How To Draw Flames

You can learn to draw flames of different types very easily. Whether done in black-and-white or in color, even the rankest of beginners will find it easy to draw basic outlines depicting flames and to embellish them to give the flames a more realistic and moving look. Follow the detailed steps listed down below to learn how to draw flames of different kinds.

Step 1

Basic outline drawing. With only paper and a pencil, you can get started by drawing some basic flame outlines and practice till you have it down pat. To begin you will need to draw a couple of inverted S shaped lines, which meet each other at the top and bottom ends. Alternatively, think of it as drawing mountains and valleys vertically. The curves should be rounded out and shallow rather than pointed and deep. This is the basic outline of a flame, and you can draw it in any size.

Step 2

Drawing a candle flame. This one is much simpler and a more common way of depicting flames. You could light up a candle to check out the exact shape of the flame while drawing. The flame should resemble an inverted pear with a narrow top and the lines ballooning and curving from the middle to the bottom resembling a light bulb. This will show up as a still flame. To depict some movement, you can make a dip in one of the side curves to give the notion of a flame flickering with the movement of flame. Using color on varying shades of orange and yellow, you can shade out the inner area of the flame. Use the deeper colors for the core where the flame emanates from the wick and progressively lighten the color using shades of yellow towards the perimeter of the flame.

Step 3

Drawing open flames such as in a campfire. This will be an extension of the outline drawing done in step one, only you will draw several such outlines in different sizes, next to and some overlapping, each other. To give you a frame of reference as to the origin of the flames, you can draw some cylindrical lines depicting the wood, the top ends meeting at one point from where the flames originate and the lower ends as if the logs are stacked next to each other in a fan shape.

Step 4

Use of color and shading. Once you are more comfortable with sketching out the flame shapes, you can use shading and/or color to impart the flickering movement to the flames. Coloring the background paper in black will throw up a contrast with the oranges and yellow shades you will use for the actual flames. The darker shades should be used to color the inner part of the flame, while using a bright yellow at the outer ends and periphery will provide the right contrast. As above, use a lit candle as a reference point to fill in the colors.

As always, practice makes perfect and if you are a beginner to drawing, learn to draw the simple outlines first using only pencil and paper and graduate to coloring only when you have become a little more practiced at drawing. Flames are very easy to draw, unlike other objects, so you should not have too much difficulty moving from the drawing to the coloring stage.


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