How to Draw a Rose Tattoo

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When drawing a rose tattoo, start with an ellipse shape, add sharp edges to create the folded petals, draw in dramatic thorns on the stem, and create thick, dark lines for the outline. Draw a rose tattoo design with creative tips from a professional illustrator in this free video on drawing.

Part of the Video Series: Drawing & Illustration Lessons
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Video Transcript

Joel Hickerson, Today we're going to learn how to draw a rose tattoo. First thing is the shape of the rose, which is kind of an ellipse. Next thing you want to think about is where are you putting this on your body? If it's going on your arm, it can be just a simple dynamic shape. Okay, so you've got the ellipse, and you flesh out all the details. Roses have thorns, don't forget, and that's kind of one of the dynamic elements, especially for a tattoo. You want sharp edges and bold lines, and you want to think about leaves. That's going to add to your design. So once you get the dynamic shape, draw what's a rose, and the easiest way to start with a rose is draw a little pinwheel at the end. Interestingly enough, about the rose tattoos, is it is one of the more popular tattoos, especially... well not just women, but men too. You find a lot of the tattoos in combination with other things, like tribal art, or barbed wire, like the contrast between the two. And once you get your rose drawn... now notice I'm drawing in pencil, so it's easier to make a mistake. And then you come back with your pen and flesh out the details. And basically what you've drawn with the pencil are your construction lines, and now you come back with your marker and finish drawing the drawing with a more finished look. Okay... you can do some shadows... you can get as busy as you want with this thing, but just remember... nice, bold lines, sharp edges is kind of your classic tattoo design. Okay, and it wouldn't hurt to place a picture of a rose in front of you, so you have the basic construction elements there right in front of you. Okay, and again, the shape of your vine or your stem on your rose will also depend on where you're putting it on your body. If you're wrapping it around your arm, it's going to look a little different than this. This is a good one for maybe the back shoulder, maybe the center or your arm. Okay, once you have your construction elements where you want them, you can come back with your marker... or your... and erase your construction lines. Then come back in again, and you want to do shadows. Okay... things that a tattoo artist can pick up on and transfer to your body. Okay... and remember to keep it thick. Give yourself some bold, dynamic shadows like that. Give yourself some weight to your figure, and texture to these leaves. And that's how you draw a rose tattoo.


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