Illustrating Hibiscus Flower

Illustrating Hibiscus Flower

  • Software: Inkscape (or Illustrator)
  • Level: Beginner
  • Subject: Hibiscus Flower

This will be a simple step by step tutorial on illustrating a Hibiscus Flower using Inkscape.


Use GIMP, any other graphics editors like Photoshop, or even on paper, to create a simple sketch of the hibiscus flower.

Illustrating Hibiscus Flower - Sketching

You do not need to focus on details. Just the rough shape and composition should be sketched, as we will be creating an illustration out of it.

Illustrate Petals

Import the sketch into Inkscape.

Illustrating Hibiscus Flower - Step 1

Use the Bezier Curve and Straight Line tool [Shift]+[F6] to mark out the main shape.

Illustrating Hibiscus Flower - Step 2

Use the Edit Path Nodes tool [F2] to shape these lines to curves, using the sketch as guide.

Illustrating Hibiscus Flower - Step 3

Draw another set of lines, just marking out the white area of the petals. You can ignore the Pistil and Stamens for now.

Illustrating Hibiscus Flower - Step 4

Shape them too with the Edit Path Node tool.

Illustrating Hibiscus Flower - Step 5

Give both these shapes the colors. You can keep the outline of the outer shape to create another gradation. For the inner shape, switch off the outline stroke.

Pistil And Stamen

This is the part of the flower that comes out from the center, and forms the reproductive parts of the plants.

Illustrating Hibiscus Flower - Step 6 - Pistill And Stamen

Send back the two sets of shapes you had created for the petal, under the sketch, and then start shaping the remaining part. Remember to make its outline a bit thinner.

Illustrating Hibiscus Flower - Step 7

Now you can send back the sketch layer or even delete it.


Illustrating Hibiscus Flower - Step 8

You can give another set of details, like the lighter hue on the petals, and more details on the stamens.

Illustrating Hibiscus Flower - Completed

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  1. Jude’s avatar

    Nice article! Sketching it out first gives it a more hand-drawn look which is refreshing.


  2. Vyoma’s avatar

    Thanks, Jude! :)

    I usually follow two different workflows when I work with Inkscape depending on the style of outcome I wish.

    For a more symmetric/geometric look, the artwork is constructed out of basic shapes. For a more hand-drawn/assymmetric look (like this one), I do a quick sketch in GIMP.


    1. Ashley’s avatar

      Please help. When I try to drag the straight lines (making up the rough flower outline) into curved lines, I get a thin red line that goes where I ask, but my original thin black line stays put. When I deselect after putting all the curves in place, the black line (the original line) is the only line that shows up. Thanks in advance.


  3. 8i87io’s avatar

    this rocks! i tried drawing so many flower sketches but this is the best


  4. aquariumhell’s avatar

    Thank you, great tutorial! – – my own minor variant.


  5. Vyoma’s avatar

    That looks great aquariumhell! :)


    1. buggy’s avatar

      awesome sketch!!! it helped me on my art project a lot


  6. nicu’s avatar

    You can also draw the sketch in Inkscape using the calligraphic brush.


  7. Vyoma’s avatar

    Yes we can nicu. :)

    I just am totally addicted to GIMP when it comes to free form. With GIMP+Wacom, it almost as good as the real thing – and I usually prefer to go through that approach when I would not be using those initial strokes. :)


  8. ash - hibiscus flower painter’s avatar

    Very nice form. Hibiscus are simple pleasures. I need to learn more calligraphy.

    great site!



  9. tasarhane’s avatar

    very nice tutorial… thanks for sharing..


  10. Don’s avatar

    You wrote:

    “You can keep the outline of the outer shape to create another gradation.

    I can’t seem to figure out how you do this. Please help.


  11. Vyoma’s avatar

    Don, if you observe the final image, you will notice that all the shapes except the most outer one, have their outline stroke switched off. For the outer shape alone, keep the outline switched on, and the stroke color to a darker hue. That will save you from creating another shape just for the outline.

    This screenshot from Inkscape may help you understand better.


  12. Don’s avatar

    Thank you for your detailed answer. Much appreciated.


  13. Tiffany’s avatar

    dame that thing does not work at all!i would not recomend it.mine came out like crap. im not even lying i tried it like e million of times and it does not work.DO NOT TRY IT!!!!!!!!!!(It will come out like crap)


  14. arianna’s avatar

    wow i like the flower its awsome


  15. Titut’s avatar

    Love arts and hibiscus is one of my object. I post Striking Pink Hibiscus Photo on Nomads Arts Gallery. Thank you for the neat tutorial, I’ll try it asap.



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