Acorns & Pine Cones

pinecone acorn-1Continuing on with my “botanical venture”… Lesson 2 was studying an acorn — the nut, its capule and the many scales found on it. I really had fun with this exercise and loved the rich brown color I was able to recreate on my drawing of the acorn.

The advanced part of the exercise was drawing and shading a pine cone, preferably one with its scales opened. My goal has always been to create an illusion of depth and realism. My pine cone was no exception.

acorn-pinecone-page_finalA regular part of any drawing exercise are the little studies I do on the page. My completed page for this lesson features the bare acorn, the acorn with its capule, the capule alone and from different perspectives, and lastly, the pine cone with a couple dissections of the scales.




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.

Sweet Magnolias

OIL1_SweetMagnolia_092008I’ve always loved the smell of magnolias! They’re scent is almost intoxicating. While on my honeymoon, I had the pleasure of seeing (and smelling) huge magnolia trees in Memphis. “Sweet Magnolias” was painted a few years before I married Mr. Nicklay, but when I look at it, I’m reminded of my honeymoon and when we drove down a Memphis street lined with these beautiful trees.

“Sweet Magnolias” – 12×16 oil on canvas
Price: $175.00 USD

PRINTS of this piece are available through Fine Art America and ArtPal.