Realistic Rose Drawing in 4 Steps With Photoshop

A realistic rose drawing can have many meanings within us. In this guide, I will teach you how to draw a rose that will look realistic and beautiful so you can create a drawing of a rose on your own to show it to people you care about.

In most tutorials that I have seen regarding how to draw roses, the end results create a very cartoonish picture. While there is nothing wrong with that if you want to just present the idea, it doesn't dive too deep into understanding the shapes that makes a rose.

This tutorial will look at all the fundamental steps and techniques needed to learn how to draw a rose flower so you can empower yourself to draw a rose with just your imagination. In other words, we are going to look at the technical side of drawing a rose.

A rose can be defined using one simple shape: a pentagon. This shape is the core of the rose, in which the first step would be to create a gesture drawing of your rose focusing on this shape in mind.

Sketching the realistic rose drawing

Split into three or four circular sections, the outer layer has five petals. Moving inwards, you get an alternation between three or two petals. In the center, the bud will mostly just contain two petals wrapped around one another to create an illusion of a spiral.

At the bottom, you will normally see five green sepals. Depending on how much the rose is blooming, you may only see one or two of these petals. Start with the bud and two overlapping petals. Then, increase the amount of petals to three on the next section or two. Finally, create the final overlapping section of five petals.

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Once you have the main idea with the gesture sketch, create another layer underneath it and fill it with a neutral grey. From there, lock the layer and start blocking in some shadows of where the light does not enter.

Finally, merge the two layers together to move on towards the next step of cleaning those gesture lines. So long as you keep the petals alternating in a pentagon spiral and overlapping one another following said spiral pattern, you can start constructing this flower in anyway shape without references.

Smudging the realistic rose drawing

A drawing of a rose is only as real as the textures you are able to draw. This time, instead of using a drawing tool, you will be switching to a smudge brush to get certain organic textures.

Using a chalk smudge brush, smudge the lines. The parts that you smudge will become shading and shadow points as a guide to add in additional details. You will also notice that the lines will become very jagged. This is OK because this method creates petal veins in the flower should you smudge it in the right direction.

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As you may have some gesture lines crossing over one another, now would be a good time to use the gesture lines to form the actual shape. Not all gesture lines are needed. Prioritize those that create overlapping petals.

When you are roughly done with this step, clean up any unwanted gesture lines near the borders and lock your layer. Locking down the layer will make sure that you will not accidentally paint outside of it when you are working on the details.

Detailing the realistic rose drawing

This step is all about getting the right values in place to make the rose look real. Anything that is dark is receded into the background and anything that is light is brought forward to the viewer.

A rose is very intricate with thin petals that wrap and bend near the edges. To get this effect, you need to paint the value differences very clear so it separates one petal from another correctly. There are essentially two methods to achieve this. The first is to paint very hard around the edges so the 100% of the color values get laid down.

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The second method involves setting the smudge brush to 100% pressure. With this setting, you can move the colors around to create the color divisions necessary to distinguish each petal.

Once you have all the textures finished, unlock the layer and clean up the outline of it by deleting any rough or blurry surfaces. Again, this is to make sure that the petals appear thin and solid.

Shading the realistic rose drawing

There are two methods of adding shading to your realistic rose drawing: painting it directly on the rose object or separately on a different layer. Painting it directly means you are sure of that color while painting on a different layer allows for more tweaking.

Make sure you are using the 'soft light' paint mode if you are using a different layer. This mode is excellent because it does not over coat the light and shadows with the color so it does not make it look too washed, too dark, or too light.

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Now, if you are painting it directly, set the brush to ‘soft light’ paint mode instead. It will have almost the same effect--just without the ability to tweak anything as you are drawing it directly on the rose.

Also, if some of the colors look too neutral, you can always use the dodge and burn tools to increase the intensity. Use all these tools to draw in shading, a background, and shadows from the surrounding environment.

So there you have it. Learning how to draw a rose is simple when you imagine the shape first. The ability to break down complex objects into simple shapes and then critically think through each step, while having confidence in using their tools, to build something wonderful is a great feeling that any artist can enjoy.

So regardless if you are doing this for fun or not, I hope you can see the importance of empowering yourself an the artist. I am sure that whoever receives your realistic rose drawing will see and appreciate the hard work you put in for them.