In my last post, I said I felt “primed to make a mistake.” It was because, for this drawing to work, I would need to follow the rules of perspective, of which I have had very little practice.
Well, this drawing was very good practice.
First, I made a couple of studies… and made some obvious mistakes.
I really like the outlines and want them to shine. I need to support them, the way merely coloring them in with watercolor did not. While looking to Michelangelo’s Study of a Mourning Woman, however, I got carried away with the details. Or I thought only of light and shadow, and it was the wrong approach, and it became a mess.
I had to decide on how the lines could work for my flowers. In what way would they serve a realistic depiction of flowers and in what way would they be for effect?
My flowers were abstract from the beginning, and their outlines didn’t justify that much detail. I decided to borrow just one move from Study of a Mourning Woman — using multiple lines to emphasize the direction of each petal.
I drew guidelines, the kind you use to draw a person’s face, to have an idea where the middle of each petal is, the direction it’s going in, and where there will be a curve that travels perpendiccular to its given direction. The curves will have their own path which needs to be consistent, so when a line crosses the path of a given curve, it will curve at the right moment.
It was all trial and error. I used a pencil to put down tentative lines which I had to edit by simply asking myself, “Does this look right?” I didn’t draw a single petal the way I wanted to at the first go. But that’s okay. Like I said, it was very good practice.
It helped me appreciate how multiple lines can be more substantial in doing what a single line can do — express movement and even feeling. Giving each petal a direction was like giving each a personality, and in this way, it went beyond style.