Drawing Autumn Flowers - How to Draw Autumn Flowers For the Beginner
The autumn season is when the forest floor is filled with fallen leaves that gives a beautiful view of copper and brown. However, this is also the season which some of the most colorful flowers bloom, and they stand out quite nicely. This make these plants an interesting subject to draw. one of which is the beautiful chrysanthemum.
Mums are actually a collection of little flowers that create a false flower called inflorescence. The number of petals (ray florets) varies on its kind; the ones with more petals are double flowers that are developed through hybridization. The wild flower mums usually contain an average number of ray florets compared to double flower mums such as the ‘pompon’ where the disk florets are no longer visible due to the thick rows of ray florets that reaches a thousand or more pieces. It has a green stem that is fairly thick, growing from three to four feet tall that holds on one inflorescence.
Now, I'll show you a brief process of drawing one using color pencils.
- Start by drawing two circles for a base.
Create a base to establish the size of your chrysanthemum. Draw a big circle for the base of the ray florets or the petals and then draw a smaller circle at the center for the disk.
- Lay out the petals layer by layer.
Sketch the petals. Start with the first row of the ray florets (tear-shaped) surrounding the disk, try to make it look more natural by slightly overlapping the side edges of one or two petals to the one next to it, while other have small gaps in between.
Add some more rows of ray florets at the back of the first layer. Let other petals be a little longer than the other, and others a little shorter. Draw at least three more rows, the number of petals doesn’t matter, you don’t have to put the same amount of petals on the front layer nor even count it; all you need is to portray that the flower has a numerous amount of ray florets.
- Draw the disk florets.
Define the disk florets by drawing small circles on (like a bunch of little beads) the disk.
- Erase the base and replace/trace the outline.
Once you think that the sketch is as good as it should be, erase the base (the two circles) and re-outline your sketch with better and smoother outlines.
- Put some shades on the petals/ray florets.
Add the proper gradation of your flower using contour hatches. Darken the spaces in between the petals on the front row to signify depth. Create some shadows under the petals especially the ones on the lower portion of the flower.
- Darken the portions that should have the darkest/strongest shade value.
Amplify the light and dark value by re-darkening the areas that should have the darkest shade tones (especially the areas/petals on the front that has folds, the small spaces in between and the shadows underneath the front row of ray florets).
- Color the center and redefine the beads.
Apply the yellow color of the disk/disk florets. The outlines of the bead-like disk florets will blur out so you have to re-outline them after applying the color.
- Color the tips of the petals with white.
Apply a highlight at the ends of each petal to effectively convey the contrasting bright highlights of the tips from the general strong red tone of the flower.
I used a white bermatograph for this step (I often use bermatograph for color pencil drawings) because it is slightly resistant to color pencils.
- Apply the colors of the petals.
Start filling up the petals/ray florets with its red color. Use a stronger hand pressure when applying your line strokes on the dark areas, and use a fairly light pressure with circular (scribbling) strokes on the portions of the petals that should appear brighter.
Simply follow your previous shade tones to easily figure out where you should apply heavy strokes and light hand strokes. The pencil shades will help for making the tones darker, and those areas without or with faint shades would instantly have a brighter value.
- Burnish the petals with pink.
To make the strong tone of the red a little softer (to turn it into a pinkish-red) overlap the red color with a shade of bright pink. This will diminish the natural texture produced by the line strokes of red; it would become duller and less crisp, making a shinier and smoother texture.
To regain and amplify the dark tones further, use a black color pencil and apply light hand strokes on these areas (do not overdo the shading because the black color pencil can easily overlap the other colors).
Regain the highlights on the tips of the petals by re-applying the white color.
Place a dot of orange at the center of the disk (signature detail of an Orinoco center). Re-outline the shape of the mum and then color the stem to finalize the drawing.
More examples and steps to draw each of them are discussed in the book "Drawing Autumn Flowers - How to Draw Autumn Flowers For the Beginner"