How to Draw Hawaiian Flowers Step by Step

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Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise (Image: Illustrations and photos by the author)

If you are looking to capture some color and beautiful forms then Hawaiian flowers are a great place to find them. The many vibrant blooms of the Hawaiian Islands are a vast inspiration to artists worldwide. The following will take you through the steps for drawing Hawaii's state flower, the yellow hibiscus, the exotic bird of paradise and the white plumeria.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil with good eraser
  • Colored pencils
  • Drawing paper
  • White gel pen

Study the forms of these flowers before attempting to draw. If you do not have access to these flowers in physical form then study photographs of them. It helps to become familiar with the way they grow, their shapes and their colors before drawing them.

Use your pencil to outline the five petals of the yellow hibiscus flower. This is just to get a general idea of how the flower is laid out. The petals of a hibiscus are soft and wavy, not streamlined.

Sketch in the vertical lines on the petals and the center stamen and anther that hold the pollen, as well as its shadow on the petal below it.

Choose a variety of yellows and a few reds for shading. In this example, yellow, lemon yellow, golden yellow, red orange and mahogany were used.

Erase the sketch marks so that they only show lightly and shade all the petals in a light yellow except for the what will be the round red whorl in the center.

Shade the red whorl in the center of all the petals, blending with the colors as if they had bled together. Also use a golden yellow to shade the vertical lines in the petals and the pollen cluster at the tip of the stamen.

Shade the shadow of the stamen and pollen with a gray colored pencil and then color over with yellow to blend.

Use your pencil to outline the exotic shape of the bird of paradise. This is a more involved flower to draw, so study it carefully. Draw the leaf-like bract on the bottom first, then the vertical sepals, which will be orange.

Draw the unusual spear-like petals, which will be blue.

Choose a variety of colors to suit this flower. In this example, red orange, orange, mango, golden yellow, yellow, lime green, sky blue, turquoise and blue were used.

Shade the bract on the bottom first. This should be a mixture of green, red and yellow towards the tip.

Shade the sepals with a mix of golden yellow, mango and orange, erasing some of the darker sketch lines as you go.

Shade the blue petals carefully as they are quite narrow. Use a mix of deep blue, sky blue and turquoise, leaving the tops of them nearly white to make it appear as if light is glinting off of them. If you have a white gel pen, use it to highlight the tops of them.

Use your pencil to start the outline of the plumeria flower. These flowers have a distinct whorl of five, smooth oval petals that overlap. You may have to erase several times to get it right.

Erase the dark sketch lines, leaving a light outline once you have the petals situated.

Choose a selection of light colors for this flower. It is generally grows pure white with a center of buttery yellow. For this example, white, sand, pale rose, yellow and a white gel pen were used.

Use a mix of the pale rose and sand colors to lightly outline the petals, signifying their placement by shadows underneath where the petals overlap.

Color in the center with the yellow, making sure to leave the edges of the overlapping petals white.

Color in the petals with the white colored pencil and highlight all the edges with the white gel pen.

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