April 13, 2024


Simple Impartial Art

Finished drawing of an artichoke by Cherry Ferris

Botanical Textures, Tips & Tricks in Coloured Pencil

Coloured pencils are a match manufactured in heaven for botanical subjects, precision and detail. They are portable, forgiving and available and by applying layering tactics they offer you the ability to make and reproduce vivid pure colors on the webpage which are a pleasure to behold. As the seasons transform and the cooler months make their way to our doorsteps, what can be nicer than filling our artistic entire world with the colour and pizazz of wonderful botanical artwork. In this article I will share with you some methods of the trade utilizing Derwent’s Procolour pencils and how to generate the fantastic eco-friendly.

The pencil suitable for great detail

Image of Derwent Procolour pencils
Procolour pencils have a precision position and sleek laydown

Procolour pencils are portion of Derwent’s qualified variety, and offer coloured pencil artists’ the excellent mix of a robust stage and clean laydown. They blend the best of the Artists’ and Coloursoft ranges. Remarkably pigmented Procolour have a texture that applies efficiently like an oil-primarily based pencil but with the masking electric power of wax. Their long lasting, sharp issue makes it possible for for drawing even the very best of depth with lasting precision. Although minimal dusting usually means that your do the job will continue being clean and smudge-free of charge. These pencils can also reach stunning blended benefits with a variety of equipment and mediums, including Derwent Blender Pens and Derwent Paper Stumps.

Texture, tone, color and condition

Character is normally going, flowing and evolving. It presents a wealth of great subjects from the quite daring, structural, singular, architectural and vibrant, all the way as a result of to tiny composite organisms these as lichen and microscopic algae. All subjects have their intricacies with their very individual techniques to unlock and examine.

Simplify the shape

To convey the shape and kind of flowers, fruit, grasses or foliage in botanical drawings, look at the impression and split it down into its basic geometric varieties. A sphere, cup, cone or tube. Every factor will have highlights (reflections from the mild) and shadows (wherever the light just cannot access).

Determine the tones

Generally use at the very least three tones of the same colour pencil and goal for a smooth transition and graduation of tone between them. This is notably important on sleek surfaces, spherical surfaces & h2o droplets way too! Ahead of you start off, recognize all those lightest places and be conscious to reserve them. If the area of your issue is incredibly shiny the emphasize will be particularly dazzling. So you could take into consideration leaving the white of the paper for this. Don’t forget ….It is always less difficult to go darker than lighter! Having said that, if you do conclude up loosing your lightest emphasize, it is not always suitable, but a cheeky touch of a white paint pen or white gouache does wonders to restore them.

Reference photo
Traditionally, botanical topics are developed from life, but I see no harm with a very little rule breaking from time to time. In the course of the lengthy wintertime months I obtain making use of shots for inspiration are a great way to bring back again the joys of summer months and a sensation of exhilaration again to your sketch book.

If you are unsure of your tones try out squinting at your topic. This should blur out all the detail and make it less complicated to detect people lights and darks. Or you could only transform a image of your subject to black and white (or greyscale). Then you have just the tonal values in entrance of you with no confusions of colour.

Squint at your topic and recognize the in general shape and wherever the gentle is coming from. Glance carefully at the colour and where by the highlights and shadows fall. Now choose your principal foundation color from your pencils that is the closest to that color. Find two or much more shades of that color ensuring that some are lighter and darker than your base color.

Major suggestions on making botanical greens

If you’re fascinated in botanical art then you will be really hard pushed to keep away from working with the color green! Eco-friendly is one of those people Marmite colours! You both love it or loath it and it can glimpse pretty flat and uninspiring (particularly with colored pencils)… but here’s the mystery … to make a believable and interesting green, one green is by no means enough!

Suggestion 1 – Combine your greens

Generally use at the very least a few greens combined with each other, supplemented with other colors to adapt the mix and tone to add depth. It’s all about individuals levels. Warm up greens by applying yellow-greens or yellows about the best. Darken greens by incorporating a contact of purple, purple or darkish blue. Recall all greens are usually created with various types of yellow and blue pigments. So if you obtain your colored pencil supply is lacking specific colors, experiment with optical mixing and use this to your gain.

Tip 2 – Make a colour chart

Image of a colour chart

Don’t be beguiled by the names employed for pencils (I’m these kinds of a sucker for a superior identify). You usually see names such as grass inexperienced, moss inexperienced, cedar inexperienced and so on. Employed independently they typically seem extremely garish and synthetic. The colour of the barrel or lead almost never matches the colour they lay down to! So usually generate a colour chart with any set of new pencils. They make an important reference position and make it possible for you to match the colour to your subject instead than the title.

Tip 3 – Practice matching colors

A good way to observe your optical mixing is to decide on up some paint swatch playing cards from your nearby components store. Expend time trying to build that correct shade/tone/color in your sketch guide by layering, blending and correcting colours with your pencils until they match. You’ll find the more you observe the faster and a lot more confident you will get. You will also discover that you start out to favour specific pencils and blends as your type develops.

Suggestion 4 – Crack down the topic

Reference image of an artichoke

Sketch e book do the job and exploring colour combinations are a must have apply for botanical artwork. Entirely rendered pieces of do the job can get several several hours of very careful layering, colour matching and building. With this in intellect, it is good practice to split down the subject into smaller sized sections (leaves, bouquets, colour, shape etc). Experiment and do your research right before you commence. This saves a good deal of heartache and disappointment and it is a excellent reference for very similar subjects in the long run.

For occasion, an Artichoke is a advanced object to draw. Look at its form, primary colours, texture and type. Shell out time exploring these complexities in your sketchbook will give you an comprehension and a new discovered confidence in approaching a absolutely rendered drawing.

Try rendering a modest section of an artichoke in your sketch e book. Glimpse at the mixtures of greens, complimentary colours, tone and shade you could use to generate the texture and variety of what you see.

Idea 5 – Use a clean

Image of a section of artichoke with an underwash

I generally use a wash underneath my pencil work to unify and carry the track record. Inktense pencils operate incredibly as they are dazzling, clear, and as soon as the ink dries it stays long-lasting. In the impression earlier mentioned I’ve made use of a light clean of Apple Inexperienced as a foundation layer. Other artists use watercolours or some type of solvent this kind of as Zest It Pencil Blend to split down and blend the initially layer. Practice on your paper to be certain it’s capable of this sort of procedures. If you can attract a portion of the topic then you can draw the whole thing. It’s just a circumstance of replicating what you have learnt on a bigger scale.

Finished drawing of an artichoke by Cherry Ferris

Tip 6 – Paper is important

A affordable paper will normally give weak success and established you up for a are unsuccessful. Alternatively, decide for good top quality smooth ‘high white’ paper possibly as a sketch e book, free leaf or Bristol board. Warm Pressed watercolour paper is fun to use also. An beneath layer of inktense or watercolours can be utilized to hot push paper to intensify colours.

Idea 7 – Be diligent

Hold your pencil details sharp and your marks light and continual. Irregular marks can be actually difficult and at times close to unattainable to include up in subsequent levels thanks to the transparency of the pencil pigments. This can be employed to your benefit far too!

Tip 8 – Make your pencils do the job for you

Shell out time obtaining to know the abilities and restrictions of your brand name. Make investments time in learning how to optically blend your colors on the site. Be bold with your colour alternative and use complementary colors to genuinely make your work sing. But over all, experiment, appreciate the course of action, and do what tends to make you happy.

Idea 9 – Producing Darks

Generating punchy and vivid darks can be tricky with coloured pencils. Complementary colors are a fabulous way to build depth and fascination in your darks. Particularly helpful if you do not have a excellent variety of greys in your established. Quite a few botanical artists will generate a thoroughly rendered grey toned underpainting of the issue. Colours are then layered about the top rated to give the drawing an included dimension of type.

Finished drawing of a sprig of mistletoe by Cherry Ferris

I hope you have appreciated these hints and ideas, and are now feeling motivated and effectively on your way to creating some lovely botanical pieces in pencils. If you have had a go at the exercise routines earlier mentioned (greens and spheres) you will have all the skills to be ready to draw a bunch of wonderful Mistletoe with lovable tiny berries … just in time for the twinkly year!

You could find some of our other blog site posts valuable for picking the correct coloured pencil and even more information on Derwent’s pencil array.


Cherry Ferris is a self taught artist who is fascinated with colour, pigment, components and all factors sparkly. She is specifically drawn to nature and the wonderful creatures that inhabit our planet and she’s potty about hares, foxes and owls which is why they appear to be to pop up in so many pieces of her operate. She likes to use quite a few forms of media and is versed in pyrography, acrylics, coloured pencils, watercolours and pastels. Cherry also enjoys the heightened detail in botanical illustration and normally utilizes these procedures together with lots of many others things and fusing them with each other inside a piece of artwork to produce something exciting and new.

Cherry’s get the job done has been shown in Wildwood Gallery on Dartmoor, the Derwent Pencil Museum at Keswick, The Wildlife Art Society International (TWASI), Powderham Castle, The South West Academy Good & Used Art Open up Exhibition (SWAc) & at OXO Tower, London with the Explorers Versus Extinction. She is also revealed in various nationwide and intercontinental publications and is a contributing artist to the Earth Pathways diaries & calendars. 

Cherry also runs workshops for novices to extra innovative artists and also enjoys producing inspirational & revolutionary neighborhood jobs to deliver men and women together from all walks of lifestyle to unite and develop attractive art.

Cherry life in Sidmouth, Devon, British isles. E-mail her at [email protected] or check out her web site www.fairiewoodart.com or stick to her on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/fairiewood_art/