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How to Shade & Shadow a Rose Flower Drawing

All flowers require shading and shadowing to make them look realistic.
Decorative and Stylized flowers, hand drawing image by dpaint from Fotolia.com

Proper shading and shadowing in drawing are key elements to creating realistic pictures. Knowing how to master the techniques of shading and shadowing brings to life your drawings and enhances your ability as an artist. At first these techniques may be a bit difficult to perfect. Practice, however, will increase your ability to shade and shadow with ease. A rose is a common subject on which to practice these techniques. Following a few easy steps will send you on your way to proficiency in shading and shadowing a rose.

Things You'll Need:

  • Paper
  • Paper Stump
  • Pencil

Consider value, the lightness or darkness of a tone. Make note of areas on the rose drawing that will require darker values, such as the center. Make note of lighter values on the rose as well such as the petals. Remember that variation in value is what will bring the rose to life.

Determine light source and position. Outline contour lines of rose petals paying special attention to areas that are not in direct light. Add heavier weight to these lines as they will be shadowed. In doing this you are giving the rose drawing tonal value.

Shade the rose using a hatching technique.Hatching is a drawing technique in which fine parallel lines are quickly drawn side by side to create shading. Using various line weight while hatching will give the illusion of a three-dimensional form. Consider the position of each petal and how it correlates to the rose as a whole. Make light hatch marks on each individual section of the rose, following it's natural form. Increase darkness and pencil weight for areas that call for more attention.

Add contrast. Place darker values in between the rose petals as well as at the base of the petals. Blend contrasting values together carefully using a paper stump. Your finger will work, too, but may not produce the desired result.

Add texture to the petals of the rose. Lightly draw veins in the petals to create dramatic detail.

Utilize cross contour lines. Cross contour lines will give the illusion that the rose petals are bending. Simply draw lines in the direction you think the petals should bend. Start softly and increase line weight as you see fit. Your mind will automatically associate the cross contour lines with bends in the petals.

Add final shadows. Increase line weight and shading on any areas you wish to add depth to. Darken the stem of the rose on the side that receives less light.

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