I made an extra gift for Mother’s Day this year. A good family friend gave my mother some beautiful white orchids earlier in the week, and I decided to draw up a little piece as a present. My mother is really enthusiastic about orchids, caring and cultivating them in her beautiful garden, next to her house.
In true recent lab fashion, I gave myself little time, leaving a couple of hours to get ready and meet the family. I did practice sketches the night before, and based them reference photos I took. The two-dimensional nature of the photos didn’t help. The center of the flowers looked like faces! Must have had Alice in Wonderland in mind. The faces haunted me so much that I let Twitter know.
One of the great artists I follow was so nice she told me about her own experience. Beautiful work! She assured me I had to sketch them live because of their complex inner structures. She was totally right! I promptly went back to the flowers, avoided my mother’s prying eyes, and sketched. The truth was evident! I was very happy with the results. Thanks, Jennifer ! (Follow @JenniferLMeyer on Twitter).
Mother’s Day morning, everyone sleeping late, I drew the final sketch. Using one of the reference pictures to compose, I kept the pencil light, and cleaned it up. I did the outlines with a micron-like fine point ink pen. It looked fine, but I had to fuss with it, and got some extra wide outlines in the end. Still acceptable.
Since I didn’t have the brush pens colors I wanted, I tried pastel sticks. Mistake. Control of the pastels escaped me. Erasers took care of that mess. The “tooth” of the sketch paper I used made it difficult, but not impossible. Plan B consisted of using color pencils I had in an artist’s kit I had not used yet. Good to have these things handy, you know. It took some testing to realize the two color pencil sets were set apart by their hardness (they were not marked). I did not have time to mess with the unused water colors, so after testing the colors I needed, I rendered the soft tones enough to my liking. I had not used color pencils since high school, but the fact that these were pencils made them easy to handle.
So here’s the final piece. As always, it was fun to hit the production line in a hurry again, while exploring and discovering what I can do with what I have. It did look finished, even if the outlines made it look a bit like a cartoon, or comic piece, especially when the topic really lends itself to realistic rendering. Best of all, my Mother liked it very much. She did make me feel like a little kid at that moment, but hey, you’re always a little kid in your mom’s eyes.
Feel free to comment, and thanks for visiting! Have a great art time!