Spring is here! Now is a great time to draw bulbs, buds, and new growth that’s popping up everywhere. When the ground is soft, you can usually get a good look at the roots of a plant. Tulips, crocus, and daffodils will start to appear. Also trees will start to show their baby leaves.
Study and dissect flowers this season, practice drawing petals, and don’t forget to smell the flowers! If you’re following a plant all year, now is the time to look for its flowers! Study your flowers to determine their identifying characteristics: how many petals? How many stamens? Inferior or Superior Ovary? Flower shape? Who might be its pollinators? Get positive and helpful feedback on your drawing at an upcoming workshop!
Looking for inspiration? See what our botanical artists are drawing around the globe!
Wendy Hollender, Accord, NY, USA
In winter, I look forward to studying branches, dormant buds, lichen, and leaf scars on branches, bark on trees, remaining seed pods, and dried curling leaves. Neutral colored pencils like Burnt Sienna, Dark Sepia, and Burnt Ochre are the most useful to achieve the desired brown shades of winter in the northeast. Magnolia trees have very cool dormant buds in winter. I can easily focus on a tree’s silhouette in the winter. A fun game is to try and identify a tree with only the limited information available in winter. If you want to learn how to ID trees, drawing the trees’ characteristics, winter is a great place to start. When you find a particular tree that talks to you, decide to follow that tree all year long to see the magic of its growth.
Sam McWilliams, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Spring is a wonderful time of year that emphasizes the inherent magic of plants. During this season, my favorite subjects to draw include anemone, cherries, daffodils, skunk cabbage, salmonberry, magnolias, bull rushes, rhibes, tulips, hyacinth, heather, dogwood, rhododendron, and dandelion. The bright face of anemone can turn anyone’s day around!
Asuka Hishiki, Japan
We all have a favorite plant list, but mine is constantly changing, kind of like a weekly “Top 10 hits list.” I always plan to work on something, but at a farmers market, or on the way to go somewhere, I change my mind and grab whatever grabs my heart and start working on it.
Here are three plants I really enjoyed in the past spring. (My top three favorite plants of 2021!!)
- Wild cherry.
We have a big wild cherry tree in our backyard. It produces many jewel looking cherries every spring.
- Long headed poppy.
This poppy is not on the List of Regulated Living Organisms under the Invasive Alien Species Act, but invasive enough to disturb our native plant habits. Yet, this super strong poppy intrigues me deeply. Such an interesting plant, and I often think of invasive species… not their fault, we brought it in at the first place…
These plums were given to me from a hobby farmer friend. One day, they ate plum in the field and threw the seeds on the edge of the field. Now, it has grown into a big tree and produces many plums!!!! But instead of eating, I kept them in my fridge because I couldn’t decide which to paint next… ended up painting very beautiful mold covered fruit.
How else can you find subjects and get inspired to draw this season?
Go for a drive, and pull over when you see something interesting!
Ask a loved one what their favorite plant is.
Draw the beginnings of a plant (sprouts, seedlings, buds).
Look at past drawings and see if you can add another life cycle stage to your composition.