Spring is in the air, and what better way to celebrate than by creating beautiful flower drawings with your child? Using pen and ink or black watercolor paint, your little ones can create stunning flower drawings while you encourage your child’s artistic experimentation.
Back before I had a fancy iPad program with lots of cool texture tools, I used to gather up my inks and brushes and head outside to the garden at the first inkling of spring. Throughout spring and summer, I’d fill up pages of paper with quick sketches of flowers and leaves, trying to capture different stages of blooming and the intricacies and moods of each flower in its particular stage of life.
Some flowers just SANG of spring joy, new life, and vitality with flashy colors and strong stems. Others felt perennially melancholy, shyly camouflaged and gently tilting toward the earth from bud to fall finale. Studying the daily details and changes of each made me fall in love with every single one.
These living signs of spring in the garden are a great way to teach children about the natural world around them. As the first signs of spring emerge, there is a unique opportunity to spend time outside and capture the intricate beauty of blooming flowers with black and white drawings.
By studying and drawing these natural objects, children can learn about plant life cycles, the importance of pollination, and the role of plants in the environment. It’s a fantastically fun and engaging way to teach children about science and nature while developing their artistic skills.
As a bonus, you can pop these lovely kid-made flower drawings into frames, or cut them out and put them on folded pieces of paper for instant handmade cards or gifts.
For more kids’ mark-making opportunities, visit our spring landscape art project, or experiment with artist Xu Bing’s playful and profound visual investigation of characters and language with an artful alphabet project.
For your own black-and-white flower drawings, you’ll need:
- Pencils, pens, and paintbrushes
- Black watercolor paint, finger paints, charcoal, or black crayons
- Watercolor paper or heavy drawing paper
- A flat drawing surface and masking tape
- Black ink
- A bamboo brush or reed pen
- A watercolor pen
- Sponges, q-tips, eyedroppers, or cotton balls
- A kneaded eraser
How to Make Black and White Flower Drawings With Kids
Gather your drawing supplies.
Begin by gathering your mark-making materials. You can opt for everyday supplies like black crayons, markers, or watercolor paint, or choose to experiment with more unique supplies like vine charcoal, a bamboo paintbrush or pen, technical drawing pens, etc.
When selecting paper, consider a thick option that supports ink or watercolor without bleeding or tearing. Watercolor paper is an excellent choice, as it works well for any combination of drawing mediums.
If you’re working inside, choose a well-lit area and a nice large flat surface that’s at a comfortable height for kids. If you’re working outside, use masking tape to secure the paper to a drawing board or a large square of heavy cardboard, and use a tray to hold your various drawing supplies.
Loosen up with free mark-making.
Begin by making some free marks – lines, dots, ink blots, smudges, anything you want! This is a way for kids to have a little fun experimenting with the marks each drawing tool can make.
Encourage them to try making lines using a light touch, then a heavier one, or using their left hand, then their right hand. Turn the brushes or tools on their sides. Or experiment with using a dry brush in watercolor paint or ink, then load the brush with lots of water and observe how the marks look different.
As an example, all the marks above were made with the same bamboo paintbrush and black drawing ink.
Observe and draw!
These flower studies focus on observing the details of a single flower or piece of foliage, so start by asking kids to pick one to draw. Select a real flower, an artificial flower, or a photograph of a flower for the kids to observe and use as a reference for their drawing. Encourage them to pay close attention to the flower’s shape, petal arrangement, and other details.
If using real flowers, invite them to handle the flower and turn it over to look at it from all sides. Does it have thin feathery petals, large glossy leaves, wiry stems? What shapes do they see? Triangular petals? Almond-shaped leaves?
Now they can begin drawing. Have the children study the flower closely, noting its size, proportions, and the way the petals and leaves are positioned. They can then begin drawing the flower on their paper, trying to replicate the shapes, lines, and angles they observe. This practice helps them develop observational skills and learn to translate real-life objects onto paper.
Experiment with new drawing techniques (optional).
Encourage your kids to explore different drawing techniques, such as shading, cross-hatching, stippling, or smudging. They can also experiment with using multiple mark-making supplies, for example, pencils for more precise lines, charcoal for softer textures, or markers and crayons for bolder marks. This process allows them to discover the unique properties of each material and find their personal preferences.
As an example, I made the quick plant study above, using a charcoal pencil to demonstrate cross-hatching as a technique to shade a clump of thick grass.
Once the kiddos have completed their black-and-white flower drawings, encourage them to tell you about it or share their work with their peers, discuss their experiences, and reflect on the techniques and supplies they particularly enjoyed using. This conversation fosters a sense of community, appreciation for each other’s work, and a deeper understanding of their own artistic preferences and abilities.
Flower Drawing Variations and Mark-Making Techniques Kids Can Experiment With
Try subtractive drawing.
Instead of drawing a flower with a pencil or pen, create a flower by erasing! Invite your kids to cover the entire surface with a medium, such as charcoal, graphite, or pastel. Then, use an eraser to remove parts of the medium to create lighter areas or reveal the underlying paper or surface. This technique can produce interesting effects, textures, and a sense of depth and dimension in the artwork.
Make blindfolded flower drawings, or use a non-dominant hand.
Blindfolded flower drawings and non-dominant hand drawings are fun and unconventional ways to explore creativity and challenge one’s artistic abilities. These techniques can be a great exercise to help artists, including children, let go of their expectations and focus on the process rather than the outcome.
Give your flowers depth and texture with stippling, cross-hatching, or smudging.
Stippling is a technique that involves creating a pattern or texture by making numerous small dots with a drawing tool. Kids can experiment with stippling by using a black marker or crayon to create small dots in a circular pattern, gradually filling in the shape of a flower’s center or petals. This will add depth and texture to their black-and-white flower drawings.
Cross-hatching is a technique that uses intersecting lines to create shading and texture. Children can use black crayons, pencils, or charcoal to draw a series of parallel lines in one direction and then overlay another set of lines in a different direction. They can use this technique to create shadows on the petals or leaves of their flowers, making the drawings appear more three-dimensional.
Smudging is a technique that involves blending or softening lines and colors by rubbing them with a finger, a tissue, or a blending tool. Kids can use charcoal or a soft pencil to draw their flower shapes and then use their fingers or a blending tool to gently smudge the lines, creating a soft and smooth appearance. This technique is especially effective for creating delicate, wispy petals or a hazy background.
Flip the flower drawing color palette.
Instead of working with black mark-making supplies on a white background, flip the palette and try light on dark. It gives the drawings a completely different feel!
Variations on this Project for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Make monochromatic flower finger paintings. Finger painting is a fun and sensory-rich activity for toddlers and preschoolers. Provide them with black washable paint and large sheets of white paper or white canvas. They can use their fingers to create flower shapes like petals, stems, and leaves. This method encourages creativity and helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
- Try dried flower crayon rubbings. Crayon rubbing is an age-appropriate technique that allows children to create interesting textures and patterns. Place a flat, dried flower, underneath a sheet of white paper. Have the child use a black crayon or oil pastel to gently rub over the paper, revealing the texture of the object beneath. This technique can be used to create unique flower patterns and designs.
- Trace and color flower shapes. Tracing can be an excellent method for creating cool, high-contrast flower drawings for toddlers and preschoolers who are just learning to control their hand movements. Provide them with black crayons or markers and simple flower templates that they can trace onto white paper. Once they have traced the outline, encourage them to color in their drawings using black crayons or markers, focusing on the contrast in their artwork. This technique helps develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and an understanding of basic drawing concepts.
Teaching children how to make monochromatic flower drawings is a fantastic way to encourage creativity and artistic expression. Much of the joy in this project is the PROCESS – creating a positive environment where children feel free to experiment and make exciting art discoveries. That’s where creativity BLOOMS!
Mini Pen and Ink Spring Flower Art Prints for Mother’s Day
Spring is on the wing, so to brighten things up around here, I scanned in a few of my own flower drawings and made a couple of mini spring flower prints you can print and use for projects, or frame and give as an instant gift.
These free printable pen and ink spring art prints are sized to 8×8 and 12×12 to fit perfectly within Ikea’s square Ribba frames (I had a couple to fill). Whether you’re using these as a sweet mini Mother’s Day surprise or decorating a nursery with little blooms, they’re sure to brighten any space they’re in!
BONUS UPDATE: I’ve revised this printable download to include a new mini print sized to fit 4″x6″ or 5″x7″ frames!
More spring flower art and craft projects for kids
If flowers are right up your alley, you’ve hit the goldmine because they’re one of our favorite things!
This hammered nature process art is one of our most popular posts and gives kids a chance to smash and splatter while discovering a new way to make spring art.
Instead of using them as framed art, cut them out and add them to a cardboard foldout secret garden. You can experiment with watercolor or ink flower-making by trying our flower garden greeting card tutorial (with a free printable template).
And for more perfectly gorgeous kid-made paper flower projects (just in time for Mother’s Day…!), try these modern mini flower collages (perfect for pattern lovers) or our mixed media heart bouquets. And our tissue paper and twig spring flowers are a great way to bring the outside in – even in the winter.
And be sure to stop by our “Secret Garden” Spotify playlist – it’s the perfect soundtrack to a flower art-making session!