Drawing with other colour media

Here is a drawing in ink.

A very quick one in soft pastels. I like the roses in pastels.

A quick study in markers


Check and log
How will your experiments with negative space help your observational drawing in the future?
These experiments have been extemely useful, especially when i was doing the large A2 pencil colour drawing. it helped me place the flowers, leaves, stems correctly. i will continue to incorporate negative space while drawing and as part of the exercise, not something to be ignored or looked at later.
What techniques did you use to ensure you drew your plants in proportion?
I would draw overall shapes of the big flowers, then work my way round the rest of the drawing making sure the sizes are correct. I still find it very hard to use a pencil to measure the size of the object for proportions, I am still relying on judgement. I must try and practise to use a pencil as a guide more often.
How did you achieve a effect of three dimensional space in your drawing?
I tried to achieve this by putting in tonal values and colouring in the direction of the petal or leaf. it was difficult to achieve this in the ink drawing. I felt I was not exploring mixed media enough and using their combination to their full potential. I wanted to get more detail, so I tried using water colour pencils, markers and ink (below). I still feel I need to be more adventurous to get a drawing with an impact.


Plants and flowers in coloured pencil

Exercise – Plants and flowers in coloured pencil
This exercise required us to do a drawing on an A2 sheet in pencils. We could choose cut flowers in a vase, plants growing in a pot or growing naturally outdoors. It was too cold for an outdoor plant, so it had to be cut flowers.
There must have been a reason for us to do a drawing in pencils on an A2 sheet- it’s a lot of space to cover. Some objects in this drawing are from a special person and as I got into the drawing it actually became a pleasure, noting all the details. This pencil drawing has taught me to think two or three steps ahead. The negative space exercise was very helpful and I used that knowledge to keep my place amongst the leaves, stems, flowers, petals, etc.
I did quite a few experiments blending colour prior to the drawing. Using pencils enabled me to put in more detail. Also I am not worried about the paint drying or running into other colours. The pencil does exactly what you want it do do. The main disadvantages are that its very slow, you need to apply a lot pressure and the colours are not bold.
I still seem to be drawing without taking any risks or experimenting. I need to come out of my comfort zone. I would like to exclude each and every detail, and be selective.

Drawing plants and flowers-negative space in a plant


I have drawn a Pachira plant in my living room against the French doors. The plant is about 8 years old- some stems have been cut. The drawing was done with Indian ink and dip pen, on an A3 paper. I filled in the larger negative spaces with a brush and ink.
I found this exercise very therapeutic. Filling in the negative space, then seeing the leaves and stalks appearing by ‘magic’. It’s made me realise how important this space is. I normally just tend to look at the objects while drawing.

Exercise – Drawing using oil pastel


This is oil pastel on 220 gsm medium surface A3 paper. I read the instructions several times to make sure I understood everything i am supposed to do. I really struggled with the composition. After having used ink which just flows on paper, I found it very hard to use the pastels. I sketched in the main shapes, then blocked in the darkest areas. Then I worked over them to strengthen the tone. I got the apple muddy and over worked as I did not have the right green. Also I did not have a purple in my set of 24 sennelier pastels. Mixing red and blue would have made too many colours for the shadows, so I just left them in blue. Half way i felt it wasn’t working and wanted to give up. i wish I had put the bowl slightly more on the left or right as I always seem to be getting everything in the centre. The bowl is in front of a folded tablecloth on a table. I am still struggling with depicting folds of fabric. I could not get smooth sharp edges with the pastels. I did not apply the colour thickly so as to leave white gaps. I stop fiddling with it now and move on…

Drawing fruit and vegetables in colour

Drawing fruit and vegetables in colour
This is pencil on an A4 cartridge paper. I decided to crop the pear on the right. The pears are red pears and have lovely ‘rosy’ perfume. The apple is perched behind a fold of the napkin so the shadow is a little distorted. I did several studies in both markers and pencils (further below)


I enjoyed this exercise and have learnt a lot about adding achieving tonal value.









Still life group in tone

This is pencil on an A3 cartridge paper. I put in the darkest tones starting off with the wall, shadows in the napkin and rest of the objects, then mid tones followed by light tones. I tried to add layers to build up tone, working as fast as I could, but some of the colours were difficult to apply as second or third layer. The marmande tomato had beautiful greens, orange and red. I have put a picure of the rosehips just as a reminder for me.


Check and log
What aspects of each drawing have been successful, and what did you have problems with?
I feel I have managed to show depth of the bowl in the still life group. I could not get the colours right for the rose hips as the green is too bright.
I found it difficult to include a background for my still life group using line, but am fairly happy with the actual drawing.
With the still life group in tone, the jug looks like its leaning on the right. I noticed that after I had coloured In everything. I had problems with the pencil colours. I have not managed to get enough colour. The tangerines and tomato look very light. Unfortunately, after applying about two layers, the paper just would not take any more colour. Also I was a little worried about loosing the highlights.

Did you manage to get a sense of depth in your drawings? What elements of the drawings and still life groupings helped to create that sense?
I feel the cast shadow and the ellipse of the bowl create a sense of depth in the still life drawing.
With the asparagus, its clear that its a bunch, the ends of some stalks and tips showing help to create a sense of depth. The angle of the lines on the seed head would hopefully give it a sense of its circular form.
With the still life in tone, as its my first pencil drawing, I don’t feel happy with it. While trying out pencils on the mark making exercise, they seemed easy to use. I found getting the correct tonal values very difficult.

What difficulties were created by being restricted to line or tone?
When restricted to line, its almost impossible to show colour and tone. You have to rely on accurate shapes. I feel it’s the same, when you are restricted to tone, again you have to an accurate drawing.