Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lotuses with Watercolor Pencils

Opposite Page with Lotus Detailing
Inktense Watercolor Pencils

Further Page Entry

More Lotuses with Watercolor Pencil
Visual Journal Page

Lotuses with Watercolor Pencil

I've included the whole journal page here--I wanted you to see how I make my botanical artist cards.  I use a card sized template to draw the rectangles on some of my pages.  This size is so great because it keeps me from being daunted by the prospect of filling the whole page with detailed drawing.  I like gradual steps (think Kaizen) and often use small format to try out new techniques as well as give myself the opportunity to complete a piece or multiple pieces in a time limited studio session. 

Love botanicals and have been working to improve my color layering skill. This is a first attempt with layering--usually draw directly with the watercolor pencil and then add water. I think that some of my lines are too dark but like the yellow and green where it is subtle and the buds on the left. Important to take what one can from each drawing--rather than just tossing out a "failed" drawing take the time to see what works and what doesn't and why. Every time I make a painting I learn new things! This time I found that I could lift color with a wet brush. A technique I have used with traditional watercolor but not as much with watercolor pencils. It is all about the color--and I am glad that this drawing will stay in my journal to reference in the future.
Of course I must mention the beautiful lotus.  The lotus reminds us, through the presence of buds, full blossoms and seed pods that there is an endless cycle of life-death-life and all exist in the eternal now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Impressions of the Gardens Trade

Survivor Orange ATC
Inktense watercolor pencils

This is the latest trading card, made from a journal sketch, for the Impressions of the Gardens class, week 6.  On the last day of class everyone brings artist trading cards made from their art work done during the class.  I've been teaching this class for around 2 years now, through the Colorado Free University, at the Denver Botanical Gardens.  Teaching basic drawing, observation and creativity skills for new and advanced artists.  The class lasts 6 weeks and fun to experience how different each group is.  Also great to experience the 4 seasons at the Gardens.  This sketch is one in a series I want to do with "survivor" growing things--plants and trees who are shaped by their environment and yet bloom where they are planted.  This plant is in "The Orangery" at the Gardens.  I like that this drawing sort of has a Matisse feeling to it.