DSC_0035My goal this winter is to work on detail skills of my wildlife drawings by observing, allowing more time and patience with the project, improving exact form and shape of objects, being aware of dark and light values and composition.  So far, I’ve been working with graphite; the difficult challenge will be applying the watercolor on paper and relationship between colors.  I’ll have to remind myself it’s only a practice on paper for improvement (not expecting it to turnout a terrific piece of art.)   My learning source is from Botanical Illustration Course with the Eden Project by Rosie Martin and Meriel Thurstan.  Even though, at this point, plans are not to become a true “botanical illustrator,” their guidelines in this book are very helpful to learn how to paint plants, animals and etc, expressing those images on paper as they do in real life.

The above graphite sketch took me three days to complete while indoors recovering from a virus plus the weather too cold, in low 40’s, for being outside. I was able to cut off the end branch from a rhododendron in our yard to use as a model.  The shapes of the leaves and spaces in between the leaves make an interesting composition; I just like how the leaves fall into space by nature.  The photo was taken under a soft light, the reason for the soft dark areas on the white paper.


9 thoughts on “Project: Improving my drawing skills

  1. Thank you, leslie. I will search for the book in our local library system. Learning to draw detailed botanicals is very challenging and makes painting interesting. I feel it will discipline me to obtain better drawing and paintings skills. I’m sort of in a non productive rut and in need of better results with my watercolors. Thanks for your positive comments, leslie


  2. Your drawing is absolutely beautiful. I think this is a really great adventure you have started, Lois. Botanical drawings are so intricate and beautiful when done well. I am currently reading a book you may want to peruse titled “The Paper Garden” by Mary Peacock. It is about Mary Delany and her and her botanical collages of flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lois, I love your graphite sketches. They show your focus and skills. And I also like it that you have drawn the leaves so large that some tips fall of the page. I hope you will not abandon your graphite pencil any time soon.


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