Day 35 – Flowers, Chalk and Pencils

4 02 2010
Colored Pencil Flower

My last attempt with colored pencil created this little flower.

Back to my drawing class! On the way to class I made an idiot of myself trying to parallel park – it took at least 5 tries with me even ending up on the curb once. I really wish I could blame it on the poring rain, but I can’t – I became the person that any onlooker would really wonder what I was doing behind the wheel of a car…

Once I finally did make it to class I was greeted by a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting in the middle of the table made for 7 year olds… Flowers! We were past fruit and eggs! Yippee! And we had colored pencils, chalk and oil pencils to play with – a whole world of colors to play with! Or so I thought…

I started with a bright magenta flower and grabbed colored pencils – but I couldn’t get the colors to make Magenta. I got purple, red, darker purple, but no magenta.

Then I tried the a white flower with a purple center with regular pencils thinking maybe I needed to go back to the basics – just draw the figure in pencil first and add color later. Except white flowers are really hard to draw… and even more difficult to figure out what colors to add. Sigh.

Flowers of chalk

I tried to draw flowers with chalk, but they just didn't come to life like I hoped they would.

So I moved on to chalk. Ummm… It felt almost childish or primitive. It was dirty and dusty, it didn’t allow for much detail. Blending turned it into smears in a heart beat. I couldn’t separate one petal from another. I couldn’t get the shading right – any touch of black came through as BLACK instead of a hint of a shadow. But the colors! The colors were bold and rich.  The rich colors is what I was hoping to bring to life on the paper, but rich color needs soft shadows, light shadings to bring the wow to the full impact of color. With only rich colors and nothing to compliment them, they only feel half as beautiful.

By this time I was frustrated, my fingers were covered in a variety of chalk smudges and I had 3 pages of poor shapes that somewhat represented flowers. So I tried one more time with colored pencils and a simple red flower…  It was much different than the chalk – the colors weren’t nearly as rich – I had a hard time getting a dark, bold color for the richest parts of each petal, but I had more control and could continue to add in detail. As the detail layered in, the flower finally began to take shape. I have a new appreciation for shading and shadows now! It turned out alright, but it’s not nearly as forgiving or fun to layer on dimensions as acrylic paint is.

Next week I get to play with paint again and I’m very much looking forward to that!

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