Sketches of Flowers and Fauna

Flower Power

The floral drawings were triggered by my dear wife Gill asking if I'd draw some daffodils to place in the front window of our bungalow. Last year the rainbow was the symbol of thanks to the NHS heroes and a variety of rainbows appeared in many household front windows. The daffodil was to be a big thanks to all the other front-line workers – teachers, council workers, garage owners, shop staff and everyone else who has kept turning up for work in order to keep the country going during the Coronavirus pandemic. It was also to drive up hope and positivity in a negative environment.

I've never drawn a flower in my life – until now. I found a picture of a bunch of daffodils from the internet and simply put pencil to paper, simplifying the photograph into less lines and detail. I knew once I started I had to stretch beyond my comfort zone of black and white line drawing and get some yellow trumpets on the paper with some green stems. I simply started mixing water and paint like I remembered from school, colouring in the pencil drawing like we did as kids in a colouring book! The result turned better than we both expected.

Following a posting of the picture on Facebook, family friends in the USA requested pansies…and holly. The also wanted some local landscape drawings – but more about those under a different heading. Another friend then suggested snowdrops – a symbol of hope. There is probably more to come ….!

Some may be interested in the stages of a painting – I did take a snapshot of the holly and pansies halfway through the process. We've included them here so that you can see how pictures develop. There's nothing fantastically technical here. A very simple outline – and plants are forgiving when it comes to how accurate you copy them, unlike human faces. You then stare at your object or photo and note where light and dark occur. Working from a photo print you can match colours by painting on your photo to see how close you can get to the original.



If you can zoom in on the daffodils you'll see I haven't erased the pencil lines and simply filled in the colour, noting where the darker yellow and green had to go to give the picture depth. No magic…just painting inside the lines! With any future paintings I'll take some shots of development stages so you can see how it comes together into a final picture.

The pansies posed more of a challenge. Firstly I created my own sketch arrangement of flowers from an internet picture. Around the border of the print-off photograph I then carried out some prolonged trial and error paint-dabbing on the photo matching the colours presented in the photo. The problem bit was presenting a white pansy – in the end I had to settle for grey! My patience ran out as I was working on white card – not a smart choice of background! (Lesson learned).

The holly was challenging from a different angle – ensuring the points were sharp and leaf crinkles three dimensional. I was getting into detail with pansies and holly that I'd never done before. It was simply a matter of mastering a new art…. patience …something I've never really needed with my line scribbles. I'm working on it.

Snowdrops turned out to be fairly straightforward. With a lesson learned about background colour I panted these in water colour on a grey pastel paper. This made white easy to apply tinged with pale blue. Again I used 'artistic license' here and only sketched a required amount of flowers from a rather large complex photo of a bunch. I also did a very quick 2 minute pastel sketch on a piece of left over black card that happened to be on the table whilst I was contemplating what media to use. I find pastels messy, frustrating and difficult to portray necessary detail - but very quick scribbles can be rewarding and the snowdrops sketch shows what anyone could do with a few whisks of the crayon!

Click on the thumbnail you are interested in to see a larger version open up in your browser....
Daffodils - January 2021
Pansies - January 2021
Holly - February 2021
Snowdrops - February 2021





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