Opalescent Hydrangea

As promised, I will be posting my artwork as well as my photography. I recently finished this colored pencil piece and it is off at the framer. This is a drawing that really benefited from my new photography skills. I’ve always been a stickler about only drawing or painting using my own photos as reference, otherwise it doesn’t feel like my own. In this case, I decided to use a photo I took with my macro lens. Not only did I have a reference photo with wonderful detail and color, but I also got to try my hand at drawing the depth of field blur, and I’m pleased with the result of that most of all.

Opalescent Hydrangea, colored pencil on pastel paper

I used a nice amber shade for my paper (Canson Mi Tientes Pastel Paper) which completely changed the character of the image from what was in my original photo. It’s like a photo filter, but created using paper instead of software. I love that idea and plan to explore it in my next drawings. Here is the reference photo so you can see what I mean:


This was a rather time consuming project. I estimate the drawing took me close to 100 hours. That is much longer than I have ever spent on one piece of art. I’m not sure where it came from, but suddenly I find I have stamina and dedication to finish something like this. In fact, I wished I could work on it more than I did. Colored pencil is hard on my back, but mentally I could have worked on it a lot longer. That’s exciting because it means I can finish big projects which has always been a struggle.


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