How to Draw a Flower With Charcoal in 5 Steps

July 7, 2023 by

Why draw flowers with charcoal when granite pencils work well enough?

You may be thinking that using charcoal is outdated since pencils are widely used today.

However, there are many benefits of using charcoal. It’s hard to use but also fun since charcoal is versatile.

Charcoal offers a wide range of shades in sketching, and you’ll have fun experimenting with charcoal. 

Before you can draw flowers with charcoal, you need to know the type of paper on which charcoal works best and the different charcoal mediums.

Then, you can start to draw flowers with charcoal using the tips and techniques outlined in this guide.

This is a guide covering how to draw a flower with charcoal.

We’ll be covering the following topics:

Table of Contents

How to Draw a Flower with Charcoal?

To draw flowers with charcoal, you need to understand the basics of charcoal drawings and apply them to your flower sketch.

1. Choose the Correct Paper for Drawing

Before you get down to drawing a flower with charcoal, you need to choose a paper type to work with. And no, simple A4 paper won’t work for you with charcoal.

It’s because you need to choose a paper with a tooth onto which the charcoal can grab to stay afloat. 

Expert charcoal artists can draw on smooth paper or a surface like Bristol board. However, if you’re a newbie, you should use heavy paper that has a tooth.

Today, two excellent papers for charcoal are Strathmore and Canson. They both have great teeth amount, are durable, and aren’t acidic. 

paper for charcoal painting
paper type

Furthermore, Canson XL Series Watercolor Charcoal Drawing Paper is long-lasting and reasonably priced, and it offers you a chance to erase and blend charcoal seamlessly.

If you’re first making sketches to learn how to make a charcoal flower, you should use cheap paper instead of wasting expensive paper.

2. Choose the Type of Charcoal You Want to Use

After you’ve decided on what type of paper to use to draw flowers with charcoal, you need to choose the type of charcoal you want to use.

You can use charcoal pencils or a charcoal stick, whatever suits your drawing style. You can use both too; you should use the stick for drawing and the pencils for adding details. 

You can use vine charcoal since it’s easier to erase and softer. It’s great charcoal to use if you’re a beginner since it will blend well.

On the other hand, we have compressed charcoal that is usually darker than vine charcoal, but it’s not easy to blend.

Still, it doesn’t break easily, and you don’t need to worry about smudging in your flower drawing. So, you can choose whichever you prefer or try both.

3. Make a Skeleton Drawing

Make an outline when you draw a flower with charcoal so that you have a base to draw the charcoal flower.

Loosen your wrist and keep it loose while you draw. When making the strokes, try to move your whole arm.

When you use your whole arm, the strokes come out more curved like you want them to. Try to resist the desire to move your wrist as you draw. 

Since you’re making a skeleton structure of the flower, use light strokes and gently use the charcoal. Start by making the basic structure of the flower you want to draw.

charcoal painting light stroke
make a “skeleton” structure

Always use a reference picture of a flower for your charcoal flower drawings. Draw a flower with charcoal with a light touch since it’s just a sketch or an outline.

You can make the leaves first or sketch out the whole flower. For example, if it’s a rose, make a light outline of the petals. 

Take a good look at the reference picture and draw the flower leaves and petals right. They should be proportional so that the final product looks aesthetic and natural.

If the leaves are too big or the petals have no symmetry, it could ruin the final product. You can practice drawing the flower’s parts a few times before making the final drawing.

4. Different Colors and Blending Effects 

When you draw flowers with charcoal, you have got a range of dark and light shades of black and grey to choose from.

You can change the shade to reflect the shadows and light in the reference drawing by applying different pressure – the more pressure, the darker the charcoal sketch will get. 

Another aspect of charcoal is that it smudges easily. You can blend the charcoal flower drawing with your finger or a cotton bud to give it more character.

Moreover, you can get an amazing array of different shades through blending.

5. Adding Delicate details 

After you’re done with the basic shape of the flower now, the only thing left to do is add some delicate details to finish the drawing.

However, it may seem hard to add details when you draw flowers with charcoal since charcoal is messy and smudges easily. 

However, the top tip to adding fine detail is only to indicate that the details are there. You don’t need to draw every leaf or petal of the flower.

charcoal pencil detail
add delicate details

For example, a couple of proportioned lines below the flower can indicate the stem; you don’t need to add other stem details. 

You can use a charcoal pencil to add them too. Moreover, you can use white charcoal to add further details to the drawing.

To further explore how to draw a flower with charcoal, we also recommend checking out this in-depth video by Noor’s Art:

Final Remarks

Flowers are a staple of sketching and to draw flowers with charcoal is interesting.

Charcoal is messy and hard to work with, but when you draw a flower with charcoal, the experience can be fun.

It’s best to use a reference picture when you draw a flower with charcoal. Firstly, you have to make an outline to guide you through the charcoal drawing. 

Then, you can sketch the flower parts but don’t draw with a tight wrist. Instead, loosen it up and draw the strokes of the leaves and the petals with your whole arm.

In the end, draw delicate details like the stem and the leaves lines with a charcoal pencil or indicate them with a charcoal stick.

Also, check out How to Seal Charcoal Drawings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you draw with charcoal for beginners?

To draw with charcoal as a beginner, start by selecting the right type of charcoal and paper. Next, experiment with different techniques, such as blending and shading, to create depth and texture in your drawings.

How do you draw a flower for beginners?

To draw a flower as a beginner, start by sketching the basic shape of the flower and its petals with light lines. Then, gradually add more detail and texture, such as shading and highlights, to bring the flower to life.