A Touch of Shade (Botanical Art Homework Week 5 – Entry 9)

After a class filled with shading that I struggled to understand, I decided to kick off this week’s homework off by returning to the relative simplicity of botanical outlines by trying to capture a section of a Swedish Ivy branch and a random leaf.

Sketch of Swedish Ivy - 06 03 2018

Although both of these sketches are clearly showing the ivy and leaf in question, I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed with the execution. I’ve done leaves and Swedish ivy in the past that I was impressed with, but both of these sketches really aren’t up to the same standard. Both of them look rushed and a tad unfinished as the lines aren’t as clear, nor were the shapes as accurate as they have been in the past. The sketches might be able to be improved with the addition of a little shade, but at this point, I feel that this easiest way to make forward progress on these two would be to start again and really put my focus into getting the shapes as accurate as possible.

Sketches of Leaf Outline and Shaded leaf - 07 05 2018Later in the week, I decided to bite the bullet and try a little shading to see what I’d picked up from my last class. As you can see from the sketch, I don’t think that I picked up much at all! The shading really is very poor – you can see all the lines where I’ve gone back and forth, there’s nothing gradual about it, and the graphite really hasn’t stuck to the paper, which has meant that the shaded areas aren’t smooth.  I’m going to try shading a leaf on this paper again, as I think I probably just rushed what I was doing which also contributed to the poor outcome. And what’s the best way to fix a problem like poor sketches? Practice, practice, practice!

Top Tips

  • Practice, practice, practice.