Focusing on Fine Sketching (Botanical Art Homework Week 7 – Entry 13)

After my last drawing lesson, one thing kept rolling around in my head. How can I make my sketches light and airy? The question kept pestering me so much that I decided to dedicate my entire week’s worth of homework to practising lighter pencil strokes.

To get myself started, I picked up a small little yellow flower off the ground and started sketching. Looking back on it, I admit that I probably should at least taken a photo of the flower, or the tree it dropped off of so that I could check how much progress I was making on the accuracy front, but at least the sketch is identifiable as a flower. I honestly didn’t spend too much time on the outline or shading, instead, I really viewed it as a little piece to get my sketching prowess and processes flowing.

Yellow flower sketch - 18.03.2018

Once I felt that my eyes and hands were ready for serious sketching, I turned my attention to the Nodding Violet (Streptocarpus Caulescens) flower that I had snagged. Reflecting on this sketch, I have to note that, I’m very happy with the weight of the stem for the nodding violet. The light, fine lines contribute to giving a delicate feel to the stem of the plant. However, the delicate nature stops there. The lines of the flower itself are wider and darker lines than were needed, which gives the whole thing a heavy-handed appearance. Despite the lack of levity across the image, there’s a hint of lighter things to come in the flower stalk. So, while it’s not all perfect today, I think you need to be watching this space for floaty flowers in the near future!


Nodding Violet flower sketch - 18.03.2018


Top Tips

  • Making sketches appear light and airy is difficult if you’re like me and tend to put a lot of pressure on your pencil. How do you get your pencil work to be light and airy? Practice!