• Shayda Campbell

How to Draw a Floral Wreath

If you love drawing flowers, this one is for you, because today we are taking floral illustrations and turning them into a beautiful wreath.




I am using a Strathmore sketchbook; the paper is thick and toothy, and I really like it. It is actually for colored pencils but I believe it’s all about using your art supplies how you want to, I like this sketchbook for working in pen. Along with my sketchbook, I also have pens, my pencil, and eraser, and some scrap paper ready. I am using my Pigma Microns, which come in a range of nib sizes which is great for precision, so today I am using 08 and 03.


When I start a floral design, I typically will do a bit of rough work to pick out the flowers and leaves I want to incorporate into my design. I’m starting with a large simple flower, beginning with a stamen and adding messy leaves around it. I tend to make the petals at the bottom shorter and I wiggle the pen a lot because I want them to look crooked and weird because they are supposed to look like real flowers. Practice drawing a couple of these random flowers with four or five petals. I give them long oval leaves that come to a point.



Since the flower is a larger design, I want something smaller as well; lavender is a good example of something that is thin and delicate. You can also make stuff up like I’m doing here with the tiny little curving branches and circular leaves. This is a good start for the florals and leaves that I will incorporate into my wreath, you should take your time and have fun with the prep. It is always a good idea to do rough work and plan your drawing, practicing, and perfecting the florals you want to include.


At this point, I am ready to start my wreath, so I’ll set the sketches aside so I can refer back to them. In my sketchbook, I will begin my wreath by drawing a circle or an oval.


Tip #1 It is important not to go right to the edge of the page, keep your circle small and tight.



With the 08 Pigma Micron I am going to start with the flower from our rough work. Starting with the scribbly stamen and the messy petals. Following that pencil circle, just keep drawing more flowers. Do little groups of them and do some alone by themselves. Basically, I am going to fill in the entirety of the circle using the botanical drawings that I have already practiced.


Tip #2 Have fun with it, get messy, and don’t worry about staying in the lines. You can tilt the flowers in different directions, angling them towards the middle of your circle so that they are growing in towards one another. Or just get wild with it, make the flowers a little messy and a little wrong.



Once I have done a bunch of flowers - it doesn’t really matter how many - I am going to draw in those oval-shaped leaves. I have decided to work it out in pencil first so I know where I am going with the leaves. Make sure you don’t draw them all on the same angle so it looks more natural. Doing it in pencil first helps make it more natural, tucking some of them in behind the flowers, some smaller or larger so they are very organic. Perfectly imperfect is always the key to drawing flowers and leaves. You don’t want your lines to look too smooth or it will look too unnatural and cartoon-like.



Now is the fun part of adding in the smaller plants like the lavender. It adds a nice contrast of size, being small and thin and delicate. You really don’t need a lot of different designs to make a beautiful wreath. I’m going to go around the entire wreath, tucking some little lavender sprigs in wherever it looks pretty. Don’t worry about getting things perfect.


Tip #3 You don’t have to draw all the leaves clockwise or going in one direction. I’ve just drawn mine wherever I feel like it would look cute, which gives a nice wild look to the wreath. If you are just starting out, putting things in one direction can be helpful.



Step back from the wreath at this point to see how everything looks and where you may need another flower or leaf. If there is a big enough gap you can add another flower, otherwise add more lavender and leaves. I’m drawing my gaps in with pencil first and then going over in pen. With the flowers and lavender done, I’m going to tuck in just a few of the little circular leaves to add an even more delicate element. I continue to step back to look at it, then filling in and stepping back again.


Tip #4 It can be helpful to look at your design in a mirror, or just upside down. Looking at it in reverse can help you see where you may have a blind spot where you may need to fill in a little more. Again, I fill it in with pencil adding tiny little leaves or a sprig of lavender. and then turn it back around. If it looks good now I go over it in pen to finish it up.



Although I’m happy with how my wreath is looking, I’m going to use my Pigma Micron 03 to add a small amount of detail and line shading to some of the flowers. I am just adding a few lines near the stamen to show the shape of the flowers and I’m all done. I hope you followed along and created a floral wreath that you are happy with.



Here is what I used in today’s video:



Be sure to watch today’s video for more details and examples:





© Shayda Campbell 2020

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