Flow Drawing: How to Draw a Tulip Bouquet: You all loved our How to Draw a Poppy guide, so we’re really excited to bring you a new colorful and expressive floral flow drawing project that’s perfect for spring. A beautiful bouquet of tulips!
This pretty spring flower has the ideal shape for children to explore; it includes both curves and points, as well as layers of unfurling petals, for children to study perspective and depth. And since tulips naturally come in a range of bright and cheerful colors, they’re perfect to encourage children’s creativity as well.
The project is also a great way for children to explore color mixing. Literally using their artwork as the paint pallet, younger children can discover the basics of making colors and get a lovely tactile introduction to shading, whilst older children can explore light and shade, the intracies of tone and texture, and using color to create depth.
White Card Stock
Black Crayon or Oil Pastel
Acrylic or Watercolor Paint
We’re going to start with the most important part – the heads of the tulips – and we want them to fill most of the top third of your page. Beginning with the tulip on the left, draw down, around and up again like you’re drawing a large egg – but don’t finish it. Leave the top open, like a horseshoe; we’ll come back to the middle in a minute. Then draw the tulip head on the right in the exact same way. And create the final head by drawing between the first two, as if the tulips on the left and right are in front and overlapping the middle flower.
Once you have your three tulips in place, it’s time to complete the heads. From the top left of the horsehoes, draw a curved line down to the bottom of the head. Then a second, curved down from the right side. And finally, fill the gaps between the two by drawing a little ‘hat’ on top – it should create a diamond shape between the petals.
To begin the bouquet, draw a square roughly in the center of your page. Now let’s add the big bows. On each side of the square, sweep up, out, down and around, back to the square again – it looks like you drew two large Micky Mouse ears! Finish your bow with two wavy ribbons flowing down from the central square.
Then its time to add the stems. First, connect the heads down to the central square of the bow. And then draw the ends of the three stems out from the bottom of the bow – try not to overlap your bow’s ribbons.
Now for the really fun part! We’re going to play with paint and create some lovely colors and tones. Have you ever noticed the beautiful blends of color that tulips have on their petals? Perhaps you could find some growing in the yard, or even buy a bouquet at the store, and take a closer look.
Start with a dark color as a base, and use it to create some extra depth around the bottom and the outer edges of the flower heads.
Then start to add a lighter complimentary color or shade on top and blend it in gently, top to bottom. It’s so easy, but what a gorgeous effect!
Just like the flow drawing concept itself, this ‘in the moment’ approach to color and technique really encourages creativity and self-expression and brings freedom to art – there are no mistakes, just discovery. It’s also a really hands-on and visual way to explore color mixing, whilst beautifully capturing the essence of tulips.
Once you’ve finished the tulip heads, it’s time to paint the stems. And whilst you were using complimentary colors on the petals, now why not think about contrast. Notice how the solid green creates a different look and feel to the blended colored heads.
Finally, let’s paint the ribbon. This is another great opportunity to explore color and add tone – if you have a piece of ribbon at home in the craft draw, why not tie a bow yourself and take a closer look at where you see light and shade?
Just like you did with the tulip heads, use a combination of dark and light color to create depth in your bow. We painted the middle section white and blended red into it from the outer edges, but you can experiment with blending any way you like. And you don’t have to use just one color either!
If you want to really show off your tulips, why not add a border or background? Layering up paint strokes adds another dimension and different texture to your finished artwork – and it helps the tulips to really pop! You could add blue like us, for a cloudless spring sky, or you could choose an abstract pattern of zig zags or polka dots. Or, if you’re creating a Mother’s Day piece, why not add some pretty love hearts?
And now your gorgeous artwork is complete! Whether you give it to your Mom, or hang it on the wall, we’d love for you to share and tag us on social media, and let us know if you’ve enjoyed exploring tulips with our latest flow drawing guide. Maybe there’s another flower you’d like to tackle next?
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