How to Draw Sunflower Petals That are Twisting in Space

draw a sunflower petal

Follow this easy step by step tutorial on how to draw sunflower petals that are twisting and curling in space.

Drawing a sunflower petal is a lot like a twisting leaf.

Let's get started . . .

Draw your lines lightly, as some of them will need to be erased later on.

Draw the middle vein first . . . 

how to draw a sunflower petal

Sunflower petals usually have from three to several veins going toward the tip. There's almost always one that goes to the longest tip point and we will use this vein to establish the petal.

  • Draw the vein upward and then back down (like a wave), as shown.
  • Erase a section just before the peak ("A").

Draw a continuous line for the front edge of the petal . . .

draw a sunflower petal
  • Begin your line at "A".
  • Curve up and around the vein ("B").
  • Take your line through the erased section ("C").
  • Curve down and around the second vein part ("D).
  • Bring your line around to the tip ("E").

This line will be the front edge of the petal. This is the only line that is continuous -- the only edge that does not disappear behind the twist.

Draw the non-continuous side of the petal . . .

drawing sunflower petals
  • Draw the other side of the petal ("A") that is before the twist.
  • Bring it in close to the vein at "B".

This line (or edge) disappears behind the twist and reappears again at the top.

Curve the next line inwards . . .

sunflower drawings

This is where the line reappears out from behind the twisting part.

  • Draw the last side of the petal ("A").
  • Curve the line inwards at "B" right before it disappears.

This curved section is where the petal is foreshortened as it emerges from the twist. It's important to get this curved section correct to give the illusion of three dimensions.

Erase part of the veins . . .

draw a sunflower petal

The veins now need to be adjusted.

  • Erase the vein at "A".
  • Erase the vein at "B".

Move the veins over . . . 

drawing sunflowers
  • Move the vein at "A" up slightly.
  • Move the vein at "B" over to the right a bit.

This vein line has the illusion of continuing on as it twists around, even when we cannot see it. Placing this line correct plays a large factor in the petal having an illusion of three dimensions.

drawing sunflower petals tutorials with image of a real petal

Sunflower petals have more than one vein.

In this photo, see how the petal has three main veins that each come to a point, creating three points in all.

When drawing sunflower petals remember that they can have from one to many veins, it depends upon the type of sunflower.

Now is the time to place at least two other veins . . .

finished image of a drawn sunflower
  • Follow the shape of the petal and sketch two more veins, bringing them inward at the tip.
  • Create three points at the tip where each vein ends.

The petal is complete. If you are drawing a sunflower, you can add this type of twisting petal and it will seriously liven up your flower!

Can you imagine it as a beautiful petal (of many) on a sunflower?

Tips on how to draw sunflower petals . . .

tutorial on how to draw a sunflower petal with image of a real petal for botanical art illustration

The veins of sunflower petals are often where there're deep shadows from the grooves.

The veins "pull in" when the petal begins aging, which creates both these grooves and the edges to pull toward the middle (see the right side toward the tip).

Creating art and crafts builds new neural pathways in your brain and is a great way to keep your noggin healthy. Keep creating for optimal brain health!


~~~Samantha Mariah

Glossary words used on this "how to draw sunflower petals" page . . . 


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