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 week’s colouring page for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans Facebook group is intricate. Still, it uses only three motifs – spirally furled leaves, starry flowers and stripey, plumptious seed pods.
I drew the design using a fine nib TWISBI eco fountain pen, filled with Documentus ink, on an A4 sheet of Artway’s Eco paper. To add colour, I used various Arteza Everblend markers. The pattern, textures, and highlights have been added with various Arteza Inkonic, Uniball Signo and Sakura Gellyroll pens.
I thought I’d go with some more abstract, pattern-based templates. The last one I drew, at the top right, just ended up having some seed pods.
Abstract designs like these are great fun to add colour to as there are no pre-conceptions about what the colours should be. Also, they’re great for trying out new techniques, media and colour combinations. And, of course, they’re relatively quick to finish, which is great if you’re short on time.
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!
In this video, I take a small panel of some paper coloured with Paper Artsy Fresco Paints and white gesso and create a small design. Seed pods, Mooka, and a spiral shell – some of my favourite things to draw!
I used Inktense pencils and a damp brush to add colour and shadow. Finally some gold dots for the seeds in the pods.
Small, but nice enough and a needed change while my mind processes what I’m doing with collage and lettering and, and, and …
I wanted to put the letters of “shrouded” overlapping, cwtched close together as if they were covering and protecting each other, apart from that brave S at the front (which I may alter digitally when I’ve finished this off). And that is one of the meanings of shrouded – to be protected and/or covered.
Naturally, stars had to feature in the entangled artwork around the hand lettering. What better to represent “celestial”, though the flowers and plants and seeds are related in a roundabout way.
Our sun is the star nearest to us and the source of natural light. The moon is closer, but it doesn’t generate any light itself, the light we see from the moon is reflected sunlight. Anyhoo, most life, as we know it, on Earth depends on the sun’s energy to remain alive. Without photosynthesis in green plants, there’d be no food. Some living things can exist without any energy from the sun, but they are extremophiles and live around extreme habitats, such as the deep ocean volcanically driven ‘smokers’.
I’ve digressed and slipped into science teacher mode! The point is, that though flowers and plants and seeds don’t seem to have a link to celestial light, they do, as they depend on sunlight to produce food, which gives them the energy they need to live and grow and reproduce and so on. All of us here on the Earth are shrouded in celestial light!
I really wasn’t sure how this was going to work out without a definite frame for the words, but I think by placing clouds and drifts of other things around the lettering it kind of looks like a view through to the celestial night sky, perhaps, with a bit of fanciful whimsy.
I’ve now finished this drawing by adding two organic motifs, both fairly simple.
With the trailing flowers or leaves or stones, the hardest part is arranging them to look like they’re trailing and remembering to decrease the size towards the point.
The other motif, a stack of small seeds on a stem, is easy enough to draw.
After doing this, I thought it needed some colour to bring the motifs to life. So, I dug out some of the Neocolour IIs I’d used for the background and used them a bit like watercolour paints. I scribbled a little of each Neocolor II on my plastic palette, added water, and painted.
I’m not entirely sure about my efforts with adding colour – this is where it can all go wrong for me. Part of me knows I’d most likely be better off if I were to add shadow and texture using pens.
I did use some metallic watercolours to add some sparkle here and there too.
One thing I did notice is that I was glad I tried not to paint over the black lines. The pigment ink in Micron pens is usually waterproof, but, as the Necolor IIs are wax-based and coat the surface of the paper, the pigment doesn’t sink fully into the paper and so water will move the ink.
It’s not a problem, now I’m aware of this. Oh, it also means erasers will lift some of the ink as well as pencil lines. Again, just something to be aware of.
One other thing I did was to cut the paper down to frame the design a bit better. In my clumsy way, I managed to cut it just across the tip of one of the trailing thingies. So, no border around that area.
I will keep going with adding colour and see where it leads me, hopefully not into a disaster! Still, if that happens, it’s only a bit of time, ink, paper and colour and the design can be used as inspiration for the next one. Important lessons about the Necolor IIs are being learned, which is, perhaps, the most important thing.