Monday, 18 May 2015

How To Draw: Bluebells

Take a walk around a British woodland in May and you will see a display of bluebells covering the woodland floor. In today's How To Draw, I am going to be a bit artistic when it comes to drawing a bluebell wood later. But first, I am going to show you how to draw an individual bluebell flower.

Stage One
To draw a bluebell, start at the top with two elongated, egg-like shapes for the top flowers. Then at the base, start drawing the stem downwards with a slight curve in it. As you draw the stem, draw the bells of the other flowers and the 'branches' that they droop down from as you work your way down the plant. Doing it this way can help you get each part with enough space inbetween and prevents making them look cramped together (unless, of course, that is the way you want them to look).

Stage Two
At the bottom of the bells, you need to draw at least three to four petals. They can be triangular and point outwards, but most of these petals curl inwards as characteristic of a bluebell. It is probably best if you sharpen your pencil for this part, that way you can get the finest of detail.

Stage Three

Redraw in pen and rub out the pencil marks when you are done. I add a light series of lines on each flower head. Just take it slow and easy, don't rush it to prevent mistakes.

Stage Four

Colour in your bluebell. I first use a light coat of light blue before applying purple over it. The stem is green.

Stage One

Now it is time to get artistic as I draw a bluebell wood. For this drawing, I am going to be impressionistic, similar to other impressionist artists such as Claude Monet and his lillypads. Instead of drawing every individual flower and blade of grass in great detail, I am going to use colour to give you an impression that there are hundreds of bluebells. It saves time and is a lot different to the usual way I draw things. First, I mark out a rough square on my drawing pad to show how much I want to draw, but you can use the entire page if you wish. Then I make a line quarter a way from the top to mark where the bluebells and the trees meet.

Stage Two
The trees are added at the top, using the line as a rough guide to where they should go. Distant trees are shaded in, while closer trees are either lightly shaded in or kept white and as a basic line drawing. Trees that appear close are allowed to be drawn over the guide line, but distant trees can be placed above it. I also mark out areas where leaves cover in front of them with a simple scuibble.

Stage Three
Redraw the trees in pen. Where there are areas of leaves that cover infront of the trees, I miss out parts of the trunks to give that impression. Shade in some of the more distant trees and add any detail such as thin branches and tree markings.

Stage Four

Shade in the whole area of where the bluebells are going to be with a light layer of green. I also colour in the areas of the leaves around the tree zone. Do it in a blotchy manner to give the impression of lots of leaves. At the base of the line dividing the trees and the bluebells, I create a layer of blue and purple dots to represent the more distant bluebells in the display.

Stage Five

It is time to add the rest of the bluebells. We don't want to completely swamp the sketch in a shade of blue, instead, I leave gaps as I dot the area in purple blobs. Make the flowers in the foreground much large than the rest stretching in the distance.

Stage Six

I add in more layers of green bluebell leaves and more bluebells. The foreground section of the display is created using much heavier lines of green, as a way to make it look as if you can see each leaf close up. The distant section of the display and leaves on the trees have a bit of yellow as if the sun is shining on them. The trees are also coloured in.

Stage Seven

Finally, I use a pen to give some impressionistic scribbles (don't go mad though) across the whole display, as well as a few fine branches on the trees. Impressionism works better if you stand back and look at the drawing (or painting) at a distance. So, prop up your sketch, stand back and look at it. What do you think? Hopefully, the sketch has come to life in a scene of colour. If your not happy, just keep adding more bluebells until you are.

I hope you have enjoyed this slightly different How To Draw. You can use impressionism to draw any flower display, not just bluebells. So, whether it is a meadow of buttercups or a garden covered in forget-me-nots, there is no excuse in not drawing them.

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