Nature gives us a wonderful array of things to draw. Skies, water, sunsets and flowers—simply look out your window for unending inspiration!

Suede board is a wonderful drawing surface for nature scenes and flowers. It creates a pastel-like quality to the subject and makes sky tones and flower petals appear soft and smooth. Even though suede board is soft, it is still possible to use firm pressure to create distinct edges and overlaps, which are important when drawing natural subjects.

Study of Red Rose Against Green

Light gray suede board 11" x 14" (28cm x 36cm)

Experiment With Complementary Colors in Flower Scenes

This red rose, drawn on light gray suede board, takes on a soft, diffused look, and the background appears to be out of focus. This is a good example of a complementary color scheme—red against green. This color scheme is repeated often in drawings of flowers and nature.

Flowers are a very popular subject for colored pencil artists not only because of their beautiful colors, but because they are made up of a multitude of shapes.

Colors Used

Hot Pink, Process Red, Crimson Red, Poppy Red, Scarlet Lake, Magenta, Dark Purple, Apple Green, Grass Green, True Green, Dark Green, Peacock Green, True Blue, Black, White flower basics

Colored Pencil Nature Drawing

A Textured Red Flower

The red flower is drawn on mat board that has a touch of texture to it. Notice how the outside corners of the drawing are gently shaded and lead the viewer's eye to the center. I chose a blue-gray background for the middle tone to help the bright white accents of the piece stand out.

Flowers are a fun and interesting drawing subject because there are so many colorful varieties. When observing flowers to draw, keep in mind the many overlapping petals that create hard edges of reflected light and cast shadows.

Flowers also have many different textures. To achieve depth and realism, it is best to use the layering technique to draw dull, fuzzy surfaces, and to use the burnishing technique to draw shiny, reflective petals.

Create a Dramatic Look With a Black Background

For a dramatic look, fill the entire background with black, like the exercise of the pink daisy on pages 96-97. The colors of this zinnia look very intense against the dark background.

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