If a tulip were to look like it had exploded, that would be the Parrot Tulip. Even when the flower head opens before it dies, the Parrot Tulip transforms into a wild display of ruffled edges and multi-toned petals!
So I took to Pinterest and scoured the vast image collections for some reference photos:
As part of my wellness and self-care regimen for work and life, I have turned back to creative projects. There’s science behind this decision, and personal experience, but I have Life Labs PSYCHOLOGIES to back me up:
Freedom: There is no right or wrong way to be creative. When we create, it gives us the opportunity to engage with the world without judging ourselves. To return to the feeling of freedom we may have experienced during childhood. Where we did not have to know or be an expert. It gives us permission to take risks, try new things, and strip away inhibitions in a healthy way.
Self-awareness and Expression: Creativity is the route to authenticity. As we create we begin to access our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. When we take the time and energy to develop our own ideas, we learn to understand, trust and respect our inner self, in turn enabling us to better express ourselves. You may be surprised at the resources, thoughts and impulses that you discover there.
Faith and confidence in our instincts: When we create, we may start to value our work, even if it is not published, displayed or presented to the public. We can learn to trust our instincts and gain confidence from expressing them. This confidence carries over into decisions we make in other areas of life.
Stress Relief: Being creative is meditative. Taking the time to use our hands, minds, and energy doing something we enjoy and that makes us happy is of highest importance in life. Creativity is fun, and doing anything that brings joy reduces our stress levels and improves our quality of life.
Problem solving: There isn’t a manual to being an artist, and there isn’t a manual for being alive. Obstacles and challenges throughout life are inevitable. However, when we make creativity a habit, we continue to learn new, resourceful ways of solving problems in our artwork, and in life.
Go be creative yourself! You are more than welcome to use my techniques for drawing a striking and colorful work of art.
Prismacolor soft colored pencils (my set is a 120 count)
0.7 mm graphite mechanical pencil
White eraser stick/white eraser — these usually come with a mechanical pencil
First I design the composition layout on the dark page by sketching a general form of where I want the flower heads to be, the focus, and where the stems and leaves flow to, leading the view.
Typical rules of thumb are to not draw a line into a corner–it cuts off awkwardly; do not directly center the focus unless you are going for extreme symmetry–I don’t, it’s really difficult to pull off; and it is best to cross over halfway planes both horizontally and vertically.
Once I have a layout, I use reference photos to draw the plants, referring back to inspiration as often as needed for accuracy. I previously printed the reference photos, but now I see using digital media is just as easy, and ultimately environment friendly; lord knows I already waste tons of paper.
When drawing, I do not press down hard into the paper, but rather float the pencil tip over the surface. If I were to press hard, the cardstock will become indented and create crevices that cannot accept color. White erasers do not leave residue usually, but I combat the chances of smudging by cleaning off the eraser after several uses. I do so by rubbing the eraser on either another sheet of paper, but more likely, my jeans. Also works for charcoal. My jeans have been through a lot.
I only sketch out the finalized forms and major details of the drawing, and leave minuscule details for when I put in the color.
Once completed, I choose pencil colors. I start off with selecting as many colors as possible that match the reference photos, then narrow down the selections to 20 colors or less. The colors can, and should, be blended. That’s why I love Prismacolor pencils; there are few brands that can actually blend seamlessly without a granulated texture. The pencils use a wax-based formula, allowing for smooth application and creamy blending. For even better blending, I absolutely recommend investing in the blending pencil for Prismacolors, it will get the job done.
I test my colors on a spare piece of paper, because I want to know what it looks like before I take it to the drawing. Colors can look different on varying backgrounds. I also tested to see if the pencils looked brighter if I laid down white beforehand; some places it worked.
The last part is just filling in color where necessary. Take time and analyze where shades and tints need to go.
Use black sparingly, and instead use a shade of a color or better yet, a complementary color (that’s a color that is opposite of one another on the color wheel, such as yellow being opposite of purple, green is to red, orange to blue, et cetera).
I sealed the final product with workable fixative. I always go with “workable” because I’m a perfectionist. Honestly I should save myself the anxiety and just use final fixative so I don’t have an excuse to go back on a project! Don’t be me, let your projects be finished!
I intend to frame this piece in a white frame like it’s counterpart, the blue orchids. However, I have no idea where it will go on my gallery wall!
I should really finish that….