• How to Draw Flowers Part 1: Geraniums

    Hi, everyone! It’s Ana, and I’m back with another tutorial. Today I’m going to expand on the motif in my last post and show you how to draw flowers using a simple and enjoyable technique! So sit back, relax, and get ready to illustrate some of my favorite flowers: geraniums! (Don’t love geraniums? Check out…

    How to Draw Flowers Part 1: Geraniums
    Keep reading for a step-by-step on how to draw flowers (specifically: geraniums) using pen, ink, and a bit of gold paint!

    I love drawing geraniums because they are beautiful and surprisingly simple! They can enhance anything from a greeting card to mail art, and drawing them doesn’t require special tools. Today, I’d like to teach you how to create this simple and beautiful flower illustration! Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, I promise that you’ll be able to do it.


    You’ll need a few key supplies to draw flowers! They include: 

    • Watercolor paper (I used my watercolor sketchbook)
    • Black Muji pen (size 0.38mm)
    • Small, flat watercolor brush (I use 1/8”)
    • Size 0 watercolor brush
    • Gold sumi ink (or any gold watercolor)
    How to Draw Flowers Part 1: Geraniums
    I prefer the Muji pen to any other gel pen because the ink dries quickly, flows reliably, and is rich in pigment. It’s also extremely affordable!

    1. Draw the Open Bloom

    The species I lean toward illustrating is a wild geranium. I love the tissue paper-like delicateness of the petals! It’s your average five-petal flower, but with a little extra depth, and not quite as “bunched” as a common geranium. To start, let’s draw the basic anatomy of the geranium bloom. First, draw out the five flower petal structure, overlapping a few of the petals. I actually drew seven petals total, so don’t be afraid to add more!

    How to Draw Flowers Part 1: Geraniums
    Wiggly and uneven lines are encouraged! The imperfect line gives this illustration a fine, pretty quality.

    How to Draw Flowers Part 1: Geraniums

    Next, thicken lines where there are naturally areas of shadow. See the example below to understand what I mean!

    Now, define the center of the flower with lines.

    I drew fine lines from the center outward to create a circular structure.
    Try adding a scribble-style ring around the middle to make the center a little darker.

    On the ends of the petals (areas where it’s a little more hilly and uneven), add little veins reaching in towards the center.

    These lines should be quite delicate and give the petals that tissue paper softness.

    Add little circles to the center of flower—these are called the anthers (or what we think of as the area that collects pollen).

    Fill in the areas around the anthers with your black pen to add more contrast. Stippling (drawing little dots) works for this, too!

    For the final step of this bloom, stipple (dot) in some contrast.

    I added stippling to the naturally darker areas, like where we defined the center. Then, I added shadowing to the overlapping petals. (Again, to “stipple” means to add dots for shading!)

    2. Draw the Buds

    Geraniums naturally bud in little clusters, so for this part I’m going to show you how to draw three of them. You’ll begin by drawing the base of each bud.

    Try to emulate the shape of little dinosaur prints!

    Now draw in the little flower buds. To do so, try to emulate the shape of buds below!

    Next, add some shadows by using thicker lines.

    Again, add little lines and stippling for more soft depth and definition! Draw in some little accessory buds, too.

    3. Draw the Stems

    For the stems, you’ll want to employ imperfect lines again. Both sides of the stem don’t need to be identical! Draw in the stem beneath the full bloom like so:

    Now draw in the stems for the three little buds.

    Geraniums are a bit fuzzy, so add little hairs to the stems!

    4. Add in the Leaves

    Geranium leaves have a bit of a sawtooth look to them! The leaves aren’t smooth, and they’re quite segmented.

    You may notice that I use two lines per vein to give the center of each leaf more depth.

    A background leaf is a great idea to add some dimension to your illustration! To draw a folded leaf in the background, start with the contour of a leaf that looks a little bit like a taco. The bottom will be straight, like a stem, and the top will have the same silhouette as the other leaves.

    Like layers of a mountain range, draw in that second leaf layer; this shows the bottom part of the leaf that is folded up. Then add diagonal parallel lines to the folded portion you just drew, which adds some shading and realism.

    Notice that my parallel lines don’t totally connect from edge to edge.

    Add some lines to the leaves (I do them in little pairs) and add stippling to achieve that contrast that we love!

    5. Blend Out the Ink

    Now it’s time to blend out the ink using water and a watercolor brush! I prefer a tiny flat brush for this portion, as I feel more in control of the wet surface and moistened pen ink. Using your wet watercolor brush, pull color in places where we initially drew in a lot of contrast or heavier lines.

    When I say “pull color”, I simply mean go over your ink with water and a brush! The water will tease out some of the ink, resulting in a gray watercolor effect.

    Pull more color to softer, lighter areas to create shadow and fill around the illustration.

    I like the color bleed effect that the water has when you pull outside of the lines. Don’t be afraid to be heavy handed; the water doesn’t dry as dark as it seems!

    I have to say: I really love the Muji pen when I draw flowers because even though there is some color lift on the illustration, the lines and faint dots you made still stay in place! This is a quality I find unique to Muji pens. If you’re using a different pen, you may need to go back in and add stippling to redefine areas that the water disturbed.

    6. Add Some Bling

    To be honest, you can skip this step — but I love the organic, elegant quality that gold sumi adds to the piece. Note: you can do this portion with any gold ink, watercolor, or Finetec paints. First, use a little water to mix the paint to the consistency of cream. Then, use your brush and the gold sumi to make dots, contours, lines, shadows, etc.!

    Top off your illustration by using your black pen to add little dots around the flower. Doing so adds a whimsical effect — it’s almost like there are seeds in the air!

    Congratulations: You Know How to Draw Flowers!

    Look at that, you ar-tist! You’ve drawn a gorgeous geranium that can be used to decorate envelopes, cards, or simply your wall! I really love this tutorial because you can take infinite creative liberties! Add as many or as few buds as you want to! Draw some leaves or don’t draw leaves! The beauty of illustrating botanicals is that there is so much variety to them in reality that you can artistically depict them however you’d like.

    I used simple Kaitlin Style calligraphy to label this flower!

    I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, and we’ll reconvene next week for another tutorial over how to draw flowers (probably poppies)!


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