Monthly Archives: May 2012

Calla Lilly


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Continuing with the exploration of botanicals using just graphite pencil I thought I would challenge myself to see if I could successfully render white using a calla lily as my subject. The Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) is made up of a spathe (the white part) and a spadix (the yellow spike) with large deeply veined arrow-shaped leaves.

The fun part of this drawing was figuring out how to give volume to the flower without covering all the white areas with graphite. I began by using my HB pencil to lightly block in where the shadows should be then I added the midtones and increased the shadows alternating between a B and 3B. The leaf was done in a similar manner. In places that were too dark I used a kneaded eraser to lift out the highlights. The entire drawing took approximately 6 hours to complete.

Cheers!

Kelli

Pink Lady Slipper


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One of my favorite wildflowers that is starting to appear is the Pink Lady Slipper (Cypripedium acaule). It is a member of the orchid family and is thought to get its name because the flower resembles a slipper or moccasin.

This version is a graphite study, I wanted to see if I could translate the roundness of the flower and the curving sepals without color. The drawing is done with only an HB pencil so it took several sessions to complete.

Most of my drawings have this awkward middle stage where I think it will never become what I envisioned. Strangely it didn’t happen this time. I’m not saying it was an easy process or that I didn’t make corrections but I didn’t have those moments when I wanted to rip the drawing into tiny pieces and start over. So here’s to hoping for more days like that :)

Cheers!

Kelli

Petunia


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One of the tricky things about watercolor is controlling the amount of water on the paper. In order to get colors to blend softly into one another I have to wait until the paper loses its shine. Instead of colors fully mixing on the paper a soft gradation happens which was what I needed for the large petunia. Once those layers had dried I added the finer line work. In places where the veins were a bit too harsh I went over them with a barely damp brush to help them blend.

Materials: Strathmore 140# CP watercolor paper, Winsor & Newton paints

Cheers!

Kelli

Wild Strawberry


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Normally I use an HB or B pencil to render tone in my pencil drawings but lately I’ve been experimenting with softer pencils. The strawberry plant was roughly sketched with an HB and then I switched to a 2B, 4B, and 6B to render the various tones. On the flower petals I used my trusty B because I didn’t want too heavy an application of graphite since I was trying to convey the whiteness of the flower. In places where the highlights needed adjusting I used a kneaded eraser to bring them out.

Cheers!

Kelli

Many Shades of Green


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It seems that there is the common misconception that painting green in any medium is too difficult. Our eyes perceive depth even if the color appears to be uniform. While this is great for observing, it gets more complicated (not impossible) when representing a 3-dimensional object on a 2-dimensional plane. In order to give depth we need to mix other colors into the green to pull somethings forward or push things back. In my painting I’ve also added yellow to lighten the color significantly and placed something darker in front to give a sense of atmospheric perspective (objects in the background appear lighter). Think it worked? Or, do you have other tips that worked for you, please share them in the comments.

Materials: Strathmore #140CP watercolor paper, Winsor & Newton watercolor paints

Cheers!

Kelli