Over the last year I have been developing large coloured pencil drawings of semi-imaginary flowers. All are inspired by the wild flowers I draw or take photos of when I am travelling around Australia. Many are very tiny, such as the little native orchids of Western Australia, which can easily be missed unless you know what you are looking for. (See my earlier post for an orchid drawing.)
I have deliberately not been faithful in my renderings of these flowers – I have enlarged them all dramatically, exaggerated their forms and changed their colours, to create something of satisfaction to myself.
The flower above was inspired by a tiny head of flowers which were a pale mauve-blue. I thought these might be blue, but the deep red seemed to take over. I don’t do a lot of planning before I begin – with this one I did a loose pencil drawing to get the essence of the form, then transferred the basic outlines to paper. When I started to work the colour in I borrowed a technique developed by a good friend and wonderful coloured pencil artist, Julie Podstolski, (see here) and rubbed oil pastel into the flower shapes with a stiff paintbrush, just a thin coating, but enough to give the coloured pencils tooth to grip onto.
In this photo (above) I have put the oil pastel on several of the flowers, using different colours in the same tonal range. The ones that look more blue have the beginnings of coloured pencil added on top. Several layers of coloured pencil were then added, to intensify the colour and create the form. With this drawing I began with the basic structure in place, but with the one below, I began with one flower, then added the others as the drawing developed.
This drawing, which I have simply called ‘Blues’ is 50 cm x 70 cm, and the one above, which I have called ‘Spray’ is 65 cm x 70 cm. Both have been drawn using Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils, on 300 gsm Corona hot-pressed watercolour paper.