In this sketchbook challenge, we’re going to warm things up a bit. That’s right, we’re going to learn how to draw fire. Some people struggle with drawing fire. Perhaps this is because it is inherently transparent in areas. Another factor to the challenge is the ever-changing state of fire. It’s always on the move – constantly changing shape. Fortunately, we can create the illusion of fire in a drawing relatively easily.
Step 1 – Draw the Object On Fire
Before we draw any fire, we’ll need to draw the actual object that is burning. This could be anything that you want. It doesn’t have to be wood, since so many things can burn. But for this tutorial, we are going to draw a log of wood.
Step 2 – Draw a Few Wavy Lines
Now that our burning object has been drawn, we can concentrate on creating the illusion of fire. We’ll begin by drawing just a few wavy lines that extend over the top of the object. These lines should not just come off of the top of the burning object, but also overlap it – since we want the fire to appear a bit transparent by the end.
Step 3 – Draw Some More Wavy Lines
Now, we’ll just continue to add more of these lines until we are satisfied with the look. Notice that the lines used here are more frequent closer to the object that is burning. The lines diffuse as they go further away from the burning object. Also, it’s important to note that fire burns upward, so these lines should reflect this as well.
Step 4 – Draw “U” Shaped Fillers to Create the Illusion of Fire
The wavy lines that we drew in the previous steps are a great start to creating our fire, but those lines alone are not enough. Next, we need to draw “U” shaped lines to fill in some of the gaps. These lines won’t exist everywhere in the fire, but they do need to be added here and there.
Step 5 – Go Over Your Lines
The lines needed to create the illusion of fire are there, you simply may need to make them more noticeable. This is especially true if you have been drawing lightly up to this point. Using a darker medium, you can go over lines making them thicker in areas. You can leave the drawing of fire alone and call it finished or you can precede to the next step and add some color.
Step 6 – Add Color to the Drawing
The only thing left to do is to add some color to the fire and make it glow. Of course the intensity of the color will be stronger the closer to the “heart” of the fire you get. The value will also be lighter as well. Use strong contrast between highlighted areas and shadows to further the illusion of light in the drawing.