October 20th, 2007

Michelangelo Delphica

Botanical Illustration - Week 1

I haven't updated in a while - not because I have nothing to write, but because there is so much! Yow. I probably should start with Connor's birthday, a great visit with Gwen, and FaerieCon (all of which happened last weekend). Plus all the stuff we did this week: a trip to Valley Forge, and a birding/photo expedition. But no. I *will* post about all this stuff, and soon, but instead of jumping in at the beginning, I decided to start at the end, and talk about what I did today.

Today, I went to Morris Arboretum for the first half of a two-part class on Botanical Illustration, and it was FANTASTIC! When I signed up for this class, I really didn't know what to expect, except that we'd been sent a list of art supplies to bring, so I knew we'd be working in watercolor. (This medium, btw, is entirely new to me - I've played with watercolor once or twice, but never had any instruction, or painted anything I thought turned out well. So, approaching this as a total beginner, I was a tiny bit intimidated. I needn't have worried, though - our instructor did a great job of giving us the low-down on painting with watercolors, and I was pleased with my first attempt at painting, even though I only got part-way finished). Mostly, I just thought it would be cool to take a drawing class. :) And, so far, it is. We're focusing on botanical illustration (as the course title would suggest), which is far more specific than I'd guessed it would be. To be honest, I don't think I'll probably do a lot of plant drawings in the future, but I'll be able to apply all these techniques to one of the subjects I most want to draw - birds!

We started out by selecting a flower or other plant (there were gourds, pine cones, seed pods, etc. available). I chose a rose, which was perhaps not the easiest choice. :D In fact, as flowers go, it's fairly complex. I've been wanting to draw a rose for a while now, though, so I'm glad I chose that as my subject. (I actually started a rose drawing a couple of weeks ago, but it started out so craptastic that I gave up :D). I didn't get anything "finished" today, but I thought I'd post about my progress. I'm pretty happy with my work thus far, and I'll continue to work on this project throughout the week (she's hoping that we'll be able to finish this one before next class, so we can start a new project next week). I'm going to try and finish one in watercolor, and I might also do a nicer pencil drawing. Or maybe even one in pen and ink, stippled. (I used to use that technique a lot when I was in high school; it would be fun to try again, I think).

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