I love seed pods, and here is a small selection of my favourite ones, just pen sketches with some light washes of Inktense added to some.
I don’t know what it is about seed pods and flying seeds that I love so much. Maybe it’s their shapes, or the association with autumn, or the architectural and aeronautic nature of these seeds. Or it could just be they appeal to my sense of aesthetics!
Either way, they are fun to draw, adapt and use as focal points in drawings.
This morning, I finished all the pen drawing for this design. And filmed it for YouTube!
I’m fairly happy with this design because I felt myself breathing out and relaxing into it. I found myself smiling as I drew. And I felt creatively comforted as I returned to something that is so part of my arty heart – entangled, intricate, abstract, stylised botanical drawings.
Next step? Colour, shadow and/or highlight. But I’m not sure what media to use, or colours! So, I’ll need a bit of time away from this particular drawing to figure that one out!
This was such fun to do! I mean, every drawing I do is fun, but this one is more so. I started with a tiny little motif and it inspired a whole page of variations.
Sometimes, I didn’t like what was there. However, I’d later go back and adjust or add to the design based on what I was learning from the later motifs I had drawn. I’d also talk about what was going on in my head as I was drawing.
It’s a tutorial for sure. Not just step by step how to draw these variations, but also about the mindset I have when I spend time with a page.
It would be fab if you’d pop along to YouTube to watch this video and have a go at drawing along with me! And then, see what other variations you can come up with! Of course, I’d love to see them too.
On the weekend, I like to do an artwork of some kind using some of the pattern or motif variations that I’ve developed in the week. This week, the seed pods and flowers just needed to be used in some way.
I thought of lettering the word ‘peace’ but decided on using the peace symbol as the focal point instead. Being born in the early 1960s, I do remember hippies, flower power and the peace movement, so popping plenty of flowers and foliage around the symbol seemed the right thing to do.
The seed pods fit in well, and the song ‘Sowing the seeds of love’ by Tears for Fears came to my mind too. so doubly fitting the message of peace.
Naturally, there are some hearts hidden in there too! And the plumptious moonberry blueberries too, adding some delicious goodness too.
The green background was a tad serendipitous. Partway through the drawing, I remembered that green is symbolic of peace and harmony, among other things. Rather fitting!
I’ve only got the skeleton of the design done. I’ve yet to decide on how to add colour, shadow and/or texture. So, I’m taking a bit of a break from it for my mind to mull things over subconsciously. I think I’d better scan the page before I do anything more to it though! Things tend to go awry when I start to add colour etc.
Well, what am I going to do with all the seed pod variations in my sketchbook? Well, create a drawing of course, including even more variations!
I also used a couple of Zentangle tangle patterns to add interest to the seed pods – between, purk, tipple and diva dance. The tangle Toodles created the foliage at the bottom of the page.
I had a lovely time this morning creating this design. I made use of a Tombow Fudenosuke, and black and brown 01 Micron pens.
It’s unusual that I use a second colour in my pen drawings, but today seemed a fine time to give it a go again.
I didn’t add shadow or colour to this drawing. Well, not this morning. I drew on marker paper so the ink does take a little longer to properly dry. I’m likely to use alcohol markers to fill this one with colour, and shadow, eventually. But not today.
At the top of the photo is the almost completed sketchbook page for the recent seed pod pattern explorations.
I’ve gone a bit wild with colour! I wanted to see how using graphite under-shadowing worked with Ecoline Watercolour Inks, and to see how that ‘stained glass’, fragmented background would work.
I think, going forward, I need to think more about using different sets of colours for the background and motifs. I don’t know though for sure. I do like this kind of background though.
I’ve not added pattern to any of these background sections…yet. Maybe I’ll look at that in the coming days.
At the bottom of the photo are the motifs I drew in today’s vlog. These are all based on circular/semi-circular kinds of pods, capsules, designs. Some are quite architectural in feel, but also work as botanicals.
Yesterday’s realisation that the bigger seed pods reminded me of the photos taken of horsetail plants by Karl Blossfeldt. He believed that “the plant must be valued as a totally artistic and architectural structure.”
I tend to agree with him! I often describe winter as the season where nature shows off the underlying architecture of the natural world. we can see the support structure of trees and other woody plants. Land that was hidden by foliage and flower is revealed, showing how the swathes of trees follow the contours of the land, it’s streams and rivers and so on.
I don’t like the cold of winter, nor the short days. The limited sunlight tends to lower my mood a lot, and a sunlight therapy lamp is needed on may days to stave off creeping depression and despair at my abilities. But I do like being able to see that architecture, the way the patterns in the world are so different. That makes up for the short days!
It’s hard not to see how architects of the past must have been influenced by nature. The soaring columns with arched ceilings in gothic churches and cathedrals look so much like stone trees.
It’s no wonder, when I think about how much I enjoyed exploring Blossfeldt’s work, amongst others, when I started my artistic journey around two decades ago, that I can see their influence in my work.