These dried orchids were too beautiful to throw away without capturing their beautiful forms. This is a quick watercolour sketch that took about 13 minutes. To really study the intricacies I’d really need to spend a few hours.
I’m using Khadi handmade watercolour paper A4 size, that is heavy weight with an uneven rough texture. Daniel Smith watercolours and lots of water, make this super fun. My favourite part is the end where I just add water and let all the pigment disperse however it wants.
This is a time-lapse of a sketch that took about 25 minutes in real life.
It was much easier to start with the Zebra Fude Brush pigment ink than other direct sketches I’ve done without the guiding lines.
I started with too much water, so it took a longer time to build the darks. I normally like to start with heavy pigment and wash it out to create form. This resulted in a sketch that took a lot longer than normal, but was still such fun.
Charcoal is such fun because it’s like sculpting. You can add and subtract, build up and erase. It’s also tempting to keep fiddling with it and never call it finished. Indeed the breaks in the video are because I did exactly that. I kept on refining. And I refined again after filming stopped.
Once you get the basic shapes down, the fun is in pushing and pulling the darks and lights until you get something resembling a 3D representation. The dramatic darks are what I loved about this picture, but the difficulty was in laying the charcoal down and trying to lighten it a touch, so there were still some graduatios of value.
I used willow charcoal and a 4B Generals charcoal pencil, natural chamois, a pan pastel shaper, and a kneaded eraser. The paper is Mi-Teintes pastel paper.