It’s not that I have not been drawing but I have not been drawing very much, my intentions of drawing every day just flew out the window. The only artistic tool I have had in my hand for the last month has been a paintbrush – a house painting brush.
So, what have I done? Well on two occasions I was overambitious and started drawings of large specimens which I was unable to continue with or to finish. I did not think forward about how my days were going to pan out and then when I got back to the drawing the specimen had shrivelled, withered and I did not have back up photographs. Another good lesson to learn; think hard before starting something ambitious. Pictures attached are very poor as the graphite is too faint for my photography skills and I have over adjusted the contrast. I have just put them in for the record.
I also had a go at drawing outside again, sitting in the sunshine with the breeze waving the plants around. Good practice at looking and remembering and not being too precious. I love poppy seed heads, they are so much fun to draw, seem like little crowds of people.
I also had a go at Crocosmia, which actually flowered in the garden this year, it seems to have been a good growing year for many things. This also was a venturing into colour for the first time for a long time – and it was orange again – I have a weird attraction to orange I realise that now……. Again I was disheartened by my efforts, my petals end up heavy and lumpy.
The final drawings I have managed are of a fantastic Dahlia flower that is so luscious in colour changing from apricot (orange!!), peach (pale orange!!) to yellow with lots of yummy shades in-between. A massive challenge to draw with so many petals twisting and turning this way and that, but that bit went quite well. I then traced off my drawing to give me the base for a colour drawing. Taking advice from others that have been kind enough to support me I used an underpainting of yellow watercolour to cover the paper before starting with the coloured pencils.
The colours are not quite right in the photo so this detail shows them better.
Detail of Dahlia drawing
But my petals are still lumpy and thick. However, excitingly, I am starting a coloured drawing course later this afternoon with Ann Swan who is a brilliant coloured pencil botanical artist and I am hoping to learn loads; whole week of drawing and learning, how lucky am I!