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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Discover some stunning flower drawings and paintings in this article, along with tips on producing your own flower art with some easy guides.

Introduction to Flower Art

Flowers have been depicted within art for many centuries, and have also been covered in a wide variety of different artistic styles. Content has ranged from still life works to flowers within their natural habitats, often accompanies by insects or animals. This genre has proven popular with the public, bringing beauty into our homes through flower prints, along with bright color and a feeling of the tranquility of nature.

In recent centuries that was a focus on accuracy, to record different types of flowers, but into the 20th century we would start to see more expressive, abstract iterations which re-imagined the enture genre. The likes of Picasso have reduced flowers down to just a single, carefully crafted line or two for a truly contemporary look, which tend to suit modern homes. By contrast, the detailed depictions of flowers date back to the Impressionist era, where this genre was also highly prevalent.

List of Flower Drawings and Paintings

We have collected together a list of flower drawings and paintings below, with short summaries about each work, and the artist's career, where appropriate. There is a wide range of styles and compositions featured here, as we attempt to visually compare how different cultures and artistic movements have tackled this topic. Further below the images, you will also find more discussion about various topics related to flower art, including tips for easy practice, and other ways in which plants have been used within art, such as with floral wallpaper designs.

Rose Flower Illustration

This close up of a rose head offers an illustration, with individual lines visible. This type of drawing would be ideal for tracing, in an effort to learn how to form a flower head fairly easily. Without color or much detail, one can understand the key parts of it, and how the various petals combine alongside each other. The leaves coming out of the stem could easily apply to a number of different flowers, and so mastering these outlines and shapes should set you up to cover other flowers.

Rose Flower Illustration Rose Flower Illustration

Flower Vase by Leo Gestel

Flower Vase is a contemporary work from the early 20th century which shows how much can be achieved with just a few minimal lines. Our minds can understand the artwork, and fill in the blanks of space automatically, such is our existing knowledge of flowers in vases. Gestel was a master of drawing in this fashion, but also achieved considerable success as a painter, working both in Cubism and Expressionism.

Flower Vase by Leo Gestel Flower Vase by Leo Gestel

Scarlet Globe Mallow Flower Painting by Mary Vaux Walcott

Mary Vaux Walcott's painting feels more of a vintage style, with gradiented colors, and a use of detail which resembles the type of flower art that was produced during the Victorian age. This artwork could easily be used to educate others as to the makeup of this particular flower, such is the accuracy of the piece.

Scarlet Globe Mallow Flower Painting by Mary Vaux Walcott Scarlet Globe Mallow Flower Painting by Mary Vaux Walcott

Hand Drawn Flower Head Sketch

This work is a bright and delightful series of flower heads, all with tones of pink and purple, suggesting that the artist carefully chose the flowers to include here. They are arranged in a triangular format, providing a highly presentable piece of art which has a feminine, gentle touch. The artist has clearly amended what they were viewing at the time in order to bring a consistency across the different flowers, essentially a use of artistic license.

Hand Drawn Flower Head Sketch Hand Drawn Flower Head Sketch

Sunflowers by Hannah Borger Overbeck

This work offers an inventive use of composition, where the viewer is placed very close to the flower. We therefore cannot see all of it, but just a small section. This gives a suggestion of abstraction, though we are still entirely aware of what the overall flower would have looked like. This method could well have been influenced by Japanese art, which arrived in Europe across the 19th century and brought about many new ideas. Japanese artists were also known for flower art.

Sunflowers by Hannah Borger Overbeck Sunflowers by Hannah Borger Overbeck

Plum Branches with Blossoms by Megata Morikaga

This delicate artwork feels typical of Japanese art, and flowers form an important part of the artistic output of this nation. This work is set in a natural environment, but with the attention very much on the pretty white flowers that blossom. Touches of red and green help to provide a slightly contrast.

Plum Branches with Blossoms by Megata Morikaga Plum Branches with Blossoms by Megata Morikaga

Flower Set from La Botanique by Pierre-Joseph Redoute

This Victorian-style interpretation captures a number of flower heads, all carefully placed for this format. Details are accurately delivered and this print would have been just one of a number found in this French series by Pierre-Joseph Redoute. He studied flowers for many years in order to achieve such precision, and many would learn from these illustrations, as well as potentially adding them as art into their own homes.

Flower Set from La Botanique by Pierre-Joseph Redoute Flower Set from La Botanique by Pierre-Joseph Redoute

Irises by Kogyo Tsukioka

Japanese art was famed for its delivery of waves in art, and would use swirling lines to create a feeling of movement, as found in this painting of Irises. Color is important in this piece too, contrasting white flower heads against a brilliant dark blue across the background, giving a highly impactful artwork. Additionally, subtle touches of green and yellow just complete the palette.

Irises by Kogyo Tsukioka Irises by Kogyo Tsukioka

Bouquet of Flowers by Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon covered many bouquets of flowers within his career, and is perhaps one of the most famous flower artists of all time. He loved to use bright colors for the flower heads, and worked in an expressive manner, giving details of the bouquet but without having to deliver each and every last detail. Some of his other work will remind us of the work of Marc Chagall, and Redon incorporated flowers into his figurative work as well.

Bouquet of Flowers by Odilon Redon Bouquet of Flowers by Odilon Redon

Pandora by Odilon Redon

Pandora is a fantastical artwork which combines figurative art with flowers dotted all across the scene, bringing bright color all across the outer edges of the work. Redon was a highly imaginative artist who used bright color throughout his career and became known as one of the most respected artists of his era.

Pandora by Odilon Redon Pandora by Odilon Redon

Basket with Flowers by Leo Gestel

Leo Gastel loved to depict flowers within his minimalist artworks, and regularly used pen and pencil to put together simple, but carefully crafted drawings. In this work we find a basket with flowers, and we also find a suggestion of Cubism in how he tweaks with perspective. He tried out many different combinations of flower drawings across his career and released many drawings, even though most know him as a painter, first and foremost.

Basket with Flowers by Leo Gestel Basket with Flowers by Leo Gestel

Flower Vases on a Table Pen Drawing by Leo Gestel

Here Gestel continues his minimalist drawings, and this style was similar to that used by the likes of Picasso who loved to produce drawings using as few lines as possible. His genius was able to construct something recognisable with the simplest of work, and whilst he makes everything look easy, it was based on years of observation and practice in order to replicate this style of art.

Flower Vases on a Table Pen Drawing by Leo Gestel Flower Vases on a Table Pen Drawing by Leo Gestel

Fruit Pattern by William Morris

William Morris used plants and flowers as the inspiration for a large number of patterns which could then be re-used in a variety of ways, including furniture covers, wallpaper and illustration. He was a prominent British artist who attempted to restore traditional artistic values and techniques, at a time when mass production was becoming more and more of a threat to the old ways of life. The artwork shown here was known as Fruit, and is amongst his best known creations.

Fruit Pattern by William Morris Fruit Pattern by William Morris

Abstract Kusunoki, Flower River Illustration from Japanese Art

This abstract work shows the potential of minimalist art, with just a few lines creating an entire artwork featuring a flower head alongside a flowing river. It could easily be interpreted instead as a sky, with the flower head serving as the sun starting to emerge from behind some clouds. Japanese art dominates flower art, and continues to receive strong support amongst western art followers.

Abstract Kusunoki, Flower River Illustration from Japanese Art Abstract Kusunoki, Flower River Illustration from Japanese Art

Woman in Tulip Garden Vintage Illustration

This clever illustration feels Art Deco in nature, and cleverly lays out a series of tulips, with a figurative piece placed in the middle. This feminine content would prove popular in the early 20th century and would still work today. The minimal detail, focusing on black outlines feels far more contemporary than its date might suggest.

Woman in Tulip Garden Vintage Illustration Woman in Tulip Garden Vintage Illustration

Sketching Nature's Beauty: Exploring the Art of Flower Drawings

Flower sketching has been a popular past time for centuries, both for amateur and professional artists. There are many advantages to this genre, such as the wide ranging options available from different flower types, as well as the ability to use them as still life items, in which they can be easily moved around for different results. Additionally, most have bright and exciting palettes of color to tap into, in a similar manner to how artists cover butterflies and fish.

Observation is a skill which requires practice and flowers can be useful in this regard. Unlike live subjects, an artist is not rushed as they observe different flowers, particularly when working indoors with still life arrangements. Many flowers can be particularly intricate, though these finer details may not initially be seen, until the artist takes a little long to really observe every element in front of them.

Nature itself can have a calming influence on its visitors, and flowers are no different in that regard. Many artists find it relaxing to observe, sketch and paint flowers, helping to distract their minds from the real world and to just focus on the beautiful plants in front of them. In the same way, non-artists might go for a walk in the countryside to appreciate much the same effect.

Flower drawings have also been used as a means to recording different types of flowers, particularly during the 18th and 19th century at which point travel was starting to spread knowledge between different cultures and global regions. This occurred with animals and fish too, bridging the gap between science, education and art.

From Petals to Stems: Capturing Realism in Flower Sketches

There are many aspects necessary to be mastered in order to accurately create realistic interpretations of flowers. Observation is key, as is the initial use of pencil sketching. Many will break up plants into their component parts in order to better understand the overall balance of the flower, just as we might study the human body in detail. Nature also brings imperfections, and it is important to recognise and deliver these within the work, rather than adapting towards an idealised version that might not look realistic.

Many should also learn from historical artists, who will already have faced similar issues in their own work, and then found ways to overcome them. Masters of the past have inspired and helped artists in almost all artistic genres, and flower art is no different in that regard. Other items to master include texture and contrast, with graphite and pencils the best tools to initially practice many of these skills.

Drawing Flowers from Different Perspectives: Top Tips and Techniques

Whilst trying out different types of flowers and plants within their work, artists can also achieve a mixture of results by altering their own angle in relation to the subject. By moving towards or away, or above or below the subject of their work, an entirely different balance can be achieved. Some artists would move close-in, focusing on petal patterns to the point where the context of the overall flower may be deliberately lost.

Techniques such as foreshortening plus guildelines and construction lines can be used to put together your composition, as well as focusing on texture by really getting close up to each flower in order to understand it intimately. When experimenting in this manner, you might find other tools are most useful to your needs, with options including pencil, charcoal, colored pencils and watercolors. For bright works, oil may also suit.

Botanical Illustrations: Merging Science and Art in Flower Drawings

Botanical illustrations have existed since ancient times, and served a variety of purposes. Typically, knowledgeable botanists would collaborate with skilled illustrators in order to record different types of plants and flowers, some of which may have been rare and close to extinction. Other choices may have been collected when travelling, and therefore relatively unknown to their local communities.

It was necessary to find the best artists for this role, as any mistakes would be continued by later generations if the plant itself no-longer existed. Precise mediums would also be needed in order to gain this accuracy, and colors would also be as close as possible to the original plant. We do know today that a huge proportion of species to have existed no-longer do, and so records such as this are vital to our understanding of the evolution of nature itself.

The precise nature of scientific art has not prevented it becoming popular with the public, and many still like to hang prints of these studies on their walls. Many will marvel at the detail of these sketches, and the vintage style of the presentation.

The Meditative Art of Flower Drawings: Finding Peace through Creativity

As artists look closer and closer at the subject of their work, so their mind will drift deeper into a meditative state. Observation can focus the mind intensely, blocking out other concerns or anxieties. It is for this reason that many artists have mental health issues already, and find solace within their work. Flower and nature within art can have an even stronger impact, combining the feelings of nature that calm our minds, with the process of artistic observation.

Besides this, the creation of flower art can also encourage creativity which has additional benefits in balancing and relaxing the mind. One must consider which flowers to cover, and how. Some even get directly in contact with the flowers themselves, such as pressing into publications, or arranging them specifically for a still life piece.

Expressing Emotions: Using Flower Drawings to Convey Feelings

Different choices of flowers within art can easily deliver a variety of feelings directly from the artist themselves. In most cases, flowers will be used in a positive manner, with bright tones and the symbolism of health and life itself. Some might go for darker emotions, such as with the work of Friedrich, who captured dying trees, and others who have focused on black and white depictions of unhealthy, withering flowers.

Additionally the style of the art itself can do similar. Abstract works by Picasso will find a fun and friendly series of flowers with just a few lines of pen or pencil. This is similar to child art, and deliberately so, achieving cartoon-like qualities which appear pure-minded and entertaining.

Drawing Bouquets: Composing Stunning Arrangements on Paper

Bouquets have proven popular with artists, and appeared regularly within still life art of the 18th and 19th century. Artists could arrange particularly complentary flowers together, considering the style of the plant and also the colors of the petals. The still life nature of this genre meant that there were no great time constraints on artists, who could continually amend each bouquet in order to get the look the desired.

Vases and containers can be used to provide balance, whilst light and shadow must also be considered when constructing these arrangements. Some will make quick sketches in an abstract format, whilst others will sit for hours at a time, seeking to replicate each and every detail of these potentially complex arrangements of flowers.

Drawing Wildflowers: Embracing the Charm of Nature's Untamed Beauties

Wildflowers have become a popular choice for sketchers, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the represent the infinite variety of nature, offering artists something new every time. They also provide an abundance of color, with no flower the same as the next. There is also imperfection within an array of wildflowers, which sets a more natural scene that gives each work a greater authenticity than with a perfect amended set up.

To the viewer, an arrangement of wildflowers may also perfectly represent nature itself, where items grow without a plan, and simply exist as nature had intended. There is no sign of humanity, as opposed to perfectly lined up crops, or a still life series of flower heads in a vase.

Preserving Flowers Forever: Tips for Pressing and Drying Floral Drawings

As a further method to embracing nature as closely as possible, some artists will press and dry flower heads in order to use them within publications. This can be a great way for children to practice simple artistic techniques, and also bridges the gap between art and the nature that it attempts to reproduce. Flower pressing is a technique which has been around for many centuries, in a similar manner to fish rubbing, where the scales of the fish are turned into art through a textured pattern.

Flower pressing and drying can be a fun hobby which also requires no skills in terms of painting or drawing, and could be an excellent introduction to flower art, whilst also helping the artist to spend time physically appreciating the natural world around them, and creating art directly from it.