watercolor pencil

A Botanical Venture

branch-sketchbook-pageI’ve decided to turn over a new leaf — pardon the pun — by focusing my drawing and painting on botanical illustrations. If you look back through my paintings, you’ll find my Dandy Dandelion. As simple as this painting was to paint, I completely lost myself in its creation. The more I think about it, the more I realize that drawing plants is my go-to subject when I’m not sure what to draw. Once again inspired by the life around me, I’m going to pursue botanical illustration and share it all with you here.

To kick off this new venture, I signed up for a year-long botanical illustration course in which I receive and submit monthly assignments. Unfortunately, I signed up 6 months into the program, so I have some catching up to do! The rest of the class is working on Lesson 6 for June and I’m just wrapping up January’s lesson. Better get crackin’!

Lesson 1: Branch

branch-darkerThe first lesson was to find and draw a simple branch depicting 3D quality and realism using colored pencils and watercolor pencils. At the right is a snapshot of my sketchbook page as I worked on this assignment.

My first attempt result in what I thought looked pretty realistic; however, once reviewed by Wendy, she pointed out that I needed to go darker to more closely match my actual branch. So I worked on it a bit more.

The second part of the lesson was to create a composition using multiple branches. When I dropped the branches on the table, they formed somewhat of an ‘N’. I thought…hmmm…’N’ for ‘Nicklay’…so I went with it!

N-branchcompositionbranchcomposition_origHere is a photo of the actual branches along with the final drawing of the branch composition.