How To Draw A Sunflower

This tutorial will teach you how to draw a sunflower!

Sunflowers (helianthus annuus) are native to the North and South America. It is believed they were domesticated as far back as 5000 years ago and today are not only appreciated for their beauty but also for being useful in a wide variety of modern ways.

how to draw a sunflower

The name is derived from the flowers shape which of course looks like a sun! Sunflowers are annual flowers and need full exposure to the sun so you won’t find many growing under shaded areas. They are resilient plants and are surprisingly resistant to drought and extreme heat.

Sunflowers have a long thick stem, course leaves, and a large showy flowering head. Sunflower plants can commonly grow from 5 to 12 feet tall. When placed in gardens they are known to attract birds and butterflies.

The flowering head of the plant is an inflorescence which mean it actually consists of many small individual flowers. The outer florets form petals which can be the most commonly seen yellow, or red, or orange.

The inner florets, which don’t become petals, turn into seeds eventually. These seeds could of course become new sunflowers or can be tapped for a variety of uses including use as snacks, turned into oil for cooking, used to make sunflower seed butter (kind of like peanut butter) or a variety of other applications.

Step 1

We are going to first draw the guidelines for our sunflower

Draw concentric circles. These will help us so we can draw the petals and inner disc of the flower.


Step 2

Now we’re going to draw the details of the inner disc of our sunflower.

Beginning in the very middle circle draw small circles around the inner ring. These will be the inner florets of the flower.

These circles do not have to be perfect. In fact it is better if they are uneven and vary in size from one another.


Step 3

Now that we have drawn the inner most florets we will gradually work our way out from here.

Draw more and more florets. Stop at the edge of the second ring.

Remember to vary the size of the small circles slightly. They are all irregular and don’t need to be uniform.


Step 4

Draw florets all around this area. It’s a bit of a tedious process but the extra detail will add a lot of character to our drawing.


Step 5

Then color some of the out florets black. This black area will help to show the empty space between some florets.

Draw curved lines around in the inner ring. These will all rotate around the very center of the ring.


Step 6

Sketch the first petals of the sunflower.

The petals will start from the very edge of the inner florets and expand to a soft curve. These petals will taper to a single sharp point at the very tip. The tips will stop at the outermost guidelines circle we drew in step 1.

The petals don’t all need to touch the outermost guideline. Some can be shorter or taller than others. Also some can be thicker or thinner than other petals.

These petals can be drawn haphazardly around the inner circle. Feel free to leave some gaps between them. We will be filling those in in the next step. These first petals are the first layer and the other petals will be placed “behind” them.


Step 7

Sketch out the second layer of petals. These petals will fill in the gaps you may have left in step 6.

These petals will also vary in size. Draw some of them touching the outer most guideline ring.


Step 8

The stem of the flower will be thick and shoot down with a slight curve.

Sketch out a few leaves growing from it.


Step 9

Erase the guidelines from step 1.

Redraw anything that doesn’t look quite right and add a few finishing touches. If you drew it in pencil you might want to try using ink on your pencil lines. Also considering coloring your drawing using whatever medium you prefer.

sunflower line drawing

Congratulation on finishing the How To Draw A Sunflower tutorial!

How does it look? Show me! I would love to see your drawing! The comments section below the article (and on all articles) allows you to post images. Please share your drawing with me! I love to see them and read your comments.

  • Bruno Rello

    Hi Matthew, can I use the sunflower picture as an album cover?