Crafty Question: On Sketching Flowers
I have a follow up question this morning in my Craftsy.com travel sketching class, on the topic of sketching flowers.
Now, I am not by any means a botanical artist. I’m not even a painter of flowers in watercolor (not yet!). I know the botanical people are committed to accuracy, and the flower painters are all about lush color and beautiful compositions. But this particular class is more about being able to sketch anything, anywhere, anytime!
I guess flowers are going to come up as often any anything else:)
I think this question has been tricky to answer in the class, because I’ve been going on and on about drawing shadow shapes – and often students think I mean *darks* when I say shadow shapes. But of course, some shapes are quite pale. They’re still shadows on a form though! And naturally – a high key, delicate thing like a flower – that is something ill suited to pen and ink in the first place. So it’s going to take a light touch!
BUT – we can’t shy away from that. Just go for it, and think – less is more when it comes to this sort of thing.
Here’s two little sketches – first – if I was going to just draw this flower in pen-and-ink, and second, if I intended to paint it.
In point of fact, if I was going to paint it, I might draw that in pencil, so the line was even less dominant. But – for the purposes of this demo, this is a Platinum Carbon EF nib fountain pen, and a few touches of the Kuretake Sumi Brush pen.
Some notes – see the pink line drawn over the photo (click to enlarge) – that is what my eye is ‘tracing’ when I’m drawing the shadow shape of this flower.
Here’s some light washes. See how I’m using that shadow shape like a map for placing the color?
This is how sketching helps us learn to paint. Over time you’ll train yourself to see these shapes without a guideline. But when you’re sketching fast – that pen or pencil line is invaluable to help you paint it later. (Just like the other day, when I was sketching from life, and painting after).
So that’s going out for Louise B :) Hope that helps clarify my earlier explanation!