Draw What You See, Not What You Think You See.

Draw What You See, Not What You Think You See.

We ran another of our weed walks — or plant safaris — last week.  At these events we look at plant families, how plants grow, their habitats and the great variety and resilience of wild plants. After ambling about inspecting and wondering at the above, we then study the plants further by drawing them.

People get scared of drawing but drawing is the least of it.  The looking is the most of it.  And we want to encourage looking (and the wonder which comes from looking) at the intricacies and complexities of even the ‘simplest’ weed/wild flower.  You should probably spend 60% of your time looking – more than drawing.  If you do that, you are more likely to end up drawing what you actually see, rather than what you expect to see.

One tip Neela Basu, our tame artist, gave us for drawing is to examine the way and direction a plant grows and, rather than draw its face (or flower) first, start at the bottom near its roots and work our way up and try to express the way its energy propels it upwards or around.

Our group, with a wealth of knowledge about growing between them, had a head start with the looking  as they were familiar with the habits and patterns of plants.  They produced some fantastic drawings.

Thanks to Capital Growth for arranging it and to Steve Ellis for the photographs.

_DSC0762 (2)_DSC0756 (2)_DSC0805 (2)_DSC0807 (2)_DSC0880 (2)_DSC0869 (2)_DSC0872 (2)_DSC0874 (2)_DSC0877 (2)_DSC0882 (2)_DSC0884 (2)_DSC0887 (2)_DSC0888 (2)_DSC0889 (2)_DSC0890 (2)_DSC0904 (2)_DSC0892 (2)

Advertisements

Think Like an Ant – Drawing The Garden with Neela Basu

Think Like an Ant – Drawing The Garden with Neela Basu

Since we started the garden, we’ve been trying to find ways to connect with the London College of Fashion – as we are on their land, after all.   We began with the dye beds then we made thread from flax and our latest venture is to collaborate with the college on several workshops introducing the garden activities to staff and students.  Our first session was last night when we did a swift tour of the garden in the gathering gloom and collected plants and seeds to draw in the warmth of a beautiful studio overlooking Mare St. Neela gave us some ideas to free up our drawing – using sticks, crocosmia stalks and ink – as well as different ways of interpreting and investigating objects, like imagining we were ants crawling over the plants.  An hour’s drawing was nowhere near enough.  It was so absorbing.  We got some fabulous inspiring drawings so we’re planning on running a regular drop-in session for botanical drawing using seasonal plants from the garden and using a variety of techniques to explore and ‘see’.  Let me know if you’d like to come.img_01111img_01131Thistle

Drawing with a plant and ink.
Drawing with a plant and ink.

img_8031img_8023img_8029img_8026img_8024

img_8025
My favourite drawing of the evening – a runner bean pod in gold ink.