I promised to show the Hellebores following the botanical art workshop at the weekend. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it before now as one student came back during the week for a class – taking advantage of being on holiday in the area; one went back to Norway; and one wanted to do some more at home after the workshop. However, here they are. I am really pleased with the pictures so far. All the students decided to use coloured pencil, but painting Hellebores face exposed is not easy, whether using watercolour or coloured pencil. There is a lot of detailed work.
For those of you who do know a bit about coloured pencil and botanical art, no embossing tool was even near any of the pictures. They all decided to try doing it the hard way via controlling their pencil and carefully laying layers of colour. The results of this were really good. Personally I feel that if you can avoid the embossing tool as much as possible, the result is more realistic and of course you don’t damage the paper. I think that In the end the students found the spots on the petals the most difficult.
It was the spot pattern on some of the Hellebores that had attracted several of them to choose these particular flowers, but they didn’t find it as easy as they had thought. The reason for this was that the spots guide the insects to the nectaries and this creates a specific pattern, but at the same time they accentuate the shape and fall of the petals – almost in the same way as the veins do. Not easy.
It was interesting listening to the conversation round the table about their individual choices of flowers. One felt she wasn’t able to get things really dark with CP, so chose the dark flower. She found that spending time on choosing the right colours and deciding the order in which they were used, helps a lot – as does being conscious of contrast. Another person chose a pale flower as they had difficulty doing pale. One person didn’t really like Hellebores but wanted to learn how to do them.
As each of them benefitted from looking at each others work, it was quite rewarding. I think that all were surprised and pleased with their results.