Pr5-Ex2: Plants and Flowers in Coloured Pencil


The finished drawing.

  • A2 Igres paper
  • Colouring Pencils

I did feel a bit daunteddanted by this exercise. I do not naturally gravitate toward the colouring pencil feeling happiest using some sort of pastel or graphite stick where wide strokes are easily achieved.

Saying that once I finally over came my colouring pencil phobia I found the medium quite pleasing and would happily use again. I was surprised to find the colours can be mixed to achieve near enough the hue wanted when laying different colours one over the other. What’s more I managed to pick a box of 32 up in WHS for a mere £6.00 ponds. Bargain!

Confession time.. As you can see there is no back ground drawn in. This is for two reasons. First The hours and hours I have sent on this (longer than I should for an exercise) I really think I should be moving on. Adding back drop would take more time. Second, I just kinda like it how it is. I MUST make myself mark in the whole drawing  from the start so I can see how all the elements balance. I was scared the back drop could throw the image. Which I’m quite happy with.


Sketches from the garden


Prep for large drawing

The Process: I began by making some sketches in the garden. I had intended to do the final piece outside also but I didn’t mange to cordinate having the materials I needed with me, getting the whether to coperate, and deciding the view I wanted to draw. In away I am glad I decided against this as it would have taken me so much longer with all the layers of detail going on and the added difficulties of alfresco drawing.

Then I couldn’t decided on what plant to use. Eventually settling three stem potted Lilly I came across whilst getting the weekly shop. I thought these to be perfect as they are less complex than many flowers. The leases are straight forward spiky shapes and 6 large petals splay in a pleasing sculptural fashion.

This shows the faint outline if you look really hard

This shows the faint outline if you look really hard

The exercise prior to this drawing in the negative space made finding the shapes here less daunting. The composition was planned so the three front lilies where the focus From there I just drew outwards in till running out of page. I’m quite happy with it. Maybe it’s a shame the top bud got cropped.


I had intended to draw in the mirror frame and reflection but did not for the reasons mentioned above.

I focussed on the lilies and buds first. As this was done from life I wanted to get the bud and flowers in before they changed significantly by wilting or opening. I was pleased with the delicate effect of the colour pencils which I felt reflected the nature of the flowers nicely. However after working in the leafs which seemed to look most representative when worked over quite hard leaving a more saturated hue. I returned to the flowers to strengthen the colours. I also opted to run a faint silver grey line around the out line of the flowers. I did not really wan to do this but viewed from a far the petals melted in to the grey back ground and the leafs seemed too loud in comparison.

I used grey Ingress paper as I was interested to see how the white pencil in particular would turn out. It has quite a high tooth for colouring pencils so quite a lot of pressure was needed to lay down colour.

All in all an interesting and surprising exercise for me. Now I am looking forward to using colour pencils again. Had it not been for this course I never would have used them thinking them inferrer to pastilles. Live and learn..


Drawing in progress.


Close up of finished drawing.



About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter


  1. Hello Emma, I think that this is really beautiful and the layered pencil colours really make it sparkle. What a gorgeous drawing.

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