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How to Draw a Rose

How to Draw, Teaching Your Child

This is a detailed step-by-step guide for teaching your child how to draw a rose that is in full bloom and viewed from above. To this end, the suggestions are geared toward techniques for beginners who want to create an art series or just need thorough instructions for how to draw a rose that looks real. The minimum age for these instructions is about seven; depending on how talented your child is, s/he might attempt this even earlier!

These instructions came about when attempting to help my child decorate a large box to make it look like the wall of an enchanted Disney castle where inside the princess lay in deep slumber awaiting her prince to come and awaken her and her household with a kiss. After much trial and error, this is the easiest set of instructions which at the same time provide enough variation to not come across like a cookie cutter method for drawing roses.

What you want to use:
High quality crayon (not the freebie kind you get at the restaurants)
Regular white drawing paper

Step One: The Center
Each rose begins with the center. Those new to this kind of drawing will frequently make the mistake of beginning by defining the outer parameter, but in the case of roses this is a mistake. Simply find a spot on the paper where you want the center of the rose to be and use the crayon to draw a gently twisting line that circles back onto itself. It might look a little like the Arabic letter”ﻰ”.

Step Two: The Petals
While it would be simple to draw each and every rose petal in exactly the same shape, what makes a successful and professional looking end result is a rose that is unique in its execution. Teaching your child how to draw a rose will require you to use a real rose and show your child how each petal – though somewhat similar in form – is nonetheless different in some small aspects.

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When you used at first the Arabic alef maksu for the center, at this point you could use the “ﻉ” (ain isolat), “ﻜ” (kaf medial), and other such symbols to surround the center. The trick is to keep it light and not place these petals too close to one another.

Step Three: Adding Depth
Once you have a satisfactory rose design, help your child to focus on the detail work for the petals. Far too often those who are just learning how to draw a rose rush to the end without paying attention to the unique properties of the individual petals.

Help your child to realize that each rose petal has a very distinctive spot where it curls just a little. Capturing this depth may be accomplished by using a crayon that is a shade darker than the one used to color in the petal.

Step Four: Leaves
Rose leaves are very well defined and serve as a counterpoint in rose drawings. Beginners learning for the first time how to draw a rose are tempted to employ the same airy lines for the leaves as they used for the petals. This will not create a true rose picture. In the same vein, those who seek to make the petals as well defined as the leaves may succeed in crafting an outstanding rose, but it will look plastic instead of realistic. Make sure to teach your child the nuance of sharp edges for the leaves versus the soft curves for the petals!

Step Five: The Stem
It is interesting to note that stems rarely show when drawing a rose bush. Unless you draw a rose that is lying down or a rose in a glass vase, hint at the stem by including the occasional glimpse of a straight green line from which leaves are originating.

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Hints and Variations
Older children will appreciate learning how to draw a rose with colored pencils and eventually even pastel chalks on dark paper. For young children, wait to graduate from crayon to colored pencil when they have a bit more control over adjusting the pressure applied to the pencil.

If your child loves to draw with a pencil, work on texturing early on. Underscore that each petal will be textured slightly differently, depending on the lighting, and that it is this difference that presents both appeal and level of difficulty to the rose drawing. An HB pencil is the drawing instrument of choice for those wanting to use a black and white look with the possibility of smudging around the edges to soften the appearance.