How to Draw Flames Step by Step

There are a number of general rules to drawing any basic shape in order to make the process easier, and these can also be applied when learning how to draw flames. Although there are many different types of flames, by following the steps below you can create any type of flame you want.

How to Draw Flames

The following tips will help you understand how to draw flames step by step.

Outer Shape

Like when drawing anything, from a tree to a hair dryer, you must first have a mental image of how you want the final outcome to appear. Therefore, when attempting to draw flames you need to decide what kind of shape you want them to be. Do you want them to be tall of short? Thin or fat? Once this is decided, you have the outer shell of your flame.


With the outer shell decided you can now concentrate on the detail of your picture. This can either be smaller flames surrounding the main flame or detail within the outer shell. Many people copy the outer shell, just smaller within the main frame. This can be done two or three times and colours can alter in each band.


How to Draw Flames Step by Step

How to Draw Flames Step by Step

This choice is entirely up to you. You can either take the traditional route and stick with the generic red, orange and yellow, or you can opt for a more original flame, like a variety of greens or blues.

Finishing Touches

In order to make each colour band stand out you can go over the edges to darken them slightly. Not only will this make the flame more eye-catching, but will also add an extra element of detail to your picture.

Different Styles

Although these basic steps are applicable to any style of flame that you are attempting to draw, there are a few subtle differences that you can make. When adopting a tribal style, black lines need to be far more prominent than usual. Heavy black lines and more angular lines will best suit this style. A more realistic style will need far less definition between colours and even the outer shell should not be too precise.

Using Different Mediums

When attempting to draw different styles of flames, e.g. a gas fire, it could produce better effects and a more realistic fire by using different mediums such as pastels on black paper. By dragging brightly coloured pastels like red, orange and white across dark paper, you can create an amazing smoky effect.

You can also use a simple white pastel to create a really cool effect. On black paper, choose a central point that you want to be the source of the light. From this central point drag the pastel out applying less pressure the further out you go.

You can also adapt these tricks to create whatever effect you want by applying different colours or by using paint, oil pastels or coloured and patterned paper.

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