Constructing an Iris, Shapes and Negative Shapes

Iris flowers are complex, folded, curling masses of twisted petals and sepals. How do you approach drawing something with so many curling and overlapping layers? The secret is to lay out the structure and then use shapes and negative shapes. Close one eye and flatten the 3D image to interlocking 2D shapes. Click on the

How to Draw Mushrooms: San Francisco

Come draw mushrooms at with the San Francisco Mycological Society. Fungi are a delight to sketch and paint. Learn a simple approach to sketching mushrooms and some of the most common errors that can creep into your fungus sketching. Learn how to draw mushroom gills and how to foreshorten the shapes of the caps. Then

How to Paint Raindrops and Dew

With rain in the forecast, it is a perfect time to explore how to draw and paint raindrops and morning dew. Avoid dropping dew drops over every rose you draw, this just turns your field journaling into kitsch. But if you go sketching early in the morning or after a rainstorm, you have earned your

How to Draw an Iris: part 1

I am overwhelmed when looking at a wildly curling Iris petal. But I have learned to calm those worries with a systematic approach to constructing the petal. Close one eye and look at each plane, top or bottom as an angular flat shape. Imagine each as a separate shape like pieces of odd-sized glass. To

Shape vs. Structure

There are two ways of visualizing what you want to sketch, seeing shape and structure. Block in your sketch using shapes then refine your drawing by double checking that the structure is accurately observed. A curling ribbon is a good model to begin thinking about surface shapes. Train your eye to catch the shapes formed

How to Foreshorten Leaves: Advanced

The way to foreshorten leaves that are oriented toward you or at a right angle to your line of sight is fairly straightforward. The proportions of the leaf will change but the leaf will remain symmetrical. However, when a leaf (or petal) is foreshortened and the axis is oriented at a 45 degree angle to your line

How to Foreshorten Leaves: Basics

Learning to foreshorten leaves will allow you to draw them from any angle, adding life and dynamism to your sketches. Foreshortening causes some surprising distortions of the leaf shape. To help you intuitively understand these changes, download and print the leaf model and follow along as you study this post, comparing what you see in the

How to Draw a Cone-shaped Flower

The shape of the ellipse of the outer edge of the cone and the location of the flower bottom are the two most important reference points to catch in your preliminary sketch. This fairly stiff demonstration emphasizes the geometry of the shape. Keep these steps in mind when drawing a real flower. This framework will

How to Foreshorten Flowers: Disk vs. Cone

Flowers with petals in a flat disk foreshorten differently than cone-shaped flowers. The center of a flat disk will always appear at the center of the ellipse that forms as you tilt the disk, viewing it from an angle. The center of a cone will drop from the center of the ellipse as you tilt the

How to Draw Wildflowers I (video workshop)

Learn to draw wildflowers! This is video is the first in a two part series. Watch part two. Enjoy the beauty of spring wildflowers. Drawing them will help you get to know them better and will help you see aspects of your favorite wildflowers that you have never noticed before. This introductory workshop will teach