Leaves, stems and flowers: tips for garden sketchersPosted: July 10, 2019
I spent the afternoon sketching in my garden today. All kinds of things are blooming out there in the heat, and instead of painting a full page, I filled a spread with small sketches. Here are a few tips that might help if you are thinking of trying this:
- Remember to incorporate leaves and stems along with the flowers
- Look at the shape of each leaf, and how it comes off the stem of the plant. Every plant is different.
- Mass small flowers into one shape.
- Let some parts of the sketch escape from each frame.
- Use different size frames on the page, keeping some horizontal, some vertical and some square.
- Draw the blooms from different angles like the white daisies, below. Look at the flowers from above as well as below. Look at the unopened buds and add some of those in.
- Use complementary colours
- Vary your greens by using different blues in your foliage mixes. In the white hosta flower above, I used Cerulean Blue instead of Ultramarine or Prussian.
- Use contrast: big and small frames, big and small blooms, light and dark washes.
- Don’t treat this like a botanical study (unless of course you want to). Just have fun, keep the washes fresh and capture the essence of each flower.