Flame Drawing: A Step-by-Step Guide

I If you've been searching the internet for a guide on how to draw fire, you've found it! Since fires and their flames are in constant motion, depicting them can be challenging; however, in this awesome tutorial, we will show you step by step how to draw realistic looking flames. As you read on, you'll find a detailed, step-by-step guide to drawing a flame. So, without further ado, let us dive into our detailed instructions. Always keep a light heart as you unleash your imagination.

A Detailed Explanation of How to Sketch a Fireplace

Even for experienced artists, fire drawing can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. One possible explanation is that fire is inherently unpredictable due to the fact that it constantly transforms and takes on new forms, so people are naturally wary of it. The difficulty of mastering a fire sketch is compounded by the fact that fire is somewhat translucent, making it hard to tell where the flame ends and the air begins.

In order to make the fire in this tutorial easy to recognize, we'll be simplifying and stylizing it.

What You'll Need for Art Materials

This guide can be followed either digitally, on a drawing tablet, or traditionally, with pen and paper. Gaomon Graphic Drawing Tablet is a great option if you're looking for a tablet right now. If you'd rather draw your flames by hand, we have a few suggestions for supplies you can use to make a fantastic sketch:

The First Step: Building the Fire

If you're familiar with our tutorials and have followed them in the past, you'll recall that we always recommend starting sketches with construction lines. These lines establish the framework for our subject matter, which in this case is a fire.

The initial form we'll sketch for our fire is a half moon. It will stand in for the fire's foundation, also known as the "belly." Place your half-moon at the bottom center of the page to leave room for the rest of your flame design.

Remembering that the half-moon shape is just the beginning of the process is crucial at this stage.  

Fire Drawing Step 1

Second Stage: Initial Explosions

Here we will learn how to draw a fire by tracing the first flare points. Each side of the half-moon should have a single curved point drawn on it. Each flare should curve sharply towards the point, dipping outwards and then inwards. These curves will all converge into a point. Remember that fires are dynamic, so the two sides shouldn't be a perfect reflection of each other or symmetrical. Fire has its flaws.

Fire Drawing Step 2

Step Three: Introducing Form

As you follow along with our tutorial, you may realize that you have complete creative control over your sketch. In this next section, you will increase the height of your fire. To accomplish this, one or two extra lines are added to each side. If you want to avoid burning your paper, make these lines as curved as possible. You can copy the shape we've made in our example, or you can get creative and draw your own fire in a way that's all your own.

When practicing drawing flames, keep in mind that no two flames are ever the same. You can show this all over your drawing if you want to.

As you progress through this lesson, you'll also begin adding some inner lines to the main body of the flames you've sketched. If you're adding these lines to your existing ones, their curves should follow suit whenever possible; otherwise, you can adjust the curves very slightly.

Fire Drawing Step 3

Fourth Stage: Fanning the Flames Within

The flames of a fire are just as random as the fire itself. It's not always easy to depict how a fire's flames are shaped. As you draw the flame freehand, we recommend going with the flow and allowing for a variety of arches and curves.

Fire Drawing Step 4a

Just like the first two lines you drew in step two, the sharp and pointed ends of each flame will connect your curved lines. You'll now see that your main fire is actually composed of several smaller fires, all of which originate in the fire's core.

Fire Drawing Step 4b

Phase 5: Filling in the Form and Outlines

In the fifth stage, you'll draw the outline of your fire, both inside and outside the main flame. Using your belly as a starting point, draw a few small flames. You have complete freedom to create as many or as few tiny fires as you like. In this case, less is more; remember that including too many details will only serve to confuse the viewer and detract from your final drawing. Make sure to use a pencil when sketching on paper so you can easily erase mistakes.

This next part may take a little longer, so please be patient with yourself. If you are not satisfied with your fire drawing, stop right now.

Fire Drawing Step 5a

Finish off the very end of your flame by adding some more vertical but slightly curved lines. You can make a few squiggly lines or pointy additions if you like. Use our fire as inspiration, or put your own spin on it. Don't forget that the tip of the fire, where the flames first appear, should be a single, sharp point. Your fire's form should be complete, and we hope you're pleased with it. Check out the final form we've created down here!

Fire Drawing Step 5b

Sixth Stage: Ignition and Miniature Fires

It's time to give your fire drawing a more lifelike look and feel. An S-shaped pattern of flames along the outer edges of your main fire is all that's required for this step. It's up to your personal preference how many "S" shapes you want to include. You have complete control over where they go.

Fire Drawing Step 6

Step 7: Fill in the Flames with Color

Seventh, and finally, is the last of the steps in drawing fire. Your fire should have died out by now. It's the most thrilling part because you'll finally get to use color. It's important to keep in mind that a fire displays three primary, yet vibrant colors. For your flame, we'll be using three hues: yellow, orange, and red. The colors used for each of these elements are completely up to your discretion.

The core of your flame, represented by the yellow color, is where the fire will be at its hottest. Following yellow, orange is the foundational color of the flames. The shapes closest to the blaze's peak will be rendered in red.

Keep in mind that the inner outline of your flame (the yellow part) can be replicated with a red pencil to make the final product look more realistic. You can stop working on your fire drawing at this point if you like how it turned out, which will likely be less realistic and more cartoonish. If you want a more lifelike fire, move on to step 8.

Fire Drawing Step 7

Making Color Transitions and Adding Highlights

Last but not least, if you've decided to make your fire look more realistic, this will help you do it! Here, we'll be blending and adding a hint of white to the yellow and inner flames of your fire, as well as the small curves of your main flame.

We'll be coloring in the tiny sparks with white pencil as well. Fires that are painted white look more three-dimensional and much hotter than they actually are. Colors can be blended on a graphic tablet using the brush tool. You can also use a brush if you've drawn your fire by hand. By blending, you can eliminate the sharp edges that define your fire, making it look more lifelike.

Fire Drawing Step 8

You've completed our fire drawing tutorial! We hope you are pleased with the outcome and that you have learned how to draw fire. Even though drawing fire can be scary and challenging at first, you now have the fundamentals down and will have no trouble drawing more flames in the future, whether in a cartoon or realistic style.  

How to Draw Flames

Questions That We Get A Lot

Can I Expect to Learn How to Fire Weapons from This Book?

Positively, without a doubt This detailed guide will show you every step you need to draw fire, whether you want to stay true to life or go for a more cartoonish look.

Realistically, how do I draw fire?

Since fire can be difficult to capture on paper, we've included tips on how to turn your cartoon flames into more realistic ones in the final stage of our comprehensive guide. All of our procedures are straightforward and simple to implement.

When Will They Open Fire?

It shouldn't take you long to get the hang of things, even if you've never drawn a fire before. This guide is not only short but also very straightforward.

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