I didn’t sketch this with charcoal first, I just went straight in with my Inktense pencils on watercolor paper. I was standing so close to the flowers I could hold my sketchbook right next to them and my lines weren’t too far off from the sizes and shapes of the petals.
Inktense pencils remind me of those watercolor coloring books for kids where they have printed dots of color on the paper and the kid only has to make it wet and the color pops out, but before you add water the color doesn’t show. Do you remember those old coloring books?
I sketched on dry paper and added the water when I got home. The bottom of the flowers here show the Inktense pencils with water and the top flowers are before the water is added. It’s fun when you make it wet and the color pops out.
The pencils have a colored end to show you what color you have but the colors on the pencils don’t match the colors you get, so I had to make charts and number the pencils. I did washes of each color from the darkest the pencil will make to the lightest tint you can get. Now when I go out to sketch I can take my color charts and pick the colors I’ll need and easily find them in the box instead of pulling out all the possible reds and greens and testing each color.
When I take a pencil out of the box and use it for the first time I put a piece of tape around the top of the pencil and number it to match its slot in the box.
Once I took them out on the beach and sat on the side of a sand dune to sketch and the box slid down the dune and the pencils fell out so I put tape on them and numbered the tape too, to keep a group or 10 or so together. Now when I need say, # 10, I can pick up that second clump of pencils and get #10 easily without them all falling out. The trays are kind of flimsy and the lid isn’t real tight either, but if I can decide on my colors from the charts I don’t have to take the whole set of pencils out on the dune with me.
It’s too late for this particular clump of flowers. They’re almost done blooming. Next year I’ll plan in advance so I can do a painting of Irises
I can never get too much practice drawing from life. They say if you keep at it over the course of years you get a better eye for angles, curves, size etc. Supposedly, drawing from life makes you more observant. I guess it helps your eye hand coordination. Flowers are great subjects for practice. If you draw it wrong it’s not noticeable.
When I’m undecided on what to paint next I have to keep sketching until I make a good plan. I scouted a pretty canoe launch this morning but didn’t sketch. Tomorrow I want to scout another boat launch, see if I can find a pretty spot by the water.