Anthophobia — Google says it is a fear of flowers.
Some things, like roses, have given me LOTS of anxiety. Fear.
Actually, I love roses. I love their shape, silky petals and their scent, but drawing them has caused me some frustration and anxiety. Just being honest.
I’ve been painting for over two decades. Drawing? Only about seven years. Most people learn to draw before they paint. Not me. I dragged my feet and only began learning when I couldn’t accomplish my artistic goals any other way.
I often do things backwards — it drives my family nuts, my husband especially. He’s the rational one. He thinks things through. He sees ten steps ahead in any given situation. Not me. I’m the creative one. The one who has had lots of experience learning the hard way. And it’s taken a lot of personal hardship for me to learn to listen to him. So seven years ago. I finally started to draw, using the resource he’d recommended to me almost two decades ago.
Learn to draw here:
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
Still, even after seven years of drawing practice some subjects terrify me, so I don’t draw as much as I should. (Like, daily.)
I know I should be drawing more; I tell people THEY should draw more, so when a post by Ben Makin of The Napkin-Doodle Challenge popped up in my Facebook Newsfeed I thought it might be something to motivate me to get back into daily drawing.
Find him here:
Ben’s drawings are fairly simple, even for complicated subjects and with the step by step illustrations I was able to complete the 7 days of drawing fairly easily. On about Day 3, there was a drawing of a simple rose; roses are actually fairly complex, but with the instruction I managed a decent little rose doodle. I practiced it a couple of times. I wasn’t thrilled with it, but it was recognizable. Like I said, the instructions were great, though to me at the time, it seemed a strange way to draw a rose. (At first.)
It wasn’t until the end of the 7 days when I’d run out of Ben’s instructions and daily challenges that I decided I wanted to make sure I was keeping up with my own daily drawing, so I sat down to do a few simple line drawings on my own with no prompts. I decided to see if I could draw what I remembered from the week’s illustrations.
This is what just happened on my paper — with very little effort. I was astonished by how it flowed.
I reviewed my initial response to the mid-week challenge (the rose); I had trouble with it at first, but a few days afterward, as I was reviewing, something had very obviously “clicked” in my brain.
Too bad I drew this on a piece of scrap paper! (I have been told to never do this., btw.)
After I posted this photo in the The Napkin Doodle Group on FB, I got plenty of positive response, but I was silently lamenting that I hadn’t drawn it on better paper. I was especially upset because my second go on watercolor paper hadn’t turned out quite this well, but then I remembered that I could use this as a template and trace the shape onto watercolor paper. (No extra drawing! Just tracing.)
I also remembered that not everyone knows how transfer drawings, so I photographed my process; you, too, can take your quick sketches and easily transfer them to better paper! Realize that you don’t need special artist tools to make pretty pictures.
Except for the watercolor paper, I used materials that are pretty easy to get: masking tape, kids Crayola watercolors (even the brush that came with the set was decent though I wouldn’t want to paint a big picture or very fine details with it) and graphite. I used a graphite stick, but using an everyday pencil works too. I also used a pen I picked up at my last hotel stay–not fancy at all, but it flows well! “That’s it!” as Jacques Pepin says. (He does watercolor, btw!)
If you are interested, see his art here:
Jacques Pepin’s Art
So, here’s my transfer process:
I tested out my kiddie watercolors on my initial drawing on scrap paper before I decided to use it as a template–and it demonstrates that you can paint quick sketches on printer paper:
I flipped my drawing over; as you can see, I have other odd doodles from The Napkin-Doodle Challenge on the back of the paper.
Reminder: Don’t use scrap paper to do you drawings. 🙂
I have a nub of a graphite stick that I use for this process, but you can just lay a sharpened #2 pencil on its side and darken the paper on the back side of your drawing; just make sure you cover the entire area of your drawing since the graphite will be used to transfer your original drawing onto your fresh sheet of paper.
(I should have used more graphite here to make for a better transfer, but you get the idea, I hope.)
Once you get a nice, even layer of graphite on the back of your drawing, turn your paper over and tape your template drawing to the other piece of paper you want to transfer your drawing to. You don’t need a lot of tape — just enough to keep your drawing in place; I try to make sure that not much tape is actually sticking to my watercolor paper. If you don’t leave it on long it should come right off, but if it’s a better tape (like from Scotch) it can pull at your nice sheet of paper. That’s bad. I like using cheap dollar store tape for my artwork–it’ not quite so sticky and comes off more easily. And it’s cheaper. What a bonus!
Many artists use this transfer technique so they don’t mar the surface of their watercolor paper; erasing drawing mistakes can affect how the watercolor paper handles the water and the paint.
Now take your pen or pencil and firmly, but gently, trace the lines of your original drawing; the graphite on the back will transfer your drawing to the other piece of paper.
Now you can see why I should have laid down a thicker and more even layer of graphite on the back of my template.
This was good enough for me to see the basic shapes though, so I took my pencil and darkened the lines with my pencil freehand.
So, now you know an easy way to transfer a drawing to another piece of paper.
You don’t need fancy artist paints to make nice paintings. Some of my favorite watercolor lessons were from Gerald Brommer who used kid’s watercolors for his demonstrations. The goal is to do more art, not sit around waiting until you can afford better materials!
See Gerald’s work here:
This is my finished rose!
With just a couple of dollars for kids’ supplies (brush included) you can do all sorts of beautiful work. I’ve used Prang and Crayola; this one was done with Crayola.
You don’t have to use watercolor paper to learn all watercolor technique and strokes–many things can be learned on less expensive lighter weight paper; another painter I’ve watched, Barry Toshio Shiraishi, uses printer paper to do his practice painting.
See Barry paint here:
Realistic Cherries by Barry
So, what’s stopping you?
Anthophobia? I’m over my anthophobia now.