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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Creative journal ideas for drawing plants

We’ve all had those blocks in writing or drawing...nothing is sparking, the ideas have stopped, we see through a muddy glass. We sigh. The wellspring seems to have dried up, and there is nothing new under the sun.

Sometimes all we need is a little pump-priming to get the flow moving again. Think about these ideas for drawing, interpreting, and revealing things about plants:

• Draw the same subject three times using different media and/or line styles.

• Write a haiku about your drawing. Let a favorite quote inspire a new sketch.
• Try leaf printing with acrylics and watercolor paints.

• Sketch a series of seedpods or fruits for comparison and contrast.

• Explore the stages of maturity: for example, the sprouting seed, an opening bud and flower, or the withering folds and forms of your subject.

• Look at different leaf shapes through silhouettes.

• Describe line textures in different kinds of tree bark.

• Incorporate graphic elements into your journal pages. Think of text blocks, or a border a plant or leaf study.

• Paint a collection of nature objects from your yard.

Enjoy!

Above left:  a watercolor leaf print on heavy muslin of a fern frond.  Above right: another fern watercolor leaf print on handmade paper enhanced with a Pitt brush pen and watercolor washes.