Have you ever been enchanted by the sight of lily pads peacefully adorning the surface of a pond, accompanied by their delicate flowers? Then, this guide on how to draw lily pads is your ticket to capturing that magic on paper.
In this tutorial, we’ll use simple steps to unlock the secrets of this aquatic beauty, from drawing the flat, circular lily leaves to capturing elegant blooms with distinctive petals.
We’ll also show you how to make your lily pad drawing charming with its natural color. Plus, a water background is still added for a better effect.
Lots of stuff to do, right?
Without further ado, let’s dive into the beauty of lily pads and explore our tutorial with simple and easy-to-follow instructions.
How to Draw Lily Pads – Step by Step Tutorial
Note: Click the slider arrow (or push arrow keys) to see step-by-step.
First, it’s good that you notice the overall composition of your lily pads and flowers. Refer to our picture and decide where to position these elements within your drawing. You might make some changes, but keep in mind the balance and harmony of the arrangement.
Now, it’s time to jump right into the first step in this tutorial.
Step 1: This step is for sketching the lily pad leaves. Start by drawing a medium, flat, oval shape representing the first lily pad. This shape can be slightly irregular for a more natural look. Plus, mark the center of the pad for further extra details.
Repeat this step to add more lily pads in varying sizes and positions. You can make some leaves overlap and some partially cut by the edge of your canvas for an exciting look.
Step 2: Next, we’ll turn our lily pads into damaged ones, as it suggests natural wear and tear. This is also a good idea to make your artwork vibrant.
So, how do we create this effect? Well, you just need to draw two lines radiating outwards from the center point of each leave, creating a triangular-shaped section like a small piece of cake.
Step 3: Moving onto the flower sketch. Begin by drawing two oval shapes (differentiating in sizes) on top of two varying lily pad compositions.
Notice: You should use another pencil color for this flower sketch so that it won’t lost in the abundance of lily pads.
Step 4: How about the watering effect? We’ll create water ripples to bring this drawing to the next level. Again, use a different color for the following strokes.
Mark the central point first, then draw an oval shape representing the first ripple. Continue drawing additional waves, each slightly larger and farther from the central point than the previous one.
After nailing this guide, continue to draw some more of them. Feel free to add more/reduce the number of ripples in each composition to make them look natural.
Step 5: Let’s move to details from this step.
For the flower, we’ll draw each layer of petals. Start with the first layer, a combination of six different thin eclipse-shaped petals right in the middle of one flower outline you’ve sketched before.
Step 6: Then add several more layers of petals. These petals should be larger and slightly overlapped by the petals above them.
Step 7: Add more petals until they nearly fit the outline shape to form a full bloom.
Step 8: Now, you need to use the same technique (from steps 5-7) to make the second lily bloom.
When you’ve finished, trace over the outer lines of all petals (refer to our picture below) of the two flowers to make them clean and precise.
Step 9: Similarly, we’ll trace over the lily pads. But this time, determine which lily pads are placed on the top and which are overlapped to achieve appropriate tracing lines.
Additional notice: Don’t make your lines too smooth, yet make them irregular to mimic the serrated or scalloped edges of the lily pad leaves, including the torn areas.
Refer to our image to execute with the first pad.
Step 10: Watch closely and trace over the rest. Try to make the lines accurately to maintain these lily pads’ original shape and form.
Step 11: For the water ripples, mark that we will not trace over the ripples to make them bold since it’ll result in an unnatural look. Instead, use slightly dashed lines to cover most of the ripples’ outlines. Then, add some short lines following the circle flow for extra detail.
Step 12: It’s time for the leaves’ veins. On each lily pad, lightly draw the vein pattern. These small details should radiate outward from the center of the leaf towards the edges. They should resemble gently curving lines.
You can draw extra branches from these veins to make them realistic.
Have you finished yet? Then, erase the guidelines to refine your drawing, preparing for the next steps of adding colors.
Step 13: Here, we stick to the natural shade of the lily pads and flowers, which are green and purple.
Firstly, apply a coat base of relevant color to these elements.
Step 14: Then, choose a different shade of green (or blue) for the water. Remember to choose a light tone only to mimic the substance as well as to accentuate the lily pads.
Step 15: Once you’ve covered everything with a base color, it’s time to enhance their look by adding shades.
How do you nail it then? Well, it’s relatively simple.
Identify those lily pad parts likely to be in shadow (for example, the torn edges or overlapping parts). Opt for a dark green tone and start shading.
You must also determine where the light source comes to draw the leaves’ shadows falling on the water surface. Then, use a darker shade of the water to make the shadows appear soft and elongated, resembling the shape of the leaves that are casting them.
Step 16: Back to the blooms. Seem like it lacks the dimension, right?
To make them more alluring, color each flower’s central area with a yellow shade. Plus, highlight the petals’ edges or tips with a bright or white stroke, giving them a natural-looking and eye-grabbing appearance.
Breathe a sigh of relief and be proud of yourself! You’ve just basically finished a beautiful drawing of lily pads.
But if you’re still interested and don’t want your journey to end here, look at our picture below to see some extra details we’ve added.
Consider making the pads outstanding by coloring the veins with a brighter green hue. Or you might change your attention to the blooms with extra strokes of dark purple along the center of the inner petals.
Here’s the truth: You have endless options to make your drawing shine beyond several suggestions of ours above. From changing the bloom’s color from purple to white or pink to drawing additional elements of your choice (saying a tiny frog or water drops), each idea will give you an interesting experience.
Here’s another truth: You don’t need to strictly follow our instructions on how to draw lily pads to have unique artwork. Take it as a simple guideline and expand this journey further. For example, you can switch the drawing from this top view to an angled view. The journey will become more challenging, but we believe you’ll learn a lot and realize your elevated skills.