Yellow Rose Botanical

Yellow Rose Botanical | 8” x 10” | Colored Pencil on Paper

I finished my botanical drawing (virtual) classes last week and this Yellow Rose is my final project. The sessions were 2 hours weekly for 8 weeks, the instructor (Jenny Granberry – @jennygeeberry) was hilarious, and I learned a lot about both botanical artistry and how to use colored pencils properly.

Yellow Rose Botanical Drawing

The biggest challenge was figuring out how to incorporate a range of colors beyond basic yellows to add interest, value variations, and realism. I was using a limited palette (12 pencils), but through some trial and error I managed to land on a few color combinations that added a lot of depth to the overall piece.

I’m hoping to do a few botanical series over the course of this year. I like the idea of colored pencil drawing because it incorporates drawing and a lot of oil painting concepts, although the techniques are very different.

#contemporaryatx #berntx #crashboomzip #rose #art #drawing

Flower Study #5: Pink Rose

Pink Rose (study) | Oil on Panel | 5″ x 7″

Yes, another flower! The Pink Rose started off as a white rose, but some prodding from my wife got me to adjust to something a bit more interesting and thus the improvisation towards pink. 

I’ll confess I’m not thrilled with the outcome of this small piece, but I think it’s simply a matter of style preference. The style is less realistic than I’d like, although as a drawing it works well… but it’s not a drawing, so there’s that.

Pink Rose | Oil on Panel

The reference photo is a beautiful white rose, but in hindsight I can see that it’s flat and lacking variations in value. I didn’t figure this out until I was more or less finished with the piece, but it was a very valuable reminder that grinding through a painting isn’t always the right approach if your gut tells you something is off. I see a lot of paintings on-line that have this stylistic look, so I’m pretty sure it appeals to some folks, but, ironically, it’s not for me.

Painting Flower Study #4: Yellow Rose

The 4th of a 5 part study series, Yellow Rose, came together very quickly. The gallery above shows the progression as well as the varied contrast in painting compositional styles. If you have a favorite thus far please make a comment and let me know.  

Before diving into the details of the composition on the next page, I thought the history of the “Yellow Rose of Texas” and the song lyrics were really interesting to read in tandem. I typically haven’t looked into the history of my painting subjects, but having done it with something as innocuous as this yellow rose, I found it to be a curiously motivating way to start a project. I think I’ll add it to my painting process and see if it unlocks some additional artistic mojo in future compositions. And yes, I’ll try not to bore y’all along the way. 

Flowers: A Poppy Wrestling Match

Last week I decided to create a large flower inspired abstract painting for the house. It’s going to take a lot of practice, though, so I’ve committed to a dozen small studies of various flowers until I find what will work both aesthetically and still be within my sphere of skills. 

The first study was essentially a wrestling match with poppies. The white poppy was first, followed by a pause of a couple days before tackling the blue flower. The goal wasn’t to create a beautiful piece of artwork, but rather test drive a few approaches, various brushes types and sizes, and play around with values to create convincing petals. 

Flower Study 1
Flower Study – White Poppy & Blue Hybrid

I used a small 5×7 canvas panel, which is fine for the initial studies, but I’ll need to switch to a gesso board or more refined canvass surface. A toothy surface like this canvas panel is great for many subjects, but it’s not going to work for flowers. Also worth noting is the blue flower isn’t a poppy at all and had nothing to do with the reference photo. I wanted to try something with more complexity in terms of petals, and thus created some kind of cross breed never before seen by humankind. 

This is a good start and got me excited to pursue more flowers. Next up will be hydrangeas with a more earnest attempt at realism.