One way to create art from nature is to draw flowers. Although many people find joy in sketching fully-bloomed, colourful flowers, some draw dead flowers. Dead flowers have just as much dimension and visual interest as living flowers. Wilted flowers have drooping petals, blackened stems and twisted, curled shapes that any artist will appreciate. As with most other drawings, it is important to have a photographic reference when sketching to fully understand the shape of the dead flowers.
Sketch the basic outlines of the dead flower in the photograph with the non-photo blue pencil, focusing not on detail but on shape. Move the pencil quickly and smoothly over the paper, keeping the pencil in motion at all times. Make sure to outline the basic shape of the flower head, petals and stem.
Go back over the blue lines with the charcoal pencil, adding details such as leaf edging, petal creases and texture on leaves and petals. Charcoal is abrasive, making it ideal for creating texture.
Color in the darkened parts of the dead flower head, petals and stem with the charcoal pencil, moving the tip of the pencil in a circular motion when shading. Blend the edges of the charcoal shading with the tip of a blending stump, moving the stump in a circular motion.
Draw in details such as crinkles in the shrivelled petals, dried leaf veins, and drooping pistils and stamens with a sharp graphite pencil. Graphite is hard and smooth, which is perfect for detailing.
When shading, make sure the light source remains constant throughout the piece. Use the photograph as a reference. Set a scrap of paper underneath your hand and over existing pencil lines when drawing. This will protect the pencil from smearing on your hand.
Tips and warnings
- When shading, make sure the light source remains constant throughout the piece. Use the photograph as a reference.
- Set a scrap of paper underneath your hand and over existing pencil lines when drawing. This will protect the pencil from smearing on your hand.
Things you need
- Dead flower photograph
- Non-photo blue pencil
- Drawing paper
- Charcoal pencil
- Blending stump
- Graphite pencil