The sketchy and inconsistent blog of Bethie Engstrom...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Step by step: Watercolor life-like Pine Cone

(please forgive me of my blurry photography - I am not my talented sister ;)

A step by step guide... for who ever would ever like to sketch and watercolor a (sugar) pine cone. This project took me about 35 minutes.




First off, the materials. Watercolor card or watercolor paper (your choice - I'm using watercolor paper that I've folded into a card size), favorite pencil (pencil sharpener), kneaded eraser, watercolors, paint brushes, and a jug of water.



Create a rough sketch of said pine cone, something similar to picture on the left. Nothing fancy as you can see. Next, you need to start creating random third dimensional points, don't worry about grouping them together too closely - you need that space between them (better yet - find a pine cone on your land or at the park or even buy some) to give depth.

This is what you should be trying to get (click to zoom). Random and fun.


Once finished, clean up around the pine cone with your eraser (kneading it into points to get into the small openings around the pine cone). Now it's the fun part - pull out your paints. I use watercolors - they are the easiest for me. Either using tubes or a watercolor pan like my pocket/travel size.
With watercolors, you start with the lightest color you will be needing, and then build up on that with dark and darker colors until finished. Here I start with a dark tan or goldish yellow and focus on the side that is highlighted (the part not colored in yet will be in shadow = darker)



Picture on left: Have filled in most of the points - but not the in between yet. Added some brown to the gold to make it darker on the shadow side. Let dry.
Picture on right: Start filling in between with brown and a little rust color red. Go with just under the points at first, (let dry) and then carefully out line them them. After you have done that, and let it mostly dry. mix your brown/rust color with some black (remember! Even a little black can over power a large portion) to do under and to the side of shadowing of the points.



Make any adjustments that you think are needed, more gold or black as you see fit. Each pine cone will be different.
And you are finished! I finished mine off with Pinus Lambertiana scribed in small type around the bottom and created it into a card (which I hope to sell at my local Farmers Market).

This is mostly just for fun - and to see if anyone really even wants step by steps or just the show.
Thanks all for dealing with me. =)

10 comments:

Lèrowen said...

That is so cool! Great job!

Antonia said...

Love your artwork. Well done.

But who BUYS pine cones? Haha :D

{Libby} said...

Hey Antonia - I can't seem to comment on your blog... (I don't even know if you will check back here) - i've tired different post and everything... oddness...
Don't know if you know anything about it.

Antonia said...

Oh, that sucks :( No. I don't know about that and I can't imagine what's wrong. I haven't changed anything on my blog in a while... :(
I'll ask some people...

{Libby} said...

I'm going to keep on trying anyhow - you'll know if I get through! =) Just weird huh? If I didn't know any better - I would think you were blocking me or something ;)

Antonia said...

I would never ever block you!
How long have it been like that? That you can't comment on my blog?

{Libby} said...

Are you able to comment on your own blog? (it's most likely my own computer - nearly ten years old) Don't go to too much trouble - it is likely some fluke that just needs time to sort itself out.

{Libby} said...

I'm really not sure - not too long though

Antonia said...

Ok. I'll see what I can do. Otherwise just try it again and again. I hope it works again soon.
And yes, I can comment on my own blog...

Antonia said...

Thanks :)

You can find my email at my blog...