Titanic’s Sketch Origin Makes Rose’s Drawing Scene Even More Personal

Kate Winslet painting in Titanic

Rose’s drawing in Titanic is an integral part of the film and her character. However, the real story of how it was made makes it even more special.

The real story behind the iconic drawing of Rose in Titanic makes the moment even more special. One of the biggest focal points in Titanic is a drawing of the main protagonist Rose DeWitt-Bukater. It is initially found in an old safe at the beginning of the film by Brock who was hoping to find the Heart of the Ocean necklace instead. However, the release of this drawing to the press is what brings present-day Rose back to the Titanic where she tells the story of the film. The drawing also serves as a turning point for Rose’s character, representing Rose taking control of her life and her freedom.


While in the film, Rose is drawn from life by her love-interest Jack Dawson, this was not the case in real life. It was not Leonardo DiCaprio who sketched the drawing, but instead the writer/director of Titanic James Cameron. According to the behind-the-scenes of Titanic, Kate Winslet, who plays Rose, posed for pictures in a bikini in several positions, so James Cameron could use them for reference when drawing the picture. The scene was later filmed as seen, but DiCaprio isn’t actually drawing Winslet.

Related: Titanic Detail Hints Rose Was Wearing The Necklace The Entire Time

James Cameron Drawing Rose’s Picture Makes The Scene Better

Rose and Jack looking at his drawing in Titanic

The knowledge that this drawing was not a prop or a print, but instead a creation made by someone truly invested in the story gives the drawing a more personal touch. Titanic was a passion project for James Cameron, and he invested many years of his life immersing himself in studying the real ship to make Titanic as accurate as possible. Since the drawing of Rose wearing the Heart of the Ocean necklace holds such weight throughout the story and for Rose’s character arc, Cameron’s choice to do the sketch himself allows for his own personal touch to be added to such an important aspect of the film he created .

Cameron’s Hand Cameo Created A Titanic Problem

Titanic James Cameron Sketching

While Cameron sketching the drawing was the best choice for the film, it did create a problem when it came to filming the actual scene. James Cameron is left-handed and so the footage of the sketch being drawn had to be flipped in order to match the footage as Jack is portrayed as right-handed. According to the behind-the-scenes, Cameron did two drawings. One was where Rose was lying down the opposite way so that when the footage was flipped Rose would be facing the correct way and the second drawing was done correctly and was used as the finished drawing in the film.

James Cameron’s Oscar-winning Titanic is one of those films where new details about the production are constantly being discovered over the years. James Cameron being the one to create the Rose drawing adds more depth to an intricate piece of the film. It is one of those small movie details that prove how involved Cameron is as a director and how he knows how to make each aspect of his films count.

Next: Titanic True Story: How Much Of The Movie Is Real?

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