How to Draw a Poppy
Step 1. Guideline Circle
Start by drawing a circle that is slightly squished on the top right and bottom left, draw it higher up on the page with more room at the bottom for the stem of the flower. This circle will be the guideline for the outer edge of the poppy, look at the diagram on the left and how the flower fits witihn the guideline circle (in blue).
Make sure to take your time and erase away any mistakes! Laying down a good foundation will make the entire process much more fulfilling and get you a better drawing in the end. :D
Here is a video version of the tutorial if you want to see it drawn in real-time
Click Here to Open in New Tab
Step 2. Core Circle
Draw a circle towards the center of the guideline circle, this will be the core of the flower and all the petals will grow out from this area.
Step 3. Mid Line
Draw a small line coming downwards from the core, this will be the beginning of a petal.
Step 4. Right Curve
Now add a line of similar length as the last one but curving upwards, pay attention to the spacing between the lines. We are setting up the proportions for the petals so it feels balanced.
Step 5. Upward Line
Draw another line at the top close to the center, pay attention to how this line is curving out left and then into the right. These slight variations in curves will help make the flower feel organic, dont try to make your lines too straight or symmetrical, the beauty in flowers comes from these flowing lines.
Step 6. Left Curve
Now add another line to the left which is curving up slightly. Look at your drawing and double check the spacing between these lines, try to capture similar distances so that the next steps will be easier.
Step 7. Petal Edges
Now that we have drawn the start of the petals, we will begin adding the edges. The key to drawing the edges of flower petals is to remember that they flow out from the center/core of the flower. Think of sunrays coming off a sun, the edges will flow away. Our little Sun Buddy in the diagram is here to remind us of this point.
Add a line to the top curve that goes away from the core and goes to the guideline circle.
Step 8. Right Edge
Add a curving line to the small line on the right that curves slightly & goes to the guideline circle. Use the diagram on the left to help you compare the shape of your lines if the drawing on the right is difficult to understand. I use the diagram on the left to make it easier to see which line was added in the step :D
Step 9. Petal Finish
Now complete this petal by adding a curved line connection the two previous lines, I curved mine slightly outside the guidelines to give it a more rounded shape. Try to pay attention to the curved nature of these lines, it might feel slightly challenging at first but you will get the hang of it pretty quickly.
Step 10. Petal Two
Start the second petal by adding the top edge, with this line i stop before the guideline and leave quite a bit of space between.
Step 11. Right Edge
Add a curving line to the small line at the bottom that curves towards the last line, remember our Sun Buddy and how the lines are flowing away from the core.
Step 12. Petal Curve
Complete the petal by adding a curved line connecting the two, this curved line does not touch the guideline circle because we are leaving room for more petals underneath.
Step 13. Bottom Right
Now we have completed the two petals that sit at the top, lets start drawing the petals that are one layer below. Draw a curving line that starts at the previous petal and moves toward the guideline circle.
Step 14. Complete Petal
Finish this petal by curving up to the top right petal. Notice how we dont see as much of the edges of this petal because its being overlapped by these other two petals. This layering effect is crucial to capturing the beauty of flowers. This will feel slightly confusing at first but after drawing a few flowers it will be easier to see.
Step 15. Top Left
Start the third petal by adding a line that is upward curve that begins at the top edge of the bottom left petal. Its really starting to look like a flower now :D
Step 16. Outer Curve
Add a curving line that runs along the guideline to the define the outside of this petal.
Step 17. Petal Edge
Finish this petal by adding the final edge that stops at the petal to its right, keeping in mind the overlapping we discussed earlier.
Step 18. Third Layer
We have competed the four core petals of the poppy! Now lets add the third layer by drawing a tiny line from the bottom left petal going to the guideline. Since the next petals are a layer below, we will see even less of these petals.
Step 19. Large Curve
Draw a curving line that follows along the guideline, make this line fairly wide since it will connect to the bottom right petal.
Step 20. Edge
Complete this petal by adding its edge line that ends at the bottom right petal.
Step 21. Tiny Line
Start the next petal by adding a teeny tiny line from the top left petal. The reason I do these small lines separately is because they represent the side of the petal while the big lines represent the outer curve. Keep these things in mind will help us understand how to draw petals at different angles.
Step 22. Curve
Add a curving line that goes along the guideline and then disappears behind the previous petal. Notice how we have efficiently layered these petals without using any shading.
Step 23. Right Petal
Repeat the same steps on the right side, use the diagram on the left to understand the curvature of the line. If curved lines are really difficult for you at this point, try to break them down in segments like I have in the diagram on the left. Instead of thinking of the line as one line, think of it as multiple lines that each have their own characteristics. Getting these organic curves down takes sometime, but its definitely something worth learning!
Step 24. Top Curve
Add a tiny curve at the top in the space between the two top petals.
Step 25. Stem
Draw two vertical lines that are slightly curved and end at the center point of the flower. Make sure to get the alignment of the base right because you want to make it feel like the stem is supporting the flower at its center. It looks unnatural if we draw the stem too far off center when the flower is facing front.
Step 26. Leaf
Draw a line curving upwards from the stem, this will be the center line for the leaf.
Step 27. Top Edge
Add a line from the stem moving to the right that defines the edge of the leaf.
Step 28. Bottom Edge
Add a line with a similar tilt as the last one starting lower on the stem to define the bottom edge.
Step 29. Curve
Draw a curving line to finish the leaf. Play around with different shapes when drawing leaves, they come in varying shapes and its a lot of fun to see what types of curving lines you can use to draw them. Take sometime and do some leaf doodling on a separate piece of paper and see what you come up with.
Step 30. Shading Lines
Add two lines on the top right petal moving outwards, draw these lines closer to the core of the flower than the outer sides. These lines help define the form of the petals
Step 31. Shading Lines
Add similar lines to the other three petals
Step 32. Shade Core
One of the key characteristics of poppies is that they core is very dark while their petals are vibrant red (usually), so lets add shading to the core. Draw these lines in the same direction if you like a minimal look.
Step 33. Erase
Erase away the guidelines or any small imperfections you want to adjust. (yes my hands look really strange in this image LOL)
Step 34. Complete
Finish up the drawing by reinforcing any lines that accidentally got lightened when getting rid of the guideline. Add shading where you feel it would help, I have added shading to the stem where it goes underneath the flower to give it some depth and also in some of the corners of the petals.
Play around and see what type of shading you like, if you feel really proud of your drawing, you can trace your drawing by layering a piece of paper over it and putting it up against your window. This way you can see through, copy it and then experiment on this second drawing without worrying about ruining your drawing.
Celebrate your drawing!
Yaay finished the drawing! Thank you so much for letting me share my love for drawing flowers with you! I really hope this was fun for you and maybe (just maybe) this tutorial has helped you realize that you can totally learn how to draw. I learned drawing at a later age so I know that this is a learn-able skill that anyone can pick up at any time (with effort, of course).
Check out more of the tutorial on the site! I've put lots of effort into creating these free resources because I want more people to fall in love with drawing. So feel free to share the link to this tutorial with friends :D That would be tremendously helpful to me on this mission to spread the love for drawing.
I have created a 20 page Printable Workbook (PDF) that will teach you how to draw different floral arrangements. I wanted to create something that could really speed up someone's learning and actually get them drawing. I poured tons of time into it to make it as useful as possible to someone who wants to capture the elegance and beauty of flowers, I would looove it if you grabbed your copy and drew with me some more!
Im on a mission to share the joy and beauty of drawing flowers, will you join me on this adventure?
Learn how to draw flowers for homemade cards and other gifts/DIY projects. People just love receiving a hand-drawn card that has beautiful flowers on them!
20 Page Floral Arrangements workbook that will take you through the process of drawing gorgeous flowers!