Flower in Vase

For this somewhat complex drawing, I created a flower that is detailed, but not an exact replica of the flower I saw in front of me. Instead of crafting each individual petal based on exactly what I saw, I allowed myself the freedom to extrapolate on the basic shapes until I had what resembled a believable flower. I considered for a moment whether I was doing this simply because precision would be “too hard,” and the thought did cross my mind. (Or perhaps “too boring” would be more accurate—there are a lot of petals.) But was what I did just taking an easy shortcut, or was I using a particular method of drawing? Comment with your thoughts below!

The original sketch, with “extrapolated” petals:

IMG_4375

I started adding color with a Prismacolor colored pencil in Peach. Although there are surely more varied colors than necessarily meet the eye, I decided to keep it simple, as often when I have tried to explore the variety of colors I get much less realistic, more wild-looking pieces, which is not what I was going for this time.

IMG_4380

Next, I tackled the cream-colored petal tips. To start out, I added a single layer of Cream pencil over all the leaves, planning to add shadows and variations later in the process. I let myself color speedily, covering the whole surface of the flower in Cream instead of focusing on each particular petal at this stage. (Another shortcut, or just “working smart”?) Then I started to suggest the glass stones in the bottom of the vase as well as its golden handle and the flower’s stem.

IMG_4381

While I liked how the centered flower looked on its own (disregarding “proper” drawing composition), I realized that I had to let the flower sit on something because, through the glass of the container, the shading I was seeing was based on the color of the wooden surface. My wooden desk has a pattern of opposite diagonal stripes, which I tried to imitate using a few different shades of brown. I also started sketching out the vase’s shadow on top of the shiny wood.

IMG_4382

Coincidentally, the wall behind the flower almost exactly matches the color of the center of the flower’s petals, and I used that color instead of inventing a background because I liked both the simplicity and the repetition.

IMG_4385

While I thought the flower looked pretty, I felt that it needed to “pop” more, so I added some shading in warm grays. However, I think this ultimately damaged the look of the flower, which had been so delicate before. I used harder pressure on the peach wall, and then began to blend the brown of the wooden desk with a white pencil, to imitate the shiny, slightly reflective surface.

IMG_4386

Next, I added some Burnt Ochre to soften the shadows on the leaves. I think it worked, to an extent. As I began to fill in the vase, I concentrated on leaving white space to represent bright reflections. Unlike with the flower petals, I branched out and added some colors I saw to the bottom part of the vase: a light shade of green (I went with Jade) and some dull yellow (Sand). I also finished blending the wood with my white pencil.

IMG_4396

Finally, I completed the reflections in the vase, and signed my name! I still think I was happier with the flower during the earlier stages of the drawing.

What do you think? Should I have left out the harsh shading?

IMG_4399Flower in Vase, colored pencil on Mixed Media paper, 2019 (11×14)

2 Comments

  1. I would have left out the harsh shading on the petals, but not on the background. At frame five you were winning – all you needed to do was complete the background and pot interior and the flower would have stood out for you. Done it myself too often..

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s