How do you draw lupine? So many little parts. Tackling a complex subject requires a game plan. Break a big task down into little steps. Start in the middle at the bottom and work your way up. A methodical system will help you keep focused and oriented.
A lupine inflorescence is challenging because you have to draw the same flowers again and again at all angles. With a little strategy, you can save a lot of time and your drawing will look better for it. Begin by understanding the flower itself. Draw one blossom from the front, 3/4 view, and from the side. Study how the shapes of the flowers change as you go up the stem (the flowers age from oldest to youngest as you go up).
Frame in the shape of the inflorescence with your non-photo blue pencil. Then, starting in the middle of the lowest row, draw the central flower. With a little less detail draw the next two flowers on either side. With an even lighter touch, suggest the shape of the flowers in the background. Now move up to the next level and continue to the top. Click on the first image to start a step-by-step slideshow.
Frame in the shape of the inflorescence (width, height, centerline) with your non-photo blue pencil.
Block in the whorls of flowers.
Start with the foreground- boldly draw the closest flower.
Then add flowers on either side.
Lightly suggest background blossoms- no detail.
Then move up to the next level and repeat.
The top flower buds are bunched together. Here draw the central flowers in the rest of the spike.
Then lightly suggest the buds behind.
Load a waterbrush with purple paint. The first strokes will be the darkest. Begin with the foreground.
Continue painting as the brush slowly runs out of pigment. The brush will not go dry but become more diluted. Work from foreground to background.
Mix a green and work it into different parts of the painting. If the green feels too vibrant, tone it down with a touch of magenta.
Use a dull magenta on the stem and unopened flowers. Look carefully at your subject. Do you see this kind of mottling?
Add detail and dark accents. These should be strong in the foreground, subdued in the middle ground, and all but absent in the background.
Final highlights with a white gel pen.