Google+ House Revivals: Draw and Color a Peony

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Draw and Color a Peony

On rainy Sunday mornings at the beach house, I like to sit at the dining table and sketch or doodle. I rarely go upstairs to the studio to get "real" art supplies. Instead, I use supplies from a kid's art supply tote. This way, I don't feel pressured to create something special, and I remind myself that you can create pretty stuff from anything (also, sometimes I'm just too lazy to climb the stairs).

On rainy spring days, in the Pacific Northwest, I find myself craving color and flowers, so on this particular morning, I grabbed a silk flower and quickly sketched it out.
It's okay to use what you have -- I didn't have a real flower, so I used silk.

When sketching, it's usually better to sketch quickly, finding your basic shapes, then going back in to "fine tune" it and add detail. For the larger flower, you might lightly draw two circles -- one circle for the outer row of petals and one for the inner petals. Draw a smaller oval for the bud. Next, sketch in some petals, and indicate the sepals on the bud, etc, then add your stems. Notice how nothing I've done is perfect. Perfection isn't the purpose. The purpose is to enjoy a stormy morning at the beach.

Since I was working on book paper (I keep the insides of an old Reader's Digest with the kid's art supplies), I decided to very lightly do a first coat of color using colored pencil. The reason I do this is to create a slight resist on the paper, allowing me to move my color around when I add marker layers. When adding the colored pencil layer, keep it very light, not filling in all the tooth. This will allow the paper to accept the marker color, while still giving you a little working time.

One coloring trick is to use multiple colors. For instance, the green stems were created with yellow, blue, green, and brown pencils. After coloring the piece with pencils, I use the markers to layer in additional color. As with the colored pencils, I'm using Crayola brand markers.

I decided I wanted to create something with a "mixed media" feel, so I grabbed a couple more book pages and glued them together (with Elmer's Glue) to make a wider paper. Then I added some washi tape strips (I keep a supply of inexpensive washi in the kid's art tote, too).

Next, I grabbed the markers and colored the parts of the paper that didn't have washi.

Then I cut out the peony and glued it down with a thin coat of Elmers. I used a gold pen to gild the edges, then sat back to watch the storm and the waves while drinking a cup of tea. A perfect morning.

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