Sketching flowers on the go - Blumen unterwegs skizzieren | Barbara Grünenfelder | Skillshare

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Sketching flowers on the go - Blumen unterwegs skizzieren

teacher avatar Barbara Grünenfelder, time is art

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

23 Lessons (2h 18m)
    • 1. sketching flowers intro

    • 2. E2 exploring materials

    • 3. E2a about brushes paper and choosing materialsE

    • 4. E3 exploring shapes

    • 5. E4 exploring layout and composition

    • 6. E5 approach 1: lines only

    • 7. E6 approach 2: first lines then color

    • 8. E7 approach 3: first color then line

    • 9. E8 ideas for white flowers

    • 10. E9: bonus 1 lines

    • 11. E10: bonus 2 color after lines

    • 12. E11: bonus 3 color first

    • 13. D2 Material auswählen

    • 14. D3 Pflanzenformen erkunden

    • 15. D4 Layout und Komposition

    • 16. D5 Herangehensweise 1: Linie

    • 17. D6 Herangehensweise 2: erst Linie dann Farbe

    • 18. D7 Herangehensweise 3: erst Farbe dann Linie

    • 19. D8 weisse Blume

    • 20. D9 Bonus 1: Linie Weidenröschen

    • 21. D10 Bonus 2: Farbe über Linien

    • 22. D11 Bonus 3: Farbe zuerst, Borretsch

    • 23. My trecking sketching set

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About This Class

(Deutsch kommts weiter unten)

This class is one part of my urban sketching and travel sketching series. Flowers are a fun and "forgiving" subject and add live to many everyday or travel scenes.

We cover specific material choices and mixing greens, composition and layout (flowers are an easy way to balance odd pages), and tree approaches to draw and paint flowers from observation - in pen and watercolor, in two to about 15 minutes.

I recommend to watch the "warming up for urban sketching"- class and do the exercises first, to get into an appropriate mode of seeing.


Blumen unterwegs skizzieren - beim Wandern, Reisen, im Alltag, beim Urban Sketching. Das ist die Beta-Version vom Kurs, den ich schon seit mehreren Jahren machen wollte. Nun beginnt er einfach, und ich ergänze in den nächsten Tagen und Wochen noch 3 Lektionen:

- Auswahl von Zeichenmaterial und Grün mischen

- Pflanzenformen erkunden

- mit Layout experimentieren

3 praktische Herangehensweisen (kommt noch)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Barbara Grünenfelder

time is art


I love to draw and paint, move and explore. i teach creative classes with adults and work as a coach. Drawing, painting and sewing for me are ways to explore both the outer and inner worlds, to deeply connect with life, to sharpen my awareness and to celebrate my playfulness. I am an urban sketcher in bern, switzerland.


about my classes:

at the moment, all my skillshare classes are about urban sketching. since 10 years ago, i teach many urban sketching classes on location, and every one is different, as i adapt them to the participants. there are some main topics that are important again and again, and some topics are fascinating just once in a while. most classes here are the essence of my on location classes in and around bern.

the most important abi... See full profile

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1. sketching flowers intro: Sketching in nature flowers. The focus of this class is sketching value travel, hike, or in a full every day life with a rather short time and little material. All thought, the sketchbook is a visual thing. I invite you to see with all of your senses and let them participate in the drawing process. Hi and welcome to this class. I am Barbara clean and felt it. I'm an urban sketcher in Switzerland. And this is the tenth year I teach drawing classes. In this class, we will explore materials. We will explore shapes of flowers or leaves, stems and so, and I will show three approaches I often use. And at the end stair, our bonus lessons with the drawing videos in full length that I recorded outdoors in nature. This class is suitable for beginners as well as for advanced Skechers to discover new ideas. 2. E2 exploring materials: We can draw flowers with almost everything. As I have mostly pen and ink and water color. So with me, I explained in this unit how I choose paper pens and how I explore watercolors for mixing greens. You can apply these techniques to test other materials as well. There are many different kinds of papers, and they all take pens and inks and water colors differently. So before I test these colors and pens, I have to find a paper that fits my needs. Here, I am drawing onto a paper which make thick black dots when I stopped with the pen. So this pen and this paper doesn't work well together for me. Some papers also lets the pigments of the watercolor go into the paper and then they don't shine as colorful as they could. So test them with your watercolors as well. When you have your favorite paper or a paper that works for the mediums you want to use. You can begin to explore how you want to apply ink or watercolor or whatever you want to use. Usually I draw outside and here I test my materials outside. Sometimes this makes a difference because of the wind or the sum that dries some mediums very quickly. Or in the desert. I once had some sand in my pen and it didn't work for several days. So test outdoors if necessary. Here I have a flower in front of me and six different pens I want to choose from. I draw the same flower. This almost the same approach with every pen. And I feel, which pens I like, I feel good with and which feel a bit awkward. And at the end I compare the results. But I looked to my feeling and to the results because when I'm lucky when I draw, this is a much more enjoyable process then if the pen is very neat, but I don't like the drawing process. I draw with the pen with different sites. When I have a fountain pen, I can turn the nip and I can make very thin lines. And with the other side I can make thicker lines. And especially for flowers, I like to make thin lines. For other subjects, I have rather thicker lines then for the flowers. And at the end I compare the result. I look what had felt good to me, what looks good to me. And for the fountain pen, I also like that if you press, you get thicker lines. It's much more sensible than the other pens, which have only one. With. Some colors are easy to mix and some are not possible at all. For instance, such a magenta, which It's the color of many flowers. So I buy the most precise and clear. Magenta. On the other side. Greens are so easy and so much fun to mix. You can make screens with all your yellows with lemon yellow, with warm yellow, with yellow ocher. And you can mix them with greens or with all blues, like ultra marine or Prussian blue or all the other blues. And you can make many combinations. Here I choose to two yellows and two blues that I compare. I begin with the yellow blocks in my palette, and then I add more and more of the blue until I have the pure blue, and so on. I can compare all the possibilities that I can achieve with my yellows and with migraines. And when I see all the greens in natures, I have an idea how I could make stem. In this unit, we looked at exploring materials and testing materials for drawing and painting flowers on the go. And in the next unit, we will look at exploring shapes of flowers, of leafs, of stems, and all kinds of shapes. 3. E2a about brushes paper and choosing materialsE: Usually the sets that paper for water colors should view rather thick and heavy. And I have some watercolor paper with 300 grams per square meter that they liked very much for water coloring. But to carry around, I don't like it so much because it's heavy and thick. So I found other papers that were well as sketchbooks because when you have finished the sketch, you can shut the book and it will press B, be pressed flapped. I have this sketch book with a 120 grams per square meter. That works very well also with watercolors. And I have this block with paper is 70 grams per square meter. And I like it for watercolors way just four layers, not for tough techniques, but to paint one or two layers or three and don't drop too much. It's, I like it very much. And it's important when you choose a paper that you do the exercises with this paper, because every paper has different properties and it's good to try them out before you decide to take the paper to your traveling or to a longer trip. These are the pens I carry around with me most of the time when I go sketching and I can do everything, then. This is my favorite, it's Chinese calligraphy pen. I bought it because I thought I could fill it. That's what this tank is for, but it flooded my paint box. So I don't feel it, but I like it for painting. And when I choose brushes or what diary commend you for trying out brushes is to fill them up with paint. Just take the pallets there and then try out what's the are able or the thinnest line. The thickest line. Maybe draw an object. And be aware how it feels. I like so much to paint with this brush and with other brushes. I'm not happy at all. So this one works well for me for almost everything. This one is a number five, round brush with Kolinsky hair. It's a natural hair that keeps a lot of liquid and has rather strong elasticity. I can't control my strokes very well with this one. I can use it to paint flowers or stems. I can feel little areas with the one I want to do something exactly. And I can also make broad lines like this. This is my go-to brush when I want to paint fine and controlled areas. And this one is a bristle brush. It's a bit wild. And I like it for mountains because the the shape it makes reminds me of mountains. And it can, it has struck an edgy structure. With this one, I don't take with me anymore. I take a different color. I can make thin lines as well. Almost like these. I can make thick lines, almost like these. But the feeling is not so good. Maybe it's just the handle that is too short or I don't know what I don't like it. And so I take the other one. This one. It works for almost every thing. The tip is not as pointed as in the beginning. It's now some 10-year source of so old. I can make broad strokes. It's all right. Keep it but I don't like it anymore so much. But when it was when it had a good tip, I like it and it was easy to control. It's not so easy to paint mountains because it's a bit too round it. Therefore, I carried the Bristol brush. There are lots of other kinds of brushes. And the exercise to test brushes is to just play around with them. See, what do you feel. Draw some objects in front of you to really compare and to see how it works when you draw or paint something. And then you go with your gut feeling. This pen is empty and I can fill it up. I have a convertor in it. It's this thing. I think. Instead of Scott cartridge, I can screw here. I take my hat, perhaps could achieve my little bottle with him. Now. Screw here and the thing comes into the converter. You can do this if you have a converter. Alternatively, you can take a cartridge and the syringe and fill the cartridge with decisions? No. I cleaned the converter. I put it into pen again. Right. 4. E3 exploring shapes: This lesson is about exploring shapes. About exploring the shapes of flowers and leaves and stems and how they are connected and of fruit of all kind of shapes of plants. Plants are rather symmetrical beings, but only from one or few perspectives. So we can look with different eyes at the plant. We can look at it and explore the specific properties of a kind of plant, like the shape of the petals or how the middle is built, how the stems are connected with the bigger stem. Or we can look at it like this unique plumped that I see in this moment. Just from this perspective. I teach a class about warming up exercises for urban sketching, where we explore this kind of looking at the plant. And in this class, we use both kinds of watching. And in this lesson here, we look at rather than general properties then at how we look at plants, we will look at this later. Here, we explore the shape of the petals, how a flower is put together, the symmetry, and so on. And I highly recommend that you take the time to fill a sheet with as many flowers as you find and draw them on this paper. And then take another sheet of paper and draw as many leaves as you can. And look at the shapes at the H, at how it is connected with the stem. At all the define Wayne's that go through the leaf. All you can discover. And then the same thing with stems. They are connected, how the leaves are at the stem. And with fruit. This is an exercise you can easily do in the garden or in the forest where you find some plants. So I hope you enjoyed exploring older shapes of the flowers, of the leaves, of the stems around you. And in the next lesson we will look at layout possibilities with plants in your travel sketchbook or in an everyday sketchbook. 5. E4 exploring layout and composition: This lesson is about flowers and plants in travel and everyday sketch books about composition, about how you can use them to improve their impression of the space, to remind the smell. To show the width of the landscape. I share here a lot of inspiration from my sketchbook. And I invite you to look at the sizes, at the composition, at the layout, at the distribution of the pictures and the writing. And as an exercise to try out different ways to use small landscape and big plants and some writing or the date and the place. Just be inspire and try out toward you. Feed inspired to. You may draw plants in, in clusters or in rows. You may draw several pictures in one. You may draw a row of plants. Also the shadows of plants and mix different media. Some fruits and leaves on a tree. This is the garden in front of a university where that, where I look into the window or a lot, a lot of flowers on a spring middle. Humming flowers and insects in the summer. Lots, lots of possibilities. I hope you enjoyed exploring and playing with composition, trying out new things. And in the next lesson, we will look at the first approach. Only lines. 6. E5 approach 1: lines only: This lesson is about drawing lines. Drawing lines can be a warmer. That helps to change the mode of seeing from seeing what you know, to seeing what this really weird symbol in front of us. I teach more about this in my online course, warming up exercises for urban sketching. Drawing lines can also be a drawing as it is. For instance, a tender flower with thin lines could show its tenderness. Or if you are in a hurry and you have just time for lines. It can also be the first step in a, in an approach where you begin with lines and then add color. Or it could be a place holder when you draw a white flower and you want to leave the space of the flower, white and paint around it. Here I am standing in front of this flower I want to draw. Therefore, the video is a bit shaky. And you can see that dialogue much, much more onto the flower then onto the paper. About 80 percent on the flower and only 20 percent onto the paper. When I draw, I am aware of different aspects and 0 with different senses. I don't look very analytically like in the lessons before, but I go into resonance with the flower or with the plants. I feel the attitude or the movement in my body. And from my back, it goes through my arms, in my finger into the pen. And I think it's visible in the line I draw. I don't draw every flower I see and every leaf, but I am looking directly onto the plant. I look at the flower that I see, but I don't copy it photographically. Sometimes I have space for more flowers. And then I look at the volume and that the shape and the movement of the flower. And where I feel I need a flower or a leaf more. I, I find von in the flower, I see it, and I draw this there. So I'm always in contact with this flower. I always know at one flower or at one leaf when I draw it. But I don't draw every flower and every leaf. This kind of flower has little flowers around the stem, all, all around it. So I see some from the front and some from the side and some from the backside or half from the side. And I am very much aware from which side I see. Or I just look how I see it and I draw only the leafs in the shape that I see them. So the flowers I look on from the, from, look very much different than the flowers I look at from the side. I also another there of how the plant is grown together. I look at how this stem and the leafs go together, how the connection looked between the stem and the flowers. And I look at the roundness of the connections. For instance, this rose, thorn of this rose, I see it, my eyes see it curve and this curve stat follow the stem. They described that the shape of the stem and the shape of the thorn. I am very much aware of these things. Or when of a flower or a petal has holes. When I looked, when we look frontally on them, they seem straight. But when we look a bit from the site, they follow the curve or the movement of the petal. And these things make the drawing rather accurate, or do you feel that the plan, it's not stiff, but it's you follow the movement with the body, with the eyes, with the pen. And the Seer sees these movements or fields in. The exercise for this lesson is to just find the plant in your household or in your garden, or in front of your home, and draw it several times. And try out these different aspects. Try to feel it and to, to bring the feelings through your body onto the paper. And to see really what this in front of you with Hubble in this plant. This lesson is about lines only. And in the next lesson, we look at lines and adding colors. 7. E6 approach 2: first lines then color: This lesson is about the second approach to paint with color over lines. In nature. There are no black lines around flowers or around any objects. But there is just an edge between one petal or, or leaf and back ground. And it's an invention of our mind to create lines between them and for drawing. This is rather use, useful. But it could also look like a comic or like a coloring book if the lines are too prominent and two closed. And in this lesson, we will explore different kinds of staying within the lines or painting over the lines. And so on. These daisy flower is being painted rather exactly. And for me, it looks a bit to10, a bit too stiff. And in, in other examples, I will show a freer way to paint over any ink sketch of a flower. One thing to, to be looser in the ink sketch is also to not close the areas to leave some lines open and draw only the, the darker side of a petal or leaf. Here I continue the sketch from the last lesson, and I paint generously over the, the black lines. I take whole flowers or some flowers together. Later, I paint over it. A second layer to make some flowers darker. As the mouth merchandise still wet. I am careful with the green not to touch it so it doesn't much. But I can go with another green into the cooler green. And I like how, how the colors mix. I could have stopped here and leave just the right flower in color and the left in black and white. And maybe the colors would be much more shiny then when I paint the whole thing. But here I am painting green and some more generous splashes of red. The green part on the left lower side is important because it has no lines around it and it lets the drawing breathe. And here you see me make some lower parts of the flowers darker. The color is dry now and the paint stays where I put it. The exercises for this unit are to use color on one subject in different ways. Use it exactly within the lines. Paint generously or worried. Paint only important parts or color where no lines are. Try out different kinds of exactly or generously drawing and find out what do you like most. This lesson covered different aspects of quality, line-drawing. And in the next lesson we will look at the third approach. Start with colors and add some lines. 8. E7 approach 3: first color then line: This lesson is about a third approach, first, color than lines. This is my favorite approach, not only for flowers. I like it because I can be so generous with the color. I can let the shape, the attitude flow onto the paper. Instead of drawing with the pen around the object. I can take thin, light color and use it as a draft to where there is then already color on the paper. And because only a few dots of color indicates the Already lot of the subject, there are only few details necessary to complete the drawing and the eye completes the remnant. I like it as well that the ink bleeds and the color gives me such rich structures. The water has more time to dry. When I begin with watercolor, then I can close the sketch book earlier when I want to continue my work or travel. And when the ink bleeds too much or if I want to color lines, I can draw with a water-soluble colored pencil into the wet watercolor. After looking at the plant and filling some resonance, begin with some color and large brush and draw some dots and lines like calligraphy or in bigger areas. And I paint with different colors until I feeling now it's time to change to the pen or to change two lines. I draw rather independently from the colors. I take them. A guideline, how the plant is constructed. I take the dots to draw the flowers, but I don't make lines around them. I look at the flowers again and I draw them. Looking at the flowers. And watercolor painting is kind of a guideline to not lose the orientation or the whole of the flower. I feel the living, the growing shape of the plant and dilated flow onto the paper. I draw details where there is no color as well. And stay may be even more prominent than where there is color. I look or feel of what the painting neat. And I go back and forth between line and color. And when there is a nice intact in front of me, I react quickly. To try this out. I suggest this exercise. Find any flower or plant. Fill it, post children's movement in your body, in the back, in the arm, in your movement. And then let that movement and pose to flow generously through your arms. Brush onto the paper. Look what is necessary and add a few details with pen or pencil. And then look at it again and complete what is essential going back and forth. This color and line and color and line. And stop before it's too much. If you want to see my whole drawing process, you can go to the bonus lessons and see the videos where I didn't cut out only the essential, but I left almost everything in them. This lesson was about beginning with color and then adding some details with line. And in the next lesson, we'll look at white flowers. What to do when the flowers are white and the paper is white as well. 9. E8 ideas for white flowers: How can we paint white flowers onto white paper? There are many possibilities. You could use liquid masking, film. Put it on the paper, let it dry, paint over it and then rub it away. You could put masking film onto the paper paint over it and rub it away. Or you could mask with wax crayons. These are the three techniques I don't use because they don't work with my flow and are a bit heavier to carry around. Therefore, I have no examples to show. You could paint the background first and then use white quash, white ink, white colored pencil or a white gel pen over it. I'm sorry, that I don't have an example for this. And you can paint around the white. That's what I often do. To paint around the white. You can draw it and then paint around it with water color. Or you can draw it and draw around it with your drawing tool. This works well for smooth petals and leaves and stems, but it misrepresents the hairy plants. For those fine Harry creatures. I sometimes use pencil and color pencil to indicate their hairy surface. And the line with the pencil helps me to paint around the white and leave it out in the right shape. Here are some suggestions for an exercise. Find a white flower or a picture of one. Feel its skin. If it's hairy, if it's smooth, it's hard. If it's soft. Decide on a medium that represented well. Draw and paint it, trying out some ideas from these lessons. The ones with pictures or the ones without pictures. Depending on what materials you have available. Do it again with a different approach and, or with a different flower. Try out different combinations of techniques and flowers and find out what feels good for you. 10. E9: bonus 1 lines: This video is the line drawing of this flower in its full length and in real time. I am standing when I draw this flower. Therefore, the video is shaky, right? Hello. Okay. Right. Okay. Hi. 11. E10: bonus 2 color after lines: This bonus video is the whole length of color over it, a line drawing. And this time I left in older original sounds with the birds, the insects, but the wind in the microphone is in it as well. Let me know in the discussion. If you prefer it to music or the original sound. Good. Leading. Good. Okay. 12. E11: bonus 3 color first: In this bonus video, are all the pieces of the video that belong to this drawing. So it's the full length of the drawing process of about 5.5 minutes from fetching water until the last dot of color. Sometimes you can't see in my sketchbook because of the sun or because of my hand. But you can observe how I hold the pen or brush, or how I move the head when I look at the flower or the insect. Hello. Okay. Hello. Okay. Ms. 19. D8 weisse Blume: Last going to need more harm than the blue nervous system does. Papyrus, alkalis, escaped feel and Mukesh chitin is clipped, Arctic flu seek kite, the cartel model again, brow Han, become an Auf Marlin, troponin, Lassonde and me Doc what al-farabi through Berman and I'm sluice does VT it from popping up cloud been the uptake, ticket, rock nut, the uptake of Lucy kite, the cell bake, eat meat, uptake, clip bond contains how spartan meet Vox cri de vice. So the foreign laws, non-content in integrant. So first Marlin on TEN, meet visor goulash Smith. I nervous and tin tail that shall pen or the rise and FARC shift, or the creative director Marlon. The smoky hall has a unique dwellers neat, so meinem flow when Titan and lunch break. So each Molly ear drum her room and need to then forehead again Moglichkeit and gain and a demo had that she does in the comment touted and not hyena. On the Etag, the Himalayan far from our spot in each name a var VCT overflow here. The house they blew me on fool, on food, loved the Hout. Passed out in 1810 linear. Then the Hout air. Hari East author. So Ganz fine on SART, past phyllite teen techniques on the mirror. So porters that far-fetched shift or the gifts that out so obese one poetic is when there are often poppy rough Cutler organist. He can't do an OK. We've far-fetched lift, find the inner edge to look Turin. That blue mid cycle going on in the room. Hello Marlin. This is still evokes for schlock foodies electron. And if I see bloomer finden author and build 49. So how varname and the college debt, the MSP done seafood and medium and child and does the say how it disappears neurons college, debt, VTR gaped, forgot their tin, huge. Hari or the ear flushed if gift. So atlas, discipline roommate cyclin onto Marlin on tiny gate in for this electron hours preparing well done the cell by nochmal mit einem anderen harangue gains YC or the land around and Blumer on stop. I varname, Naaman was mock Did Freud was T-inverse fealty coat on. 23. My trecking sketching set: These are the materials I came up with and I carry this many of you will come up with your own materials. But if you are curious, what I carry with me, This lesson is for you, otherwise you can skip it. I have a lie. Think that protects my sketchbook. I have a light sketch book, I have blotting paper. Sketchbook paper is only 120 grams per meter per square meter, but I found that's enough even with watercolor. And this thing works also as a support when I draw only the sketchbook in the backpack, I have a box with watercolors. Put so many colors in it that I can store my brushes in it and they are protected. The tips are protected by the box. And I have an arrow here, so I know that I store it like this and not with the tips down. This is a color box from a different kind of colors from economics. But I like the former. I loads these colored pieces down on such a pay their way where it is, there is orange juice in it. It's a hard paper and I glued it on it. This tape has two sides. So I can take it out when it's too wet. I can take them off and change them and put them in again. In this back. I have small box from earlier when you had films to, to make photographs and they carry my water in this here I have a magnet, and here in it I have a magnet as well that can put it on this coloring watercolor box. And when it's a bit shaky, the water doesn't spill. I feel it this Walter usually. But now to show the magnets, I have no water in it. These fields in this, back. Here, I have the War. I have a handkerchief where I can take us off some color or clean my hands. Then I change the ink. Pens. I have a pen with a bent nib. I can draw lines and broad lines with it. I have a normal pen. This side it draws like this and this side it gives a thin line. I have some ink in it. I will need it for this pen. It's nearly m d. I have a water brush. It's a brush with water reservoir and I can paint with it without carrying water with me. I have a box with colored crayons. They are without the wood. Some I could buy like this and some appealed. They work very well and they take up very little space. They are in a, in a box that we're screws in it the other day. And I have little pencil, a soft one, and I have white goulash when I want to paint over something when it's when I don't like it or it's too harsh. Or for some colors. When I want to mix rather chalky color, I need this order. White in my color books is also a pen. How do you call these Bob it a ball pen. I don't know why it's in it, but it was here. These are two clumps that are very useful when it's windy. And here is a piece of B7 law. That's something I can draw with the broad side or with the tip. And I like it to draw rocks. And 2 to indicate the direction of rocks and mountains. And it doesn't shine so much like graphite. And it doesn't smudge so much like charcoal, it's just just the right amount of blackness and staying on the paper. Yes. And sometimes I may take an overview over my colors so I know how they they are called. When I need a new tube of color, I feel my colors with tubes.