How to Draw a Rose With Pastels

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Illustrate the natural contours of a rose in your drawings.
Illustrate the natural contours of a rose in your drawings. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

When artists want to illustrate nature, many turn to the medium of pastels to express themselves. Pastels are crayons or pencils made of pure pigment and bound with gum or wax, making them an ideal choice for creating softly shaded and vibrant works. You may use oil pastels, soft or hard pastels. Oil pastels are the most vibrant and allow colors to build on top one another in thick layers. However, soft and hard pastels are ideal for blending shades together. Choose whichever best suits you and your project type.

Things You'll Need

  • Graphite pencil
  • Thin pastels
  • Thick pastels
  • Paper towel

Use a graphite pencil to draw a soft outline of the rose you want to draw. Do not press too hard, as indentations in the paper will result in uneven pastel application.

Outline the drawing with a thin pastel. Use a color that is one shade darker than the hue you intend to use to fill in the rose's petals. Press gently to avoid breaking the crayon.

Outlining the rose's petals creates added definition.
Outlining the rose's petals creates added definition. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Fill in the rose's petals with color. Use a dark shade towards the edges, both towards the outside of the petals and towards the rose's center. Use a light shade towards the middle of the petals, as this is where the light naturally hits, making the shade appears brighter. Use a white pastel as a highlighter when you get to the points on the rose where light might shine directly.

Represent the natural shade variations present.
Represent the natural shade variations present. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Blend the shades and highlighting within the rose's petals together using the corner of a paper towel.

Use a slightly darker shade to illustrate the underside of the rose's petals. These petals are especially apparent in the center of the flower and if you are looking at the rose from the side.

Add depth to the rose with shade variation.
Add depth to the rose with shade variation. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Include a stem and a background if you wish. Do not forget to include elements of the rose's greenery, such as the stamen, leaves and thorns. Try to make your drawing look as botanically accurate as possible.

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