their surface compared to the other petals.

Finally, add some petals to the backside of the rose to give the whole drawing a little more depth.

And with that, we have finished establishing the general form of the rose. In the next step, we will rough out the shadow areas of our rose.

Step 3: Let´s Rough out the Shadow Areas of Our Rose

The light in this drawing is coming from the top and slightly from the front. With this in mind, we will start sketching out the shadow areas.

I have marked the shadow areas with an “x” so that you can see them easier but you don´t have to do that.

The areas, that I marked here are the core shadow areas. We will, later on, add some lighter shadow areas to other parts of the rose.

The core shadows are the darkest parts of any form or object.

You properly noticed that the core shadow areas in the middle of the rose are smaller and denser and the areas more to the outer edge of the rose are bigger.

This is because the middle of the rose is going to be the focal point of our drawing and so I will give this part of the drawing the most detail.

The further we move to the outer part of the rose the less detail we will give these areas.

And with these last few areas, we are finally done with establishing the core shadows of the rose. In the next part, we will finally get to shading our rose drawing.

Step 4: Shading Our Rose Drawing

Use your kneadable eraser again and lighten the lines a little bit. Then grab your 6B pencil and start filling in the core shadow areas.

Don´t press down too hard when shading in these areas because you will smudge them later on and if you pressed down too hard then it will be hard to smoothly smudge them.

Shade in the rest of the areas.

You don´t have to stay exactly inside the marked areas it´s no big deal if you go a little bit over them because you will smudge these areas in the next part and you will tidy up the shadow area, later on, with your kneadable eraser anyway.

Get your paper stump and start to smudge the core shadow areas. Move the stump in a circular motion and don´t press down too much.

Go over the area multiple times until the texture of the pencil is almost gone.

I smudged the shadow areas in a way, that some of them fade out towards the edge of the individual petals.

In this next part, we will make the core shadow areas darker.

We will use our 6B pencil and darken the already established areas a little further.

Continue darkening the core shadow parts but don´t press down too hard instead you can go over the areas multiple times to darken it further.

Smudge the darker shadow areas the same way as you did before. Use circular motions to smudge the darker shadows and pull the lighter shadows further out to the outer edge of the petals.

Some of the outlines will fade into the shadow areas which is good.

This will make the drawing look more realistic and the sharp contrast between the shadow and the light area will define the line for us anyway.

Use your HB-Pencil to go over the whole drawing again very lightly. We will slightly darken the whole rose a little bit so that we can add a few highlights with our kneadable eraser later on.

Now smudge the whole drawing very carefully and lightly.

And finally, use your kneadable eraser to erase every line, that went over the silhouette of the rose and tidy up your silhouette until you are satisfied.

Then use the eraser to add some highlights to the core part of the rose on the top of each petal.

This will make the rose look more realistic.

And that was the final step. You are done with your drawing. If you have questions regarding this guide then please write me a comment and I will answer a soon as possible.

How to Paint a Realistic Rose With Water Colors

In this part of the guide, I will teach you how to draw a realistic-looking rose in watercolors. Watercolor is quite an easy to use medium if you know how to paint with it correctly.

I will show you in easy to follow steps on how to use watercolors and how to draw a realistic-looking rose with it.

So let´s get started by picking the right tools.

What Tools Do You Need For Painting the Realistic Rose?

    • You will need an HB – Pencil.
    • A kneadable eraser. You can use any regular eraser but I always recommend a kneadable eraser because these are very versatile and they don´t damage your paper that easily.
    • You will also need watercolors. Any regular watercolors or waterbased colors like acrylic paint will do the trick just fine.
    • And Brushes. I would recommend using a mid-sized and a fine brush for details. Make sure, that you don´t use very cheap brushes. You can do a quick test by slightly pulling on the brush hairs. If they come off easily then you should not use this brush as it is a cheap brush and therefore not very useful.
    • Use a thicker kind of paper or illustration board. It´s just important, that the paper is sturdy enough to not get damaged by the waterbased medium.


Step 1: Let´s Start by Drawing the Guidelines for Our Rose Painting

We will start by establishing the general form of the rose.

Draw a U-shaped line with outwards curved lines on the top of the shape.

Use the HB-Pencil and draw the lines very lightly because you will erase these lines later on.

Next up draw an ellipse shape on the top of the U-shape to establish the perspective of the rose.

Now draw two more ellipses and connect them with the bottom part of the core of the rose.

Next up we will define the middle center part of the rose. Roses are at its core build like a spiral.

Now we will add the individual petals around the core of the rose.

The further we move to the outer edge of the rose the more the petals will “peel” off of the rose. The petals are arranged in a circle around the core of the rose.

So in the middle, the petals will be fairly straight but at the outer part of the rose, the petals will start to curve away from the core.

Continue to draw the individual petals starting from the center and move further to the outer edge of the rose. The petals will cover each other in front of the rose.

Step 2: Further Define the Form of the Rose

Use the kneadable eraser to lighten the guidelines and use the HB-Pencil to further establish the more detailed forms of the Rose.

You can also use a regular eraser but use it carefully and go over your lines with very little pressure to ensure, that you don´t damage your paper.

You already defined the generall shapes of the rose in the step before so you only have to follow the already established lines and just add a few details to them.

Keep in mind, that you don´t have to press down too hard. It is enough that you draw the lines with the weight of the pencil itself.

Step 3: Let´s Color the Rose Drawing

We will start by choosing three different colors.

One base-color, one mid-tone color, and one darker shadow color.

For the base color, I chose a nice deep red.

The mid-tone is a little more purple than my base-color and the dark color is almost black.

Start by picking the mid-sized brush and use it to apply water to the form of the Rose.

The use the red base color and apply it carefully to the wet part of the drawing. The color will slowly travel throughout the wet area and color it in a light red shade.

Don´t use too much water or the paper will start to curl up.

Then use the same base color again but with less water and start to establish the shadow areas. Keep the shadows light because you will darken them later on with the mid color.

Now use the two darker colors to establish the core shadows further and try to fade the colors out towards the outer edge of the petals. Use the very dark color only at the very core of the petals.

Keep in mind where the light is coming from and add shadow parts accordingly. In this painting, the light is coming from the top.

And finally, we will use the dark color and start adding some deep core shadows. These shadows will also fade out.

After you added the final pass of shadows our rose will have a nice contrast and the drawing will start to pop off the page.

And that was the final step. You are done with your rose painting. I hope you liked this step by step guide and I hope it helped you out.

As I mentioned above, if you liked this guide or if you have any questions feel free to leave me a comment down below and I will answer it as soon as I can.

How to Draw a Simplified Rose With Markers

In this part of the guide, I will show you how you can draw this simplified rose in a few easy steps.

You don´t need a lot of materials, so this is a perfect starting point for beginners as the shapes aren´t that complex either.

What Tools Do You Need For Drawing this Simplified Rose

  • You will need a HB-Pencil
  • You will also need a Brush pen or a black marker for the outlines
  • You will need color markers like Copic markers, for adding the color. You can also use watercolors or colored pencils if you want to.
  • And finally, you will need paper, that is right for markers. I would recommend a little thicker paper, like sketching paper but make sure, that the markers do not bleed on the paper. (Bleeding means, that the lines fade out but the lines are supposed to be sharp at the edges.)

Step 1: Let´s Establish the Basic Form of The Rose

We will start by using our HB – pencil and draw a simple circle in the middle of our paper. The circle doesn´t have to be perfectly round.

Keep the lines light as we will erase them later on.

Next up draw a straight line, that is going through the circle. This line will establish the orientation of the rose.

At the top of the straight line, we will now add two ellipses a smaller one which is going to be the core part of the rose and another bigger ellipse that is defining the width of the rose.

Then we will draw two lines that connect to the circle that we drew before.

Next up, we will define the stem of the rose and we will add the green base of the rose. Don´t make the lines of the stem too straight.

This is an organic form so make it look organic by curving the lines slightly.

Step 2: Defining the Shape of Our Simple Rose

Now its time to use the kneadable eraser! Rollover your drawing with the kneadable eraser until the lines are light enough for you to barely see.

Then, take your marker or brush pen, whichever you prefer, and start defining the forms of our simple rose.

Try to vary the weight of your lines to make the rose look more organic and alive.

This rose is, compared to the other roses, not very open jet.

So keep the individual petals close to the core and give them very well curved lines to further establish the form of the rose.

When you are done with defining the forms of the rose with the marker use an eraser or the kneadable eraser to get rid of the guidelines underneath the illustration.

Step 3: Coloring the Simplified Rose

In this final step, we will get to coloring our simplified rose. I used colored markers to do so but you can use whatever medium you want. The general approach is going to be very similar.

I choose three different colors to color our rose. One red base color, one darker red for the shadow areas and a green color for the stem of the rose.

Next up, I will choose the darker red color to establish the shadow areas of the rose illustration.

And the last part to color is the green stem.

And you are done with drawing this simplified drawing. I hope you had fun and this guide was helpful to you.

You can leave me a comment if you have any questions and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.

Download a Free Worksheet for Drawing These Roses

To help you follow this guide better you can download a Worksheet for free.

Just enter your email below and you will instantly be redirected to the download page where you can download every worksheet that you want for free including the “how to draw a rose” – worksheet.

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