How to draw Sunflowers with Procreate for Beginners

Learn how to draw a sunflower from the front and the side with these easy to follow tutorials for beginners.

Sunflowers are such radiant and beautiful flowers, they’re just asking to be drawn!

In this easy step by step tutorial, I’ll show you how to draw a sunflower using Procreate.

This tutorial can be followed even if you don’t have Procreate, so feel free to follow along!

Let’s have a quick overview of what we’re going to cover in this tutorial -

  1. Tools needed
  2. How to draw a sunflower - step by step tutorial
  3. How to draw a sunflower from the side - bonus tutorial
  4. Extra tips.
  5. Final words

Without any further delays, let’s get straight to it!

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Tools needed for this tutorial

For this tutorial I’ll be using:

  • iPad Pro
  • Apple pencil
  • Procreate App 5X Version

I’ll also be using my set of Graphite and Charcoal brushes for Procreate, however you can use any brushes you like.

If you would like to try out these brushes, here’s a free sample for you.

I’ll be using this image as my reference.

Sunflower reference image

Let’s get started!

How to draw a sunflower - step by step tutorial

How to draw a sunflower - step by step tutorial

Step 1 - Create a Canvas and draw a circle

Let’s begin by creating a canvas in Procreate.

Create a new canvas

I’ll use a screen size canvas.

Create a screen size canvas

Once your canvas is created, let’s draw a circle.

Loosely draw a circle and don’t lift your Apple Pencil from the screen.

After a few seconds, the circle will become smooth.

Without lifting the Apple pencil, touch the screen with your finger.

Draw a circle

This will allow you to create a perfect circle!

Step 2 - Find the center point

Create a new layer.

Create a new layer

Loosely draw a vertical line at the center of the circle.

Like you did on the last step, don’t lift up your apple pencil and after a few seconds the line will become straight.

Still without lifting your apple pencil, touch the screen with your finger.

Draw a vertical line in the center of the circle

And there you have a perfectly straight vertical line.

If you feel like this line is not at the center of the circle, use the cursor tool and move it until you are happy with where the line is.

Once you’re satisfied, duplicate the layer where the vertical line is by swiping left on top of the later and clicking on the “duplicate” button.

Now use the cursor tool with the magnetics turned on to rotate the line and make it into a horizontal line.

Use the cursor tool to rotate the line

The point where these two lines meet is the center point of the circle.

Create an horizontal line

Step 3 - Draw a second circle

Make a new layer.

Make a new layer

Find the middle point between the center point and the circle on all the lines that make up the cross.

Divide the circle in half

Once you mark these points, connect them with curvy lines to make a new circle inside the old one.

Draw a second circle inside the first circle

Step 4 - Divide the second circle

Make a new layer.

Make a new layer

Now, let’s divide the second circle in thirds.

Divide the second circle in thirds

Using the lines that make up the cross as a reference, find the thirds and mark them.

Connect the mark you made with curved lines to draw two concentric circles inside the second circle.

Draw two smaller circles inside the second circle

Step 5 - Merge it like it’s hot

Merge all the layers you’ve created so far to finish your basic sunflower sketch!

Merge the layers

Rename this new layer “Sketch”

Rename the layer sketch

Step 6 - Let’s begin to make it look more like a flower!

Start to create arrows that go out of the center point to help you mark the angles for the petals.

Create arrows showing the directions of the petals

Make a new layer.

Create a new layer

Start drawing petals using the point where the second circle and the arrows you just created meet.

Start drawing the petals

Extra tip: To make them look more like sunflower petals, draw a tiny capital “M” at the tip.

Add a capital M to the tip of the petals

Step 7 - More petals

On the layer where you just drew, create two petals behind each side of the first petals you created.

Add more petals

Repeat this with every one of the first petals you created.

Continue to draw more petals

Step 8 - And more petals for the back row!

If you see that there’s still some places where you can add a petal in the front, go ahead and do that!

Draw more petals in the front where you need

Add some extra petal tips in the back to the places where they’re missing.

Add tips of petals to the back of your sunflower

Step 9 - Add some flappy folds.

Petals don’t have smooth surfaces, they have folds.

Petals have folds

To make the foldy flaps, draw a soft line that goes from the side where the petal and the second circle meet that doesn't reach the tip of the.

Add folds to the petals

Add some extra folds on each side of the line you just created alternating the directions of the lines. 

Continue to add folds to the petals

Make sure to make soft lines that don’t go completely from one side to the other.

Step 10 - Add some imperfections.

To make your illustration seem some realistic, let's add some organic imperfections to your sunflower.

The petals of a flower are not perfect, they twist, break and fold.

There’s different kinds of imperfections you can create.

You can make the petals fold to the back like this.

Add imperfections to your petals

Or have the petals fold frontward.

Add imperfections to your petals

You can also create small breaks in the tips of the petals.

Add imperfections to your petals

Add these imperfections to some of the petals.

Add imperfections to your petals

Step 11 - What about the center of my sunflower?

Let’s start working on the center part of your sunflower.

Let's work on the center of the sunflower

Create a new layer.

Make a new layer

We’ll begin with the first section of the center.

Let's work on the first section of the center

Start drawing small circles on the outside of this first section.

Start drawing small circles

The closer you get to the center, the bigger the circles will get.

Add bigger circles the closer you are to the center

Extra Tip: For the bigger circles on this part, lay them out like they’re bricks. This will help you make your illustration seem more natural.

Step 12 - Second section of the center.

Make a new layer.

Let's continue with the second section of the center of your sunflower.

Let's work on the second part of the center of the sunflower

In this section, start drawing curved lines towards one side.

Draw curved lines to one side

Now do the same but with curved lines towards the other side.

Draw curved lines to the other side

This way you’ll create some sort of web.

Make a new layer.

Make a new layer

Start defining the shapes that you see inside the web.

Define the areas inside the web

Define all these shapes to start with the final section of the center.

Define all the shapes in the center

Step 13 - Final section of the center.

Make a new layer.

Create a new layer

Start drawing small “U” shapes that are all pointing towards the center point.

Draw small U shapes pointing to the center point of the sunflower

Make each row of “U” shapes smaller than the last.

Continue to do this until you’re done with the center.

Continue to draw U shapes until you're done with the center

After you’re done with this, you can turn off the “sketch” layer.

Turn off the sketch layer

Step 14 - Let’s give that flower a stem!

I think one of the prettiest things about sunflowers is the way the leaves and the flowers look together, so let’s add some to our illustration.

I’ll use this image as a reference for the stem and leaves.

Sunflower reference for the tem and the leaves

Create a new layer.

Make a new layer

Draw two lines going out from the bottom part of the sunflower.

Draw two lines to create the stem

Notice that in the reference image, the stem also goes on the sides to form some leaves.

Let’s add that as well.

Draw where the leaves and the stem meet

Step 15 - Add leaves to your sunflower drawing.

Following the reference, draw some leaves.

Draw the leaves

They don’t need to be exactly the same since no flower is equal to another.

Just have fun and don’t think about it being exactly the same as in the reference.

When you’re done with the shapes, add some veining to the leaves and small spikes on the edges.

Add details to the leaves and the stem

Step 16 - Final touches.

Add some small hairs on the stem of your sunflower illustration using delicate, short lines.

Let’s also add some extra details to the edges of the center of your flower.

Create small shapes that sort of resemble a small ”i” to add some extra detail to your drawing.

FInish the center by adding some extra texture

To finish, add texture to the center of your sunflower by adding some dots inside the circles that are in the center.

Add some extra details to the center of the sunflower drawing

With this, your drawing is done!

Now, let’s add some shadows and light!

Step 17 - Add shadows.

Let’s add some life to your illustration.

Make a new layer.

Make a new layer

With a soft brush, start to add shadows to your flower in the areas where it needs it.

Add shadows to the sunflower

Continue to add shadows until you’re happy with how your drawing is looking.

Step 18 - Add some light.

Using the eraser tool with the same brush you just used to make the shadows, clean up a bit in the areas where you see more light in your reference image.

Add some light to the sunflower illustration with the eraser tool

Step 19 - Define your sunflower illustration.

Add some extra dark areas to make your drawing pop more!

Add more darkness to your sunflower drawing

Continue to add shadows and lights until you’re happy with how your drawing is looking.

And there you have your sunflower drawing!

How to draw a sunflower - step by step tutorial

Step 20 - Want to add some color?

I know I do :D

You can download the color palette I used for this illustration here.

Merge down all the layers we’ve created so far.

Rename this layer “Sunflower Drawing”

Rename the layer sunflower drawing

Create a new layer, name it “Base Color” and move it under the sunflower drawing layer.

Use the selection tool with the freehand turned on.

Select your sunflower.

Use the selection tool

Don’t worry about making a perfect selection, we can fix that later.

With the selection still on, make sure you’re on the base color layer you created and not on the sunflower drawing.

Add a base color

Select a medium yellow from the color palette and drag and drop it into the selection to create your base color.

Using the selection tool, erase the areas where there shouldn’t be any color.

Clean up the base color

Step 21 - Define all the base colors.

Click on the layer you just created and press select.

Add the other base colors with the select tool on

This will allow you to add color without going out of the selection you just created.

Now, pick a medium orange/tan color to make the base color of the center.

And a light green for the stem and leaves.

Add the other base colors with the select tool on

Step 22 - Add color shadows.

Make a new layer.

Create a new layer

Keep the base color layer still selected and in the new layer, start adding colors with darker values in the areas where the drawing has shadows.

Use the select layer tool

Continue to do this until you’re happy with how your drawing is looking.

Add color shadows to your sunflower illustration

Step 23 - Add light and define the colors.

Still having the base color layer selected, create a new layer.

Use some of the lighter colors in the color palette to add some light to the areas of your drawing that have the most light.

Add color light to your sunflower drawing

Continue to add dark and lighter colors until you’re satisfied with your sunflower illustration.

Continue to add color shadows and light until you're happy

To finish, make a new layer and place it on top of the sunflower drawing.

On this layer, add some extra highlights to make your illustration come to life!

To finish, add more light to your sunflower illustration

Congratulations! You just finished your sunflower drawing!

How to draw a sunflower from the side - bonus tutorial

How to draw a sunflower from the side - step by step tutorial

But what if I want to draw a sunflower from the side?

Not to worry, here’s an extra tutorial for you!

Step 1 - Build the sketch

Let’s begin by creating an oval shape that is slightly slanted.

Draw an oval shape

Now, inside that shape, let’s make another oval shape that is smaller than the first.

Draw a second oval shape.

Make this second shape closer to one side than to the other.

Inside this second shape, create an even smaller oval shape that touches the edge of the side that is closer to the biggest oval shape.

Draw a third oval shape

After this, draw two lines that connect the second oval shape with the first.

Add two lines to join the two bigger oval shapes

Now, on the outside of the first oval shape, create a “C” like shape.

Add a curved line that looks like a C

To finish your sketch, let’s add a curved line that marks where the stem of your sunflower drawing will be.

Add a cured line to mark where the stem will go

And there you have the sketch for your sunflower from the side!
Pretty easy, right? ;)

Rename this layer “sketch” to keep everything organised.

Step 2 - Define the stem and where it connects to your sunflower.

Let’s begin to make this look more like a sunflower!

Create a new layer.

Draw two lines surrounding the line of the sketch that makes up the stem of your sunflower.

Start drawing the stem

After this, start drawing shapes that slightly resemble curly fangs to make up the first row of the sepal (the sepal is the area where the stem and the flower meet)

Start drawing the sepal

For the row of the sepal that is closer to the sunflower, draw shapes that look like a thick “V”.

Finish the sepal

When you’re done with those shapes, make small lines connecting the first and second row of the sepal.

Add lines connecting the shapes you just created

Step 3 - It’s time for the petals.

Make a new layer.

Make a new layer

Use the sketch to start drawing arrows that will help you determine the direction of your petals.

The row of petals that is closer to the sepal should come out from the first big oval shape you made at the beginning.

Add arrows to mark the direction of your petals

And the row of petals that is farther from you should come out from the second oval shape you drew to make up the sketch.

Continue to add arrows to mark where the petals will go

Once you have the guides done, it’s time to make a new layer!

Create a new layer

Start drawing petals the same way we drew them on the last tutorial and using the arrow to mark the center of them.

Draw the petals

Step 4 - More petals!

Add some extra petals behind each side of the ones you created before.

Draw more petals

For the ones that are closer to you, draw a soft triangular shape with two lines from the sides.

Continue drawing more petals

Continue to add all the petals you need!

Add all the petals you need

Step 5 - Add folds and imperfections on the petals.

Just like we did on the previous tutorial, let’s add some flappy folds to our sunflower petals.

Remember petals don’t have a smooth surface, they have folds and imperfections.

Draw folds and imperfections on the petals

Step 6 - Draw the center of your sunflower.

Make a new layer.

Start drawing small circles close together to create the center of your flower illustration.

Use small circles to draw the center of the sunflower

Keep adding small circles until you are happy with how it’s looking.

Once you’re done, turn off the sketch layer.

Tunr off the sketch layer

And your sunflower drawing from the side it’s done!

Step 7 - Shadows, light and definition!

Let’s add some shadows and life to the illustration.

On a new layer, start adding soft shadows to your drawing.

Do this all over your sunflower.

Add shadows to your drawing

Next, use the same brush you used to make the shadows as an eraser and start deleting in the areas where there should be more light.

Add light to your illustration

Continue to alternate between these two things to define your drawing!

Define yout drawing using shadow and light

Step 8 - Let’s add some color.

Let’s use the same technique we used to color in the previous tutorial.

Merge down all the layers we’ve created until now and rename this new layer “Sunflower Drawing”.

Create a new layer and place it underneath the sunflower drawing.

Use the selection tool with the freehand turned on to make a selection of your sunflower drawing.

Use the selection tool

Drag and drop a base color on the newest layer you created.

Add a base color

Now, let’s add all the other base colors for your drawing.

Click on the base color layer and press “Select”

This will allow you to add color without going out of the areas where you want the color to be in.

Use a light brown for the center of the sunflower and a light green for the stem and the sepal.

Add the rest of the base colors

Step 9 - Add color shadows and light.

Create a new layer and with the select tool still on, start adding darker versions of the colors you just used in the areas where the sunflower drawing has more shadows.

Add colored shaows

Once you’re done with this, do the same with lighter colors in the areas where your sunflower drawing has lighter areas.

Add colored lights

Continue to do this until you’re happy with how it’s looking.

To finish up, create a new layer and place it on top of the sunflower drawing to add some final shine spots with a lighter color.

Define your sunflower illustration using color

And there you have it!

A sunflower illustration from the side :D

Extra tips

Something that works great for me when I’m drawing any flower is to keep several reference images of that flower close by.

keep reference images close to you

This is only to get a proper idea of how the flower looks, how the petals behave, which colors to use.

However, don’t get too carried away trying to make your flower illustration look exactly the same as the reference image.

Each flower is unique, so there’s no point in trying to copy everything exactly as it is from a reference image.

Just have fun when you’re drawing and try to not get too caught up in the details ;D

Final words

Well, that’s it for today folks!

I hope you found these tutorials helpful and fun to follow.

How to draw a sunflower tutorial for beginners

I would love to hear from you, what other tutorials would you like me to make for you?

Let me know by dropping a comment below!

Thank you for reading and until next time!