Toad Hollow Studio's Drawing Tutorials And Classes by Carol Rosinski

How To Draw A Flower

Part Two - Steps 5-7
draw a flower part two step five

Step Five - Shade the Entire Flower and Stem

Use a 2B pencil for this step.

Fill in the rest of the petals with side-of-pencil shading. So that the lines of the interior petals don't get lost in the hatching, stop a little short of their edges.

You won't be able to fill in the smallest petals very precisely yet.

Shade in the stem, too. On this stem, the shadows were darkest on the left edge.

After the petals are filled, switch to "tip of pencil" shading.

Use the tip of the pencil to shade in the smallest petals and refine the shading.

Shading tip: Leave the petal edges free of shading and darken the petal behind it.

I made the stem longer at this point. After the flower was shaded, it looked "heavier" and I felt that a longer stem would balance it well. Make any final decisions about your composition now too.

draw a flower part two step six

Step Six - Shadow Adjustments

Use a 2B pencil for this step.

Now use a dull pencil tip to darken and adjust any shadows that need it.

Keep squinting your eyes and comparing the drawing to the model as you work.

If the pencil tip becomes to wide to work with in the small areas, you can make the tip smaller again by stroking it back and forth across scrap paper while turning it.

A lot of drawing is about adjusting your work until it matches reality. It's nearly impossible to get shapes and values right the first time, so constantly compare your drawing to the model and take the time to bring your drawing closer to what you see.

draw a flower part two step seven

Step Seven - Increase Contrast and Add Final Details

Use a 4B pencil, a kneaded eraser and a vinyl eraser for this step.

Sometimes graphite pencil drawings of flowers need a little help to look as bright and beautiful as the real thing. A great way to do that is to create more contrast.

First, with the dull tip of a 4B pencil, begin to darken the very darkest shadows even more. Pay special attention to the shadows in the creases between petals.

Next, use the kneaded eraser to lighten the lightest highlights. To do that, pinch the eraser into a wedge shape and stroke the thin edge along the petal edges to lighten them. Then, lay the edge of the eraser along the petal edge and gently pull it down into the petal to blend the highlight in a natural looking way.

I darkened the shadow edge of the stem so that it matches the contrast of the flower too.

To add even more interest, add the three downward angled bud casings at the bottom of the flower. (Practice on a scrap piece of paper first.) Draw them "loosely", with the side of the pencil, in just a few quick movements. If you lay down the marks so that one side or the other is a little darker, the casings will look shadowed and realistic. To make the middle one look bent, tap a highlight across its middle with the pinched tip of a kneaded eraser.

Finally, erase any left over lines and smudges and sign it!


  • Drawing paper - I used Canson Classic Cream.
  • Drawing pencils - 2H, 2B, and 4B or similar grades will do. (Here are my pencil reviews.)
  • Kneaded Rubber Eraser
  • Vinyl Eraser

Carol Rosinski
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Drawing Made Easy, Getting Started by Carol Rosinski
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Toad Hollow Studio - Teaching how to draw since 1999