How to Draw Flames. Man has lived with fire in one way or another practically since the beginning of humanity.
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Since early humans first learned about fire, it has become one of our most valuable resources but also one of our most destructive threats.
Fire is incredibly useful when used responsibly but can cause tremendous destruction if left unchecked. Because of this duality, many people enjoy depicting fire in artwork.
Of course, the first step would be learning to draw flames. Once you learn this, you can draw fire in any style you choose and do all sorts of cool things.
But how to learn to draw this element that we all know? That’s what we want to find out in this guide. We will learn how to create a flame drawing in just six steps.
Not only do we show you how to draw it, but we also look at some ways you can color your artwork and add some of your ideas to the image.
All of this and more are on the way, so let’s heat things and create a fiery work of art as we tackle the first step of the guide.
How to Draw Flames
The thing about drawing fire is that it’s essentially formless. This means there is no one-size-fits-all way to draw flames since flames can take many forms.
This can make work more difficult but also give you more freedom. While flames have no universal shape or form, we have a few recognizable ways to represent them.
In this guide, we will make the flames a little more cartoony to make them easier to represent. If you prefer that style, you can take what you learn here and make it more realistic.
When drawing your flames, you can use smoother lines, draw outlines with color, or go without outlines and create the shapes of the flames with colors only.
It’s up to you, but we’re using black outlines throughout to make it easier to illustrate what we’re talking about. When we draw the fire, we use a lot of lines and pointed shapes to make it look like a real fire.
We’ll start with a small portion of the flames now. We draw these flames with some curvy lines ending in sharp points.
Some will be small, and some will be large, but it doesn’t matter. We aim to make the flames higher in the center but feel free to experiment.
As you can see in the reference image, we will create this flame design by building it up in layers.
Again, you can adapt this approach to suit your style, but here’s how to create a recognizable portrait.
You’ll notice that we drew a flame shape for the center of the larger image, and the other layers will be added in later steps.
In the previous step, we drew the left side of this inner flame shape.
Now let’s finish the shape by drawing the right side. You may instinctively want to symmetrical the flames, but you don’t have to.
We advise you not to make it completely symmetrical. Fire is inherently chaotic, so the flame sections would be unlikely to match if this were real.
We draw pointed shapes that match the left side but aren’t the same size. They’re the same in our example, but you can play around with them.
You could add a few more flame accents for an even more unique image. Then we can proceed to step 3.
Now that we have these flames’ central core, we can add more layers. First, we add a layer of flame surrounding the core we drew in the previous steps.
You’ve seen how to draw each layer in these two steps and now know how to add.
Adding this new flame layer allows you to repeat what you did in the first two steps.
The base of this second layer is at the same point as the first core shape, but it extends a little further. Otherwise, we’ll draw it the same way as before.
It uses curved, wavy lines to create flame flaps, each ending in a pointed tip. Again, as you can see in the reference image, we didn’t make it perfectly symmetrical.
This second layer is even less symmetrical than the central shape. You’ll notice that there are two pointed spikes on the left side, while there are three on the right side.
These converge at a central peak in the middle to create the layer you see. It doesn’t have to match ours exactly either, and you can change the shapes if you like.
If you change it up, add some wavy lines and pointed tips, and you will end up with what looks like a traditional depiction of flames.
If you’re happy with its appearance, we can add the final layer in step 4 before drawing in some final details.
Now let’s draw the last layer of flame bigger than ever. You’ll see that the previous two levels weren’t that far apart.
We will slightly increase the distance between the layer we just drew and the layer we’re about to draw. This will give the fire some dimension as we add more detail soon.
Aside from this larger size, we will again follow the same steps. By now, you know the exercise!
We will be using many of those curvy lines with pointed tips again. We won’t worry too much about symmetry, either.
Color will be one of the most important aspects of this design, but before we get to that, we need to add a few more details! If you look at a real fire, you will see that it is not a solid form.
Instead, the fire keeps flickering, causing sparks and other movement. A fire never stands still, but this drawing needs to be perfectly still.
For this reason, we must do our best to create the illusion of this movement in the drawing. To do this, we draw small flame shapes around the flames drawn so far.
As mentioned in the previous step, color will be very important for this flame design. This is because fire is always very bright, and using color is the best way to demonstrate this.
Fire can take on many colors depending on the circumstances, but we commonly associate it with warm colors like red, yellow, and orange.
In our reference image, you can see that we chose different shades of orange and yellow to warm the fire on the side. If you like the look, you can create a similar look for your design. Don’t be afraid to add your colors into the mix, though! As already mentioned, red is also a great addition to the drawing.
Your Flames Drawing is Finished!