How to Draw a Realistic-Looking Daisy

Young woman in profile painting at an easel.


The classic daisy is a favorite flower to draw, and we often draw them with a simple circle and oval leaves — a classic simplified, symbolic flower doodle. To make your daisy drawing look a little more realistic, it helps to use a good reference photo. That way, you'll be drawing what a daisy really looks like, not what you think it looks like. Look for a clear, close-up photo. Daisies are easy to grow. You could plant some and never run out of subjects to sketch!

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How to Draw a Daisy

Photograph of a real daisy left, sketch drawing of a daisy outline right.

Joshua Ludwig/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 / Helen South

The easiest way to begin is by drawing the center of the daisy. It's almost perfectly circular, but with a bumpy edge. Make it really irregular, not zig-zagged. Then add the petals that are in front of others — the ones you can see a complete outline of. Then add the petals that are tucked in behind the front petals. Notice how the ends of some of the petals aren't pointy. Some will be perfectly flat, while some might be tilted slightly, narrower, or even curled. Observe your photo and copy the shapes.

Using a Paint Program

Because I was just sketching this daisy casually, I didn't worry too much about lines meeting perfectly or overlapping. If you want to color your drawing using a computer paint program, you'll want to make sure that your lines all meet up exactly, so they will contain the fills you might use in the program. This is called closing your polygons. The polygon is a shape with many sides. Each petal or part of the flower is a polygon that you need to enclose in order to fill it without painting the background the same color.

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Daisy Drawing

Sketched image of a daisy on a white background.

Helen South

Finish the daisy drawing by adding in the remaining petals and drawing the stem. Add some texture to the center with short, squiggly lines and dots, particularly on the darker side. This adds a suggestion of shadow. Don't overdo it! You just want to indicate that there's a bit of texture there, and suggest the direction of the sun without drawing every little detail.

The main thing to keep in mind with daisies is that they are mostly very simple. In fact, they often symbolize simplicity, optimism, and happiness. When you're drawing them, aim for clean, fresh lines without too much fuss.

While some flowers are very uniform, daisies like these all vary slightly. Take a good look at some different photos of the flower you are drawing to see how different specimens vary. Now you've drawn a flower from a photograph, why not try sketching some from life? It's a little bit trickier, but the result is a natural-looking sketch with much more of your own personality in the drawing.