Poppies For Jhesica

Remember the days of “pen pals” in elementary school?  I have a pen pal in Bolivia.  How cool is that?  

Jhesica is twelve years old, and although we’ve never met, we’ve been getting to know each other slowly over several years’ time. 

This week I’m sending her a small colored pencil drawing of one of my favorite flowers –


If I can ever grow poppies in the back yard, I will.  Until then, I’ll draw them!  Here’s the process:

Pencils in the couch cushion (or under my tushy) are a must.  I generally pull out a limited palette to begin with – even fewer than these – and expand it only as I need to.  This gives my drawings unity.

The work space:

I have the world’s best husband.  Those Prismacolors are from him.  The brown cardstock notebook, however, was a lucky find at Building 19.  It was 99 cents, to be exact.  

What I’ve noticed about drawing is the demand it places on your patience.  Are you willing to let your work look like doo doo for a while?  If someone walks past your incomplete project, can you allow it to be what it is in front of them?

Not a bad beginning… but nothing to go ga-ga over.

I usually start with the low-lights.  I have no idea if this is “correct” but it works for me.  I have to see something stand out a little here and there.  Then I move to mid-levels, shading a little darker, blocking in reds and oranges – the bulk of the colors and where they’ll fall.

Here and there I touch on a highlight so that some form begins to rise from the paper.  When it starts to look 3D, I know I’m getting somewhere.  Super fun.  That’s all drawing is – variations in dark and light values, combined with a little line, a little creativity…

I keep moving forward through the drawing and retouching highs, mids, and lows, while adding texture and detail.  It’s ridiculously fun.  Time flies.  I love to draw.

Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at my creative process. 

Mama needs color, and I sure love to share it.


2 thoughts on “Poppies For Jhesica

  1. Oh my word, I’m glad you love to draw ’cause man, are you good at it! How cool is that, that you did drawing tutorial on your blog? Thank you for sharing your talent. Your poppies are gorgeous. Near where we used to live in California there were huge fields where they grew wild. It was a couple hours away, but every so often (when I was a kid) we would go for a drive to “see the poppies.” What a nice memory to have invoked shortly after waking this morning! On a side note: I just remembered a dream I had last night and you were in it… all I really remember is giving you a big hug! =)

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