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Would you like to learn how to draw your favorite flowers? In this how to draw a calla lily flowers tutorial I will explain all of the tips and techniques I use for my drawings.
How To Draw A Calla Lily
Drawing a Calla Lily is a great way for you to practice and enhance your shading skills by learning how to draw realistic drawings with value changes.
You can continue adding value and details to this exercise or you can stop when you are happy with the outcome.
How much detail you add is all up to you. You can keep working at it to see how far you can take your drawings.
Calla Lilies are one of the most beautiful flowers with a unique form to draw but can be challenging because of their light values.
Their round shape and delicate petals will help you enhance your shading skills.
I recommend using reference images of calla lilies for your calla lily drawing.
I use Pixabay for reference images for most of my tutorials.
For my original drawings, I get most of my images at Wildlife Reference Photos.
Reference image courtesy of Pixabay.
Below is a list of all the materials I use for my drawings. I purchase all of my drawing supplies online at Blick Art Materials.
- Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Pads 9″ x 12″ Smooth
- Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Pads 9″ x 12″ Velum
- General’s Factis Magic Black Eraser
- Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser
- Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Erasers
- Alvin Dry Cleaning Pad
How To Draw A Lily Flower Step-By-Step
Lightly draw the contour (outline) of the lily using a Tombow Mono HB Pencil on a 5″ x 7″ piece of Strathmore Series Bristol Board Smooth.
You can create the drawing larger or smaller if you wish. But if you draw the lily too small you will find it difficult to add subtle value changes and details to the drawing.
Drawing Tip: The proportions of the subject you are drawing have to be accurate if your goal is to draw a realistic drawing. Using the grid method to sketch out the subject will help you to keep the proportions accurate.
Note: The lines in the drawing below are darker than what I normally sketch for my drawings.
I only drew the outline of this lily darker in this drawing tutorial so you can see it better.
Sketching the subject lightly will make it easier to erase the outline of the subject after you have added the shading.
Nothing in life has a line around it. If you are trying to create realistic drawings you want to create a form and separate planes with values, not outlines. Values are the different shades you will be drawing with your graphite pencil.
The next step is to shade the lily.
Shading the lily will create its three-dimensional form.
Before you start to add value to your drawing stand back to think about what you are going to be drawing.
Identify which direction the light is coming from and where the darkest values are on the lily.
Is there a cast shadow?
A cast shadow is a shadow that casts from an object or figure. The cast shadow varies in value and is not a solid shape. The closer the cast shadow is from an object the darker it will be. The farther the cast shadow is from an object the lighter and less defined it will be.
Are there any parts of the petals that will cast a shadow on the petals below them?
Tip: The darkest part of an object is where the light does not hit.
Start by adding value with your 2H pencil to the darkest area of the lily.
Tip: Using a 2H pencil first will condition the paper and add graphite to the bottom of the tooth on your drawing paper. This will prevent the little white dots you will get if you start with a softer lead. When you can not get any more value from your 2H pencil start applying graphite with your HB pencil. If the area is still not dark enough continue with your 2B pencil.
Work from dark to light and follow the contour of the lily.
Begin each line from the darkest area and draw towards the lighter areas reducing the pressure as you go and lightly lift the pencil off the paper to feather the line to white.
Note: Look at the stem below. Notice how the lefts side is darker than the right side. This creates the illusion that the stem is a cylinder shape and the light is coming from the right of the lily.
Build up tone gradually on the other dark areas of the lily.
Always work from dark to light and keep the lines going in the same direction of the growth of the stem and petals.
You can see that the lily in the image below is starting to take form just by adding some value to the dark areas.
Tip: lightly remove some graphite from the outline of the lily with your kneaded eraser. This will help you to blend in the lines so you will not see a dark outline of the petals. Remember nothing in life has a line around it. Erase any lines you do not want with your Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser.
Darken in the spadix. Work from the darkest part of the spadix and draw towards the lighter part.
Do not be too concerned about the texture of the spadix at this point. You are only trying to add value and create form. The fine details will be added later.
Continue adding graphite to the lily working from dark to light. Always keep in the back of your mind where the light is coming from.
Tip: Always add graphite gradually by using small strokes. It is easier to add value than it is to remove it.
Start adding graphite with your 2H pencil. When you can not get any more value from your 2H pencil start applying graphite with your HB pencil. If the area is still not dark enough continue with your 2B pencil.
Tip: In real life, edges are created by the different values between planes and space. The different values need to be replicated for a more accurate representation of the subject you are drawing.
For example, take a look at the petal at 5 o’clock. The top of the petal is lighter because the light is hitting it and there is a cast shadow on the petal underneath it. The cast shadow creates the illusion that the petal is drooping over the body of the lily.
The darkest part of the cast shadow is directly under the drooping part of the petal and the value of the shadow lightens gradually as it goes down.
The throat of the lily is created by adding darker values going towards the inner part of the lily where less light is hitting it.
Separate the base of the petals from the stem by adding darker values on the stem.
Create texture to the spadix by tapping the point of the pencil on your paper.
At this point, you can say your drawing is finished or you can make your drawing look more realistic by blending the values.
Smooth your lines by blending it with a tortillon, blending stump, q-tip, cotton swab or tissue (with no lotion)
Lightly rub from dark to light. You might have to add some more value to your darkest areas because some of the graphite will be lifted off your paper when you blend.
Use your kneaded eraser to lighten up any areas by lightly tapping on the area you wish to lighten.
Add finer details by using your Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser.
Blend the areas you erased to create soft value changes.
How To Draw A Calla Lily Final Touches
Continue adding and removing graphite until you are happy with your drawing.
With this How To Draw A Calla Lily tutorial, you started with a simple calla lily flower sketch and finished with a realistic flower.
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