You may have noticed, if you follow my social media, that I have taken to drawing houseplants in the last year or so. Not just any plants, My own houseplants, from life.
Houseplants are a hobby that has quite literally grown this last year for me too. A year or so ago I had perhaps 5 or 6 plants. and now? well lets not put a number on it, but its lots!
They are all unique and beautiful and I love them, from a humble spider plant to the exotic looking beauty featured here.
It was the cheeseplant’s fault. It had grown too big. So I went looking online for how to repot it and prune it and whether you could grow new ones from the bits you cut off. Well that was a rabbit hole indeed! That and a desire to use more of my plants as photographic props kicked off a love of learning about different plant care needs and how to keep them healthy and happy looking.
My latest acquisition
This one was a birthday gift from my colleague who knows that I love plants. She chose me this spotted wonder that is a Begonia Maculata, or Polka Dot Begonia, isn’t it beautiful?
I also have lots of love for my gorgeous Pixie Syngonium also shown here, who is just the happiest thing, chucking out new leaves all the time!
So, why do I draw my plants?
Aside from them being pretty and making a lovely image that I hope people would like to have in their houses (perhaps those who aren’t so green fingered, or don’t have a suitable space for plants, or those who simply need EVEN more plants in their space!) they offer me a level of challenge that I really enjoy. The first one I drew was as part of a January drawing challenge in 2021 and I liked it so much I drew another, and another! Friends and Family told me they were good and I should do more, and sell them.
But one of the big reasons I keep doing it is because of the level of focus it takes on the plant itself, it feels like getting to know it, how it grows, the way its leaves are shaped, the patterns of the veins, the subtle colour differences.
What do I use?
I adore working with promarkers and ohuhu alcohol markers. The vibrant colours and the blending I can achieve with them is unlike any pencil or paint I’ve ever used. I finish it off with fineliners, detailing and accentuating shadows and edges.
Once I finish the drawing I have to photograph it, and I don’t mean the phone snaps like above! Out comes the tripod and lighting kit and the DSLR and my wonderful Sigma Lens. I have a much better success rate with this than with scanning. Most of the drawings are A3 these days which makes scanning tricky.
Once I have a good photo I edit it so that the white is white and the colours look right, then test print and more editing to correct any other colour issues.
Then I can make prints, and then its back to the camera to photograph them once more, with a plant in the background of course!