Nuts! (Botanical Art Class Week 4 – Entry 6)

Nuts! That pretty much sums up this week’s drawing class in its entirety. As you’d expect from a botanical art class in Australia, there’d be some time dedicated to drawing gum nuts. And drawing gum nuts is something that drove me nuts!

To kick off the class we each selected a bunch of Corymbia gum nuts to draw their outlines. I had five nuts in my bunch and spent most of the first hour trying to get the outlines to look something like the subject. It turns out that I can’t draw ellipses. Despite the amount of observation that I put into looking at the nuts each time my pencil hit the paper, my mind turned the nut around in my head so that I ended up drawing circles on the page. Over and over and over this happened to the point where I made a big dirty mark in my paper and drew some big crosses and swear words on my paper (the swears were rubbed out fairly quickly, but they did their job by making me feel better at the time).   With such a violent emotional reaction to drawing ellipses, I’m sure you want to see the end product. Well, over the course of the class I managed to get two pretty awful drawing of the Corymbia nuts done. One was used for shading in a later class, and I don’t have a photo of it before shading (which is a pity because it was truly awful, but the shading turned it into a drawing that you might admit that you did), but I do have a photo of the other nut.   As you can see it’s pretty incomplete and really not much of a pretty picture.

Corymbia Gum Nuts - 24.02.2018


After picking my mood up a bit with a sugar-laden coffee and a handful of sugary bikkies, I moved onto the second nut subject of the day. As I was less than impressed with my efforts at this stage of the class I didn’t actually record the name of the tree that produced the second gum nut. When I was drawing the second nut I wasn’t really too impressed with my efforts, but upon reflection, it’s not too bad a job. There’s obviously some work that could be done to clean up hesitation lines and the sketch would have been improved if I didn’t just draw right over the top of the area that I rubbed out (which can clearly be seen underneath the nuts) but the sketch is identifiable as gum nuts which isn’t bad for someone with no artistic background who has taken a grand total of four drawing classes in their life.

Small Gum Nuts - 24.02.2018

Today’s botanical art class actually marks the end of the first course, so despite my frustration, I’ve actually made it through an entire course of drawing! The first set of classes was dedicated to botanical outline drawing, while the next second set of four classes will turn the focus towards shading, so hopefully, I’ve learnt enough to keep up with shading. I guess I’ll find out how much I’ve learned next week!


  • Top Tips
    • Try and record the species that you’re drawing. If you can’t identify the subject take enough photos and notes to file away so that a plant expert might be able to put a name to your specimen in the future.
    • Not every session is going to produce a masterpiece so don’t loose your cool :).