Saturday, May 16, 2009


Last week I joined a 5 day botanical drawing course. My tutor that week was the wonderful Valerie Oxley. The Dutch Society of Botanical Artists invited her over for this masterclass. Every day we practiced a different subject of botanical painting and drawing.

We started on Monday with yellow flowers. Yellow flowers artists often avoid because they are a bit tricky. Not me... I avoided yellow flowers just because I don't like them. But that day there was no excuse, we had to do a yellow flower. A tulip.
The first drawing we did was done by putting in the shadows first and then the colours. (I forgot to tell you that there were people working with watercolour and also some people worked with coloured pencils. I was very happy I wasn't the only one using the pencils) The second drawing was the other way around. You can see here the first drawing on the left and the second drawing on the right.

Yellow Tulips

In the first drawing I used greys for the shadow parts. In the second drawing I used a bit of light violet and warm grey in the darker parts. As always with light coloured flowers (or any other subject with a light colour) I concluded that it's better to work in the shadows later because you have more controle over the colours.

I had fun doing this practice although I still don't like yellow flowers. And I also still believe that yellow tulips is the closest you can get to a plastic-flower-look. Later this week I'll post some more drawings and sketches I made during this course.


  1. Well, at least you got the yellow part of the class out of the way! Your beautiful work makes these yellow tulips look very un-plastic-like. What a wonderful experience to have, 5 days of practicing botanical art!

  2. Well, Sigrid you may not LIKE them, but you did a beautiful job! Thank you for sharing the two different ways you worked on them--looking forward to seeing more from the class!

  3. I can't imagine being in a botanical seminar. Talking about a fish out of would be me. Great pics.

  4. These look terrific! I agree with Elizabeth - these definitely do not look plastic. And how fun to be in a 5-day botanical workshop. I am working on some tulip drawings from my garden, so I was thrilled to see your post. I just posted a graphite study of my own on my blog and want to do a rendering in colored pencil, so I'm paying close attention to your shading descriptions. :) It's interesting to see the differences between the two drawings, putting shading in first vs. second. Hope you might have some more to post from your workshop!


We'd love to hear from you, your questions, comments, observations! Please feel free to comment, feedback is important to us.