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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Badrock

Change the way you see the world ... Master drawing flowers using negative space

Negative spacing focuses on the space around an object. It’s a useful tool when drawing the intricate details of flower’s petals and leaves.

It’s an easy technique to master once you can change how you look at objects.

When sketching out flowers, we tend to start drawing each petal individually first and prey that it comes out balanced. More often than not, the flower is heavily distorted or over simplified.

When using negative spacing we start with the overarching shapes and gradually work towards creating intricate details.

To better understand the concept of negative spacing follow this simple exercise: Hold a branch or a flower over a piece of paper in the sun in front of a blank piece of paper so it casts a shadow over the paper. First observe how the object looks in front of you and then direct your gaze towards the shadows on the paper. Can you see how you see it in the broad form? You can see just the shapes, no detail. The space around the shadows is called the negative space.


To start drawing your flowers, hold out the flowers in front of you and draw the basic shapes. With this example below we are drawing a daisy flower. 1: Begin with drawing the petals as a collective in the form of a circle. 2: Draw the stem 3: Assess if the proportions of the shapes correlate to your object 4:Draw a small circle roughly where the middle of the flower is 5: Draw lines coming out of that central spot in the direction of where the petals would go 6:Sketch out the petals as seen below 7: Go around the outer edge of the petals with a loose hand to create a natural flowing line. 8: Fill in the details 9: Start shading!


A few more details to remember – 1: Nature is never straight, hard and fast. Keep your hand loose and pencil light on the page. This will help keep the line of the art loose and a bit wobbly – reflecting how nature really is 2: Observe the direction of shading. Petals, are generally shaded from the proximal part of the bud to the outside.

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