Featured Video Play Icon

How to draw a rose

Learning how to draw a rose step by step is simple.

When we think of drawing something familiar like hands, or lips, a cat, or a rose – we often forget about the imperfections and unique shapes and textures each individual object or creature has. Learning how to draw a rose is no different.

I see this a lot especially in wildlife art. Where every animal has perfectly clean fur or no broken feathers. When in reality things are dirty and have imperfections. Teeth break and claws get snagged and hands have wrinkles on them.

In my video of showing how I draw an elephant, you can see how I keep all the imperfections in the drawing.

As you’re learning how to draw a rose. Take into consideration the realistic imperfections.

Details which – when included – make for more interesting drawings and paintings.

So as we draw more and more – it’s so important to build up a visual bank of references in our minds. References based on in-person observation or true-to-life reference photos.

This way we’re drawing from what we SEE and not from what we think we know.

In the case of how to draw a rose there are so many details we can include:

  • the half dead petals,
  • the petals that are half bent,
  • the holes where the insects ate through,
  • the broken thorns.

As I’m showing you how to draw a rose in the video above, I’m limiting myself to simple contour lines. This forces me to look at my reference photos (or actual roses) MORE than looking only at my drawing. This forces myself to take notice to the imperfections and real qualities of the roses I’m drawing.

As I’m laying these lines down, I’m only looking at the petals around the immediate petal I’m drawing. Seeing how each affects each other. Working from petal to petal until I have a finished drawing of a rose. Learning how to draw a rose is easier when you’re looking at the larger shapes first. Then the smaller shapes made by the internal petals. Starting your drawing on the outside and slowing working inward.

I’m treating these drawings as quick warm-ups.

Giving myself no more than 5 minutes to draw each of them.

I’m probably looking at the reference 80% of the time and my actual drawing 20% of the time.

So take notice to every detail and don’t be afraid to embrace them in your drawings.

Featured Video Play Icon

VIDEO: Quick Elephant Sketch

In this video I share my process of drawing an elephant in my sketchbook. Keeping things mellow by starting the drawing slowly with a bic pen.

After looking at the initial drawing I thought it needed more energy. So I added a black watercolor wash to the shadow areas. Then I went over some of the lines with a more inky pen.

I hope you enjoy this speed drawing video.

Featured Video Play Icon

VIDEO: April 2019 Sketchbook Tour

In this video I take you on a tour of my April 2019 sketchbook. This is one of the sketchbooks I took on my 3 month trip throughout SouthEast Asia.

You’ll see pages of my sketchbook where I drew with everything from pen and ink to watercolor.

I believe a sketchbook is a place where you can draw without worrying about perfection. A place to capture your ideas and the things you see in a creative way… and with whatever medium you want.

Featured Video Play Icon

VIDEO: Sketching Faces in my Sketchbook

In this video I share my morning sketchbook warm-up of drawing faces. I only spent a few minutes on each face, but it helps me break the ice with the drawings I make later in the day.

Featured Video Play Icon

VIDEO: Sharpie Raven Speed Drawing

In this video I drew a raven with a sharpie marker.

I often keep note of which markers are running out of ink because they create interesting textures. They’re also helpful for shading because you have more control over how much ink builds up.

Featured Video Play Icon

VIDEO: Crow Speed Drawing

In this video I drew a crow. Even though crows are black, their feathers create a lot of interesting textures when they reflect the light.

Featured Video Play Icon

VIDEO: Ganesha Speed Drawing

In this video I drew Ganesha. Many many lines. Total time to draw was around 20 minutes. I’m trying to focus more on staying loose with my drawings which is why I’m mostly laying down a lot of contour and thought lines.

Featured Video Play Icon

VIDEO: Toucans in the Jungle Speed Drawing

In this video I’m showing you a speed drawing of a toucan and flower sketches.

Often when I’m drawing in my sketchbook I’ll layer drawings in and around and on top of each other. An easy way to make your sketchbook pages look more interesting.

Featured Video Play Icon

VIDEO: Sketchbook Tour 2017

In this video I share my favorite sketches from 2017.

I had a great time drawing this year. Typically, I rip out my favorite drawings after I complete a sketchbook and put them in a portfolio case to protect them. This helps me save space and wrap my head around what I’ve made during the year.

Featured Video Play Icon

VIDEO: Drawing at a coffee shop

A few times a week Nalena and I go to a coffee shop to draw. We both work at home so it’s nice to get out. On this day we decided to ride my moto to James Coffee Co in downtown San Diego.

Sometimes it can feel strange drawing in public. You feel like people are always looking over your shoulder (sometimes they do). But it’s good practice to help you feel less afraid of sharing your work. Many times over the course of an hour people would walk up and ask to see our drawings. It was so much fun.

I hope you enjoy the video.