Final Assignment Observation in Nature Introducing colour

the dried leaf:

Looking at the beautiful drawings of tulips by Wardell Milan (photograph of Reference : book “Vitamin D2 new Perspectives in Drawing” 2013 pg 184-185 Published by Phaidon Press ISBN  978 0 7148 6528 7

IMG_9615These images according to the text reflect the fragile beauty of the tulip whose image was inspired by the Dutch dependence on the flower for trade which can itself be fragile.

I love the manner in which the colours  are irregular  patches against the harsher dark ink form of the flower head. I feel excited by the manner the colour drips  off the plant or forms irregular “splodges” which are only partially connected to the flower heads. This mode of representing the colour does give the image a crumbling frailty.


I used the images to build up a coloured drawing of the dried leaf using charcoal, ink, crayon, oil pastel and oil paint. The idea of fragility by showing some degree of “melting ” by incorporating parts of the image into the surrounding space fits with my concepts of frailty in life, of life past and of life to be.




IMG_9466My image is too solid, the splashes of oil colour spilling onto the background insufficiently brave but it proved difficult to overpaint and possibly spoil a reasonable drawing. The final colours are too strong -stopping at an earlier version may have been better.

Other coloured images:

The seed pod



using various media to frottage over the seed pods:


thinking about my aim to incorporate neolithic cave art images.(hands from peoples long gone):


And thinking again of Rennie Mackintosh: swirling lines,vertical image, colour pink (instilled by the initial thoughts of the sun on the seed pods as I wandered round the winter garden).


Textile design: Stylised Tulip    textile design -stylised tulip  pencil on brown tracing paper  by Charles Rennie Mackintosh  sourced on line Feb 2014 from:,+watercolours+and+designs

Incorporating black and white squares into a drawing of plants in the manner of Rennie Mackintosh produced quite a foreboding drawing in pink and black:


This has a sense of drama by virtue of the colours and the positions of the seed pods which have lost their identities. It was certainly far removed from the more gentle image I was trying to achieve and although I like it, it is too dark and mysterious.

I developed this idea further by working on the detailed study of the lace, drawn for the tonal drawings section of the assignment:

this produced a cacophony of line colour and textures with immense busy-ness

the build of images on the original drawing using wax resist, ink felt tip and crayon:




I was fascinated by two artist’s use of colour :

The first, Friedrich Kunaith , draws in fine coloured lines on black carbon paper producing ghostly images which emerge from the paper:

Images from the Vitamin D2 (New Perspectives in Drawing pg 162-163) ISBN978 0 7148 6528 7

“Oh Oh Lonesome me” Oil Pastel on carbon paper


Lovely fine and colourful marks break the black surface –no one line seems to be only one colour. A ghostly ship glides through a billowing sea. The Rhime of the Ancient Mariner comes to mind. The paper is carbon the colours fine oil pastel.

“Don’t Ever leave me” Oil Pastel on Carbon Paper  Friederich Kunath     sourced from the book “Vitamin D2 New Perspectives in Drawing” Pg 162  ISBN978 0 7148 6528 7


I like the contrast of colour against the black carbon paper, the fineness of the line, the hint of an image, the abstraction.

I drew the sprig of grass in this manner:


This lead into further coloured  drawings on black paper


abstracted, the image reminds me of the lady’s drawn by Toulouse Lautrec whose drawings I had studied in relation to figure drawing


The ash seeds incorporating colour:

IMG_9586I have a passion for colour particularly bright and varied colours and in this exerciser was impressewd by the contrasting colours on the black background as provoked by looking at Friedrich Kunaith’s images. The chalk drawing on black of the abstracted simple shapes of the seed pods is cdertianly one I like in its simplicity yet liveliness by virtue of its contrasting colours against the black:


I also like the contrasting wax crayon against the black pen in the leaf emulation of  Wardell Milan’s tulips


and from one of my earlier drawings -I love the multiple colours in pencil crayon in this image:



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