Wednesday, May 31, 2017

From my Sketchbook ~ Peonies! I love peonies. (and a mini-tutorial)

My husband brought me home some peonies

A loose pencil sketch ~ by Jane LaFazio
my view~ by Jane LaFazio

pencil shading done with a blending stump ~ by Jane LaFazio

another peony~ by Jane LaFazio

the page so far ~ by Jane LaFazio
Peonies don't grow in my part of the country and I just adore them! Thankfully Trader Joe's carries them, but it's a very short season. I felt I needed to capture these in my sketchbook. As you can see, I started with just pencil drawings.

Here's how I did it:
Step one: a loose pencil sketch ~ by Jane LaFazio

Step two: look closely at the darker areas and sketch them in ~ by Jane LaFazio

Step three: use a blending stump to soften and spread the graphite ~ by Jane LaFazio

Step four: completed flower ~ by Jane LaFazio

The page so far ~ by Jane LaFazio

The page so far ~ by Jane LaFazio

But I just couldn't help myself, and had to add some of that gorgeous color. I wasn't sure how it would work, over the pencil shading.
Watercolor right over the pencil ~ by Jane LaFazio

The page so far ~ by Jane LaFazio

The page so far ~ by Jane LaFazio
I really think I could have stopped at just the pencil, or just the watercolor flowers, but I wanted to push this idea and see where it took me. I will definitely try this technique again!
Peony Page ~ by Jane LaFazio (9x12 inches in my sketchbook)


  1. Very beautiful, perfect for spring. I like how you 'frame' your work, all the components echoing the theme.

  2. Jane - this technique turned out beautifully!!

  3. I love seeing the peonies - miss them from when I grew up in Southern Ontario - along with the Lilacs.
    These are spectacular. Documenting them the way that you have in your sketchbook is so much more personal and beautiful than simply a snapshot. I love the look of watercolor over the pencil marks.

  4. BEAUTIFUL page! Love the blending stump effect and the color!


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