Learning how to draw a rose can teach us so much more about just drawing a rose.
When we think about drawing something familiar like hands, lips, a cat, or a rose. We often forget to consider the imperfections and unique textures of each individual subject.
A common curse with learning how to draw is that we often resort to drawing what we know. Rather than drawing what we actually see.
Think about a rose. We know it's simply a bunch of petals in a circular formation. That's what we know about a rose. However, when you actually look at a rose intently. You notice so many unique characteristics about it.
Embrace the imperfections as you learn how to draw a rose
For example, imperfections are overlooked in most photo realistic paintings and drawings. You'll see hyper clean and bright representations of subjects. A model with perfect skin or a tiger with the cleanest fur. When in reality things are gritty, broken, dirty, and far from perfect.
Keep the dirt! Details, which, when included in your work make for interesting drawings and paintings.
The more and more you draw, it helps to pull from a bank of realistic references. References ingrained in your mind from hours and hours of looking and drawing things in real life.
Look at real subjects in person. Instead of a clean corporate stock photo of a rose, look at a real rose in someone's yard. Build up a mental bank of references. Drawing from what you actually see and not from what you think you know.
Making a case for learning how to draw a rose
In the case of drawing a rose. Draw the broken petals, the broken thorns, and holes where the bugs ate through.
In the drawing video above, I'm sketching in pen. Limiting myself to only lines. Finding and recording all the details from the references I'm looking at. As I'm looking at these lines, I'm looking at the petals next to each other. Forcing myself to take notice to the imperfections. Noticing the realistic qualities of the roses I'm drawing.
As I'm putting these lines down, I'm looking at the petals next to the petals I'm drawing. Seeing how each affects the next. Moving from petal to petal until I have a finished drawing of a rose.
I'm treating these drawing as quick warm ups. Giving myself no more than a few moments to draw them. Looking at the reference 80% of the time and the paper 20% of the time. My hand is moving on it's own recording what I see.
Drawing imperfections all the time
Include all the imperfections of what you're referencing in your drawings. Make a daily drawing habit of capturing imperfections in your work.
Even if you're making just a quick sketch of your coffee cup, keep the imperfections. This approach will help you see better. From drawing a coffee cup to drawing a portrait. You'll have better observation skills to bring your drawings and paintings to a new level.
You'll start to see like an artist. Which will result in you creating work that is more honest. Resulting in relatable work. Drawing things how they really are and not in a way we think they have to look.
When you are working on larger more time intensive things such as portraits for example. You're going to find yourself including unique qualities. Wrinkles, characteristic shapes, and other elements included in your drawings will really push your work into a different level.
Keeping your work and observations honest about what you're drawing. Things aren't perfect. Embrace this as creatively as you can.