Monday, August 9, 2010

Step by Step Charcoal Pencil Magnolia

Starting just off center of your paper, with a charcoal pencil make a simple line drawing of a Magnolia blossom.

* It’s important to keep your sharpener nearby and sharpen often. Charcoal pencils lose their point easily. A sharp point is one way to get detail and definition.

Complete the line drawing of the flower. Make sure not to press too hard until you get your whole composition sketched out.

Notice the composition is more interesting by not putting the flower in the exact middle of the page, but by off-centering it a little and letting some of the petals go off the page.

Once your composition is complete pressing harder with your pencil start to add dark shadows to the stem and leaves. Notice the light is coming from the left so that the left side of each part is lighter and the right side more shaded.

Create light and sensitive strokes to the flower petals by not using much pressure and holding the pencil on it’s side as much as possible. This will show the separation between the leaves and petals. The petals being lighter in color and more delicate in texture.

Draw tiny spikes in the center of the flower. Continue with the light, sensitive strokes to each petal.

Be very careful not to press too hard. It’s important to keep it light. If you over-do it use your eraser lightly to take off some of the charcoal.

* It is helpful to turn your paper around as you work, working out from the center of each petal. This will keep your hand and wrist off of the dark sections already covered and keep messiness to a minimum.

As you start to fill in the background change the pressure of your pencil from dark to light. You want to create some differences in the background so that it looks like the flower could be anywhere outdoors.

Be careful, though, not to create too much difference between the lights and darks. You do not want to create distracting patterns that take away from the main flower, your focal point. You want to make the patterns subtle so that the flower stands out.
Keep working on the background. You can begin to create some ‘leaf-like’, organic shapes within the background patterns - but make them subtle. You want the viewer to focus on the flower, but believe that the flower is outside.


Liz said...

Gorgeous! I should try it again and be more patient - I think all the text explaining is helpful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,
Thanks for the tips on how to draw this lovely magnolia blossom!
Anna Olson