It’s hard to screw up a rose.

I’m currently working on my next art journal layout, and while it’s not ready to show yet, I felt compelled to write about my experience as I’m working on this new layout.

For this layout I’m going to be including a lot of cut out drawings of roses. Drawings by my hand, that is.

Roses are a blessing and a curse to draw all at the same time.

The curse is that they have so many dang petals. They’re not as simple as sketching out a five- or six-petal lily for example. So each drawing takes a lot of time to complete by the simple fact of the sheer number of petals they have.

The nice thing about roses is they’re so hard to screw up. Even when you are screwing it up, the finished product looks perfect as it is – because it’s a rose. Roses have odd shapes everywhere – they’re not perfectly proportionate.

Preparing rose drawings to put into my next art journal layout. Drawing on scrap sheet of paper from a book and on background prepared by myself with similar colors to what will be in the final art journal layout.

Now, I’m a huge advocate of drawing by reference. I know if I tried to draw a rose just by what my brain thinks it remembers, then I really would make a funky-looking rose. But using a reference takes all the guess work away. I just draw what I see to the best of my ability. I can guarantee you my pen strokes will not perfectly match the curves and angles of the reference image, but because of the nature of the rose, it’s still going to come out looking like a rose in the end.

They should change the term “everything’s coming up roses” to “everything’s drawing out roses.”

If you’re scared of drawing roses, I encourage you to just get out there and give it a try. Get a reference image and try to duplicate it. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good your drawing turns out.

Happy drawing!


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