Dec 15, 2016

Working with Flowers and a Line of Action -Painting & Drawing Tips


I like flowers.
Big, Small, Pink, Blue or White.
Doesn't matter.  I enjoy painting and drawing them.

I know you are going to say, but wait, aren't you the wildlife artist.  I am, but flowers call to me and certain ones really call loudly.  Poppies are one of them.  There is something about the folds and curves of the poppies we have growing in our front yard that just shout my name.
THE DANCE OF THE POPPY - Watercolour,  4.5 x 6 
Drawing poppies presents challenges.  Those lines and folds that I love so much can really cause you grief if you don't have a firm plan in place to draw them.  I have found an approach that really helps me capture their beauty and excitement.  It is using a "Line of Action".  This approach is used a lot for drawing people (see my last post here) but not so much for other things.

The usual approach is to work with circles or oval type shapes with a flower like this one.  Yes, I do use those shapes for determining my composition.  However, for the actual drawing I find that gesture offers little information.
The oval tells me size but no real reference for placing the petals 
But a Line of Action is a gesture that really works.
Here's how a Line of Action works.  I study my flower and look for a strong line that indicates the main action or movement in the flower.
On it's own the line doesn't look like much, but it actually is a great reference!

This Line of Action tells me:
- the size of the flower
- the angle the flower will have
- gives a reference point for placing the center and most of the petals
- gives a reference for the size of the center and the petals.

The major components of the flower can be marked on the line and drawn from there. 
As you can see the points on the line give a reference for where to place each of the petals.  Also looking at the reference points gives a relationship for how big things are.  For example: the bottom petal is about half the length of the middle petal and the upper petals are larger than the bottom petal.  The end points of the line give a reference for the end points on those petals.  It is almost like magic.  This one crazy looking line is packed full of information, just waiting to be read!!

Have you used this type of line for starting a drawing?  Do you use other shapes or gestures?  What is your favourite?

If you would like to walk through a drawing using this method join me at Opus Art Supplies, Langley Store, BC on January 14, 2017, 10:30-12:30.  This will be a drawing class working with a black eyed-susie starting with a Line of Action.  $25 includes a small Drawing Kit.  Preregister here  through the store. This will fill up fast.

I offer Private Drawing Lessons throughout the year, and I would be happy to work with you.  Get more information on Private Drawing Lessons here. 

  A really special gift for the Artist on your list:

 All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.
Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.   

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Have a great artful day,


Brenda Hill CDM said...

I love this little poppy!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks, it really made me feel it was dancing in the breeze. So much fun to paint.