I’ve certainly drawn — and painted — more flowers this year than I’ve ever done before. While I’m not especially good at creating realistic flowers, I do enjoy doing my own not-too-accurate versions of different blossoms and blooms.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember how my year began. I was looking for information about Sketchbook Revival and came across a “New Year’s Floral Challenge” instead, so I jumped in and maybe that should have been a sign. It seems 2022 has been all about flowers for me.
After that first little floral challenge, I went on to use a flower as the subject for a drawing project — doing the same subject with five different media — and then I found myself signed up for Joy Ting’s “Color Play” class at Creative Bug where for the first eight days we did “floral studies” in colored pencil and oil pastel.
Yes, I made droopy roses and overgrown dahlias, and it’s true that trying to draw flowers pushed me over the edge a bit, right into one of those awful art funks. But, as always, I survived. Later, I redeemed myself a bit by drawing another dahlia — part of a 15-day drawing challenge I found on Facebook.
I’m not usually one to take on every art challenge that comes along, but this particular one seemed to fit. I missed my quick little oil pastel drawings with Joy Ting each morning. I wanted to keep drawing more flowers, just to see what I could do. And so, I accepted the challenge.
Life got a bit busy, however, and I completed only the first nine days.
I like the marigold, the lily is all right, and I’m pleased with the color blending on my orchids. In so many ways, I wish I could have done better, but that’s because I’m still trying to make comparisons to the work I’ve seen from other artists. I know better. I shouldn’t compare my art to anyone else’s.
The 15-day challenge event has ended now, and it’s been fun to see how many different ways artists can interpret a single floral prompt. It’s been interesting, too, to see how certain artists have a very recognizable style, that even while creating fifteen different floral studies, their unique style runs through them all.
One reason why I undertook this challenge was to give myself additional practice with my oil pastels, and I have learned from doing these nine different drawings… or paintings, as oil pastels are usually called. But I haven’t learned enough. That’s why I’m choosing now to finish this challenge despite it having already ended officially.
Here is the list of prompts for the challenge. Maybe you’d like to do this as a challenge, too.
FLORAL 15 DRAWING PROMPTS:
Beautiful Bird of Paradise
This challenge was hosted by Simple Daily Drawing, a company that creates and sells “prompt-based” sketchbooks on a subscription basis. Each month there’s a new sketchbook with a drawing prompt for each day. Fun idea, but it’s not for me.
When I did my nine floral challenge drawings, I approached it much as I’d done during my daily practice class with Joy Ting — seeing it as a “quick warm-up”, not as a process by which I was creating a finished art work. These quick little drawings — paintings — are helpful for me. I’m at a point with my art where I’m beginning to develop some sense of confidence, or, at least, some sense of competency.
In the past, when faced with a drawing “assignment” or challenge, my immediate thought was usually “Oh, I can’t do this!” Now, though, my thoughts are more positive. “Yes, I can do this. It might not be great, but I can do it.”
I felt that sense of competency when I was handed a packet of supplies for the recent “Tiny Art Show“. Yes, I’m an artist, and yes, I can create a tiny work of art to put on display. I happily accepted the supplies, went home, and created a 3 x 3 painting.
It was much the same when I came across this floral challenge. Could I actually draw different flowers? Could I make them actually recognizable and not just “generic” blooms? Sure. I am an artist, and I can accept little challenges like this, being confident of a reasonably successful outcome.
So, now I’m going to take the next six days to finish the final six prompts. As before, I won’t be trying to create masterful art. I won’t be going for botanical accuracy. I’m going instead for the practice, for the chance to improve my oil pastel skills, for the pleasure of drawing and painting six more beautiful flowers. I’m doing it because I can, and most of all, because I know I can.
This might seem like a small, insignificant thing to most of you, but it’s very meaningful to me. To be able to take on a challenge without doubting myself is HUGE! Yes, yes, yes. I can do this. I really can do this.