Monday, April 9, 1973

Try This - Rosette

Posted November 16, 2009

First, please read my post, "Anybody Can Draw," if you haven't already. And please don't copy my drawings - but do feel free to use them to inspire your own. To see the original posts with these drawings, click here for orange and here for blue.

If you can trace a circle shape from a jar lid and make "V" and "U" shaped lines, you have all the drawing skills you need for a rosette. There's nothing tricky about it. You'll need some patience to draw all the little V's and U's, but you might find it relaxing, perhaps even meditative, as I do.
  • If you'd prefer something less detailed, click here for other "try this" opportunities, or click on "try this" in the labels list on the right, or in the menu bar in my blog header.
To try a rosette of your own, first draw very lightly, with a pencil, three concentric circles. The biggest should be about 3 inches across. You can trace around small cans, spice jar lids, tiny bowls, or glasses. See the three circles in Example A, below, to get the idea, but don't make them as dark as that! (I made mine dark so you can see them.) They should be drawn very faintly, to be easily erased when you finish drawing and before you start coloring.

Next, choose a foundation shape. Your rosette will be built on this shape. In Example A on the right, my heavy lines show you the foundation shape that I used for my orange and yellow drawing. But when you draw your foundation shape (after reading about Example B below), don't make your lines extra-heavy like that. Except for your very light pencil circles, all your lines will be the same weight - whatever your drawing pen gives you.

For your foundation shape, you can choose from many different shapes - see Example B to the right for a few of them. To read my handwritten notes, double click on the picture for a larger version. Please notice a few things about the line that forms each of the different foundation shapes:
  • It moves back and forth between the inner and middle circles as boundaries.
  • It's a continuous, unbroken line. (Though it's fine to start and stop as you're drawing it.)
  • It can be very irregular! Don't try for a perfectly regular foundation shape - it's not important for this drawing. An imperfect shape will make your rosette more interesting as you go along.
Which shape should you use? Really, it won't make much difference to the finished rosette, because it pretty much disappears as you work with it. So just choose one that you feel will be easy for you to draw.

Now, with your drawing pen, draw your foundation shape with one continuous line, using your smallest (lightly penciled) circle for the inner boundary, and your middle circle for the outer boundary. As you draw, don't worry about the number of rays or petals - five or more will work, and an odd or even number doesn't matter.

Next, you will add as many sets of V's and U's as you like! Please read the tips below. Also look at my two-page Example C at the bottom for a rosette at various steps along the way. In my twelve little drawings (C-1 through C-12), I used blue to highlight the V, U, or straight line that I was adding.

  • Always finish a complete round of V's or U's before starting a new round. This will avoid confusion, as I've learned the hard way.
  • A variety of V's and U's will make it more interesting.
  • Use your lightly pencilled circles as guidelines. They will help you keep your overall circular shape, although your V's and U's will vary.
  • Keep your outer edge "rough," so you always have easy places to anchor your V's and U's. This tip will make more sense when you look at Example C below.
  • Every rosette will be different. There is no "right way" to draw it.
  • When is it finished? Whenever you like! In Example C, I could have stopped anywhere from C-3 onward.
  • Remember to gently erase your circles. Then color! Enjoy!
Double click either picture below for a larger view.

Edited Nov. 21, 2009: See below for colored version of rosette from Example C above.

For more drawings to try, click on "try this" just below, or in the menu bar in my blog header, or in the label list on the right.

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