Sometimes other people object when you draw the pretty flowers growing in the cracks in their sidewalk. Sometimes you think you have all the time in the world to sketch a flower, but mosquitoes attack unexpectedly and you have to run for it! So, here are some quick field sketching tips that’ll help you get in and get out fast.
A Simple stem and bud outline helps you remember the most important details.
This wild flower (a Spring Beauty) has five petals on each flower and they change angles as they go around the stem.
Notice that the flowers get gradually smaller as they go up the stem, until they’re just buds. Then the buds get smaller as they arch toward the stem.
(I drew my lines very lightly lightly with an HB pencil. This drawing is darker so you can see it better.)
Observed petal and bud details.
Each petal starts at a single point at the center of the flower, and ends in a point at the petal’s tip. Notice that they’re so wide they they overlap, but some of them are crooked and don’t. Little details like this make even a simple line drawing seem more realistic
The three flowers on the left of the stem are angled so that we catch of glimpse of their cupped shaped bud bases, so I was able to sketch those in.
All the buds stems were visible, but were so delicately thin that I drew them with single lines.
The two buds to the upper right have emerged from their casings but aren’t fully bloomed yet. I showed the separation with small curved lines. I drew all these lines with the HB pencil.
Slight shading and stamens.
I used a stick eraser to fully erase the petal guidelines.
Each petal had two very light lines that ran along the length, so I drew those very lightly with a 2H pencil.
I used the a sharp tip of an HB pencil to add fine dots in the middle of each open flower for their stamens.
I added a little shading with the tip of HB pencil to the dark green parts of the bud casings and bud bottoms. The stem was a very light green so didn’t get any fill value at all.
Sometimes, the main purpose of a field sketch is to make a recording of a plant so you can identify it later. So, I left out a few details but included enough characteristics so that I’d be able to identify this flower by referring to the drawing.
I’ll always remember exactly were I was when I drew this flower, what the weather was like, how I was feeling that day, what was on my mind, the way the earth smelled, and, oh just everything about my life at the moment. A drawing is worth a thousand photographs.
You can draw other simple flowers with circles and ovals too. You can see how to do that here.
Drawing Supplies Needed:
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