“Atelier” is simply the French word for “studio”. It is a place where artists train in order to master realistic drawing and painting skills. Today, this French term continues to be in use, as that is where most American painters acquired their realistic drawing and painting training throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.


In How to Draw a Rose Part I, we discovered how to correctly identify the proportion and biggest shape of our rose. In Part II, we will use these big ideas to find the rest of our lines and shapes.

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Step 1: Find the next biggest shape

Once you have successfully found the biggest shape of your bloom, you now want to determine what the next biggest shape is. When looking at the petals, which petal is the biggest?

Once you decide on your biggest petal, use the same method of simplifying it into one big shape that we used on the bloom as a whole. Remember to use a small number of straight lines that describe the shape of your biggest petal.

how to draw a rose

Step 2: Use follow-through lines to draw the next biggest shape

We want to replicate this shape in our drawing, but we have to be careful. If we do not think about how this smaller shape relates to the whole, we are likely to put it in the wrong place or make it the wrong size.

Luckily, there is a method artists use to correctly place smaller shapes within bigger shapes that is called a follow-through line.

follow-through line is a line that extends beyond the shape it is describing until it hits the proportion box​.

By extending the line we are trying to place until it hits our proportion box, it makes it waaaaay easier to translate that line to our drawing because we already know how to translate lines that hit the outer edges of our box. (Not sure how to do this? Check out How to Draw a Rose Part I)

how to draw a rose

Step 3: Use follow through lines to translate the entire shape to your drawing.

how to draw a rose

Step 4: Erase back the lines you no longer need

how to draw a rose

Step 5: Repeat for your next biggest idea

Use this same method for your next biggest idea. Sometimes big ideas are the next biggest shape that you see, such as the petal we just completed in Step 4.

Other time, the next biggest idea can be something more abstract. In the image below, the two green lines represent a different kind of big idea. They are showing the separation of the top plane from the side planes.

This is a big idea because conceptually, it is very important for artists to be able to think in terms of big planes when adding the shading (more on this in a future post).

Use follow through lines to correctly place the green lines on your rose drawing.

Want to start atelier training? Join our Ateliyay! Painting Bootcamp today!

how to draw a rose
how to draw a rose

Step 6: Use big shapes as landmarks to refine your outer contour line.

Once you have a few big shapes placed accurately in your drawing, it gives you the reference points you need to start adding the ins and outs of your outer contour line, or outermost shape.

how to draw a rose

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Step 7: Continue using landmarks to add smaller shapes into your drawing

Look carefully at your biggest ideas and their relationship to the outer contour lines. What smaller shapes fit in which in-between spaces?

​Ask yourself how high and how low each smaller shape is within the whole.

If you get stuck, use a follow-through line to help you identify where a smaller shape belongs.

how to draw a rose

Step 8: Continue adding smaller pieces to the whole

Now is the time to be extra patient and thoughtful. Make sure you ask yourself lots of questions before placing each smaller shape. Good questions to ask yourself are
1. If I look at the rose as a whole, how far to the left or right is this shape?
2. If I look at the rose as a whole, how big or how small is this shape?
3. If I added a follow-through line to one edge of this shape, where would it hit my proportion box?

how to draw a rose

Step 9: Clean up your drawing

In order to draw this rose accurately, we made a whole lot of lines that we no longer need in our final drawing. These are known as construction lines. When we are done with our drawing, you want to clean all these lines away so that you have a nice, neat end result.

If you drew with heavy lines and are having a hard time erasing, a trick you can use is to trace your drawing onto a clean sheet of paper by holding your original drawing up to a window. It’s not cheating if you are tracing your own drawing!

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how to draw a rose

The end.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you now have a beautiful drawing of a rose. Remember, though, that I didn’t really teach you how to only draw a rose. This tutorial is really teaching you a method of drawing that you can apply to anything  you want to draw.

Check out our Ateliyay! Curriculum for more great drawing lessons.

Want to start atelier training? Join our Ateliyay! Painting Bootcamp today!

What subject are you going to apply your new drawing skills to next? Let me know in the comments and happy drawing 🙂


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