How to Draw a Sunflower
Step 1. Guideline circle
Draw a large circle on the upper half of the page (or area where you want the flower to be). This circle will dictate the size of the flower, so make sure to leave some space underneath for the stem. Draw your cicle lighter than I have in the image below, this circle is only a guideline and will be erased away later (I drew it darker to make sure you could see it :D)
Here is a video version of the tutorial if you want to see it drawn in real-time
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Step 2. Smaller Circle
Now draw a circle within the larger one that is about half its size. If you want the sunflower petals to be small you can draw this circle bigger and if you want the petals to be big, draw this circle smaller.
Step 3. Center Core
Draw a circle that is only slightly smaller than the last one and draw it slightly towards the left of the circle. There will be a little more space on the right side than the left. Make sure that none of these 3 circles are touching, use an eraser to fix any mistakes as you go. Laying down a good foundation will make this much easier.
Step 4.First Petal
Now that we have the center of the flower and outer edges set up, we can begin drawing the petals. The key to drawing flower petals is to draw them moving away from the center, think of sun rays coming off a sun. Our little sun buddy in the diagram is here to help us remember this point.
Draw a curved line from second circle to the outer circle, try to copy the curve drawn in blue.
Step 5. Bottom of Petal
Now lets add a line slightly below the other one and make them meet at the outer circle. Notice how the first line curved up while this one hangs down. One of the key characteristics of Sunflowers is that they have pointed petals. Most flowers have more rounded tips but make sure to capture these sharp corners when drawing sunflowers.
Step 6. Petal Above
Lets draw a petal that is slightly above the last one, repeat the process that we used for the last one but make sure the bottom line of this petal starts at the top of the last one. Notice how the line in pink is intersecting with the last petal rather than at the second circle. This overlaps tells us that the initial petal is above the one we are drawing now.
Step 7. Lower Petal
Add another petal but this time give some room between. Giving this kind of uneven spacing in the beginning will help us develop natural layers to the petals. Dont forget to make those petal tips sharp.
Step 8. Double Petals
Add two more petals to the bottom of the sunflower, these two are close together but arent touching. Make sure to draw the curves moving away from the center (Sun Buddy is still here to remind us :D )
Step 9. Top Right Petal
For this petal we go above the first two that we drew, pay attention to the spacing that I am using between the petals and how they arent perfectly even.
Step 10. Left Petals
Add two petals to the top left, notice how they all have sharp tips and also vary slightly in size.
Step 11. Center Left Petal
Draw a slightly larger petal moving to the left.
Step 12. Petal Below
Draw a petal slightly below the one we just drew. Notice how the flower is starting to come together!
Step 13. In Between Petals
Now that we have the first layer of petals we can start adding the ones underneath. Draw a triangular shape that connects at the two petals (check the blue line in the diagram). Notice how we can see the edge line that go to the core of the flower for these petals. Make sure to get this overlap.
Step 14. Petal Tips
We continue adding to the flower by drawing these tips in the spaces. Keep these tips sharp and pointed away from the center.
Step 15. Layering Continued
We keep repeating the process of adding tips, try to give them slightly different shapes so there is variety. Notice how the left side of the drawing below is starting to look really full and beautiful!
Step 16. Lower Right Petal
Add a petal with slightly longer edges than the tips we just drew. Since this empty space is larger we will see more of this petal.
Step 17. Top Petal
Repeat the last step but with the space near the top of the sunflower.
Step 18. Filling Spaces
Add two petals that almost meet at the core in the two large spaces that we have left.
Step 19. Tiny Tips
In the small spaces that we have, add tiny triangles to indicate more petals that are layered behind. Make sure that these tips still fall inside the circle guidelines that we drew earlier.
Step 20. Draw a Stem
Lets add a stem to the flower by drawing two vertical lines coming down from the center of the flower. Notice that the stem is just slightly to the right side of the flower because we drew the flower facing to the left. This is why we drew the smallest circle slightly to the left, the slightly larger space between the two core circles gives us the indication that we see more of the right side of the core. (I know that this sounds slightly complicated but you will start to understand what I mean as you draw more flowers :D )
Step 21. Add a Leaf
Add a leaf to the stem, feel free to play with the shape of the leaf and see what you like. I drew my leaf fairly small and with some jagged edges to give it a naturalistic feel.
Step 22. Tips & Shading
Fill in the tips on the left side of the flower like we did for the right side. Once you have that completed, start adding some lines to the tops of the petals close to the center of the flower (small lines in blue in the diagram). Also start adding slight shading to the right side of the core.
Step 23. Corner Lines
Darken the corners of the petals where lines overlap.
Step 24. Shade the Center
Add shading to the central core of the sunflower, I usually keep my shading fairly light but if you want a more realistic looking sunflower make it darker. Sunflower seeds that occupy this area are usually very dark.
Step 25. Shade the Stem
Add shading to the stem right before it disappears under the petals, this will show that the stem is behind the flower.
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!