Drawing doesn’t always have to be about copying reality. Sometimes, it’s more about the idea and composition than about a perfect rendering of something that already exists.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a special text effect, where text is revealed as the negative space of floral ornaments. The drawing process of this is very relaxing, and the end result, when done carefully, is clean and beautiful! The best thing here is that you don’t need real drawing skills—just follow my steps!
What You Will Need
You’ll need the following equipment in order to complete this project:
Type your text in a chosen program using a fancy, yet clear font. In this tutorial, I used Carosello, and I typed “Fleur”, which is French for “flower”.
Print your text, adjusting its size and the format of the page to your intended result.
Place the printed page right on top of a clean sheet of paper. Use the utility knife to cut the outline of the letters. Do it gently and carefully, keeping all the curves. Make sure that they’re all connected to each other!
Once you’ve finished, move the upper page aside to reveal the other sheet. Deepen the cuts if necessary, and then remove the paper outside from the letter. You can also use scissors to clean up any sharp corners.
Place your text on another clean sheet of paper, right where you want the illustration to be.
2. How to Sketch Basic Floral Ornaments
Take a pencil. While holding the text in place with your other hand, draw a “skeleton” of a big flower. Do it gently, sketch lightly, and be careful not to move the text. It’s safer to start drawing on the text and then go on the paper than the other way around.
Outline each petal.
Add a more detailed shape to each petal. Feel free to ignore the parts that are entirely covered by the text.
Sketch the basic rhythm of leaves here and there. If you need to move your hand, always secure the text with the other hand first. If you move the text by accident, it can be very difficult to place it where it was before!
Add the outline of a leaf.
Add some veins.
Draw a branch of lines.
Add some leaves and berries to it.
Draw the basic shape of a flower bud.
Add details to it.
Add a few dill-like flowers.
Draw some branches with little leaves.
Draw a bell-shaped flower.
Add curled petals to it.
Add the stamens.
Add a branch with leaves. Keep all the parts of the twig straight for a more natural effect.
3. How to Finish the Sketch of the Ornaments
Add some more flowers here and there.
Add a fern leaf.
Add a pair of simple flowers along with stems.
Add another flower, starting with a cup shape.
Draw an exotic flower to fill the space between the letters.
Draw another branch with little berries.
Draw a big palm leaf behind the big flower.
Add another sprig.
To make all the letters visible, we must give them all some background. Fill all the spaces left with big leaves in various shapes and poses.
4. How to Draw Floral Ornaments With Ink
Take a thicker ink liner now and outline all the sprigs and branches. Do it slowly, to keep all the lines steady. This is very important for this style, and it helps keep the text in place right until the end.
Outline the flowers. Try to keep them all in a similar style, even if they differ in details.
Outline the leaves.
Thicken some of the sprigs.
Take the smaller ink liner now. Fill the small leaves with straight “veins”.
Do the same with big leaves, trying to keep the same rhythm all over each one. Be very careful when crossing the letters!
Make the lines denser around the middle vein…
… and on the outer edge.
Add one more level of denseness, even closer to the middle vein and to the edge of the leaf.
Draw the middle of some flowers.
Draw some texture on the petals of the flowers. Draw it lightly, barely touching the paper, to achieve an interesting effect.
Shade the texture more.
To make the letters stand out more, shade the elements right next to them by thickening their lines.
Take the thicker ink liner again and thicken some of the outlines.
Now, very carefully, lift a part of the text to see how the effect looks. If necessary, put it back and shade the elements some more. You can even add some fake shading where there are no elements, as long as it gets lost among the elements around it.
Finally, remove the text. You can still fix something at this point, but be very careful—crossing the letters can ruin the effect! Once the ink dries, erase the pencil marks.
Do you want to try other tutorials about drawing with ink? Check these out: