Sketching Wildflowers

I was honored to teach a workshop at Nash Prairie Preserve near the Gulf Coast of Texas, an extraordinary place protected by The Nature Conservancy. Less than 1% of the Great Coastal Prairie still exists, and barely a fraction of it is unplowed like Nash Prairie. It is truly a special place.

Workshop participants sketched the endemic Texas Coneflower (Rudbeckia Texana), an uncommon wildflower with native populations in Texas and Louisiana found at Nash Prairie. ⁠

Teaching out on the prairie was so fun! Photo by Susan Conaty.

I shared my go-to techniques for sketching wildflowers during the workshop and I wanted to share them here so that you can use them to get to know wildflowers in your area, wherever you are!

Color Spots & Peeking Contour Drawings

We started out by making color spots to explore the colors in the Texas Coneflower — it’s amazing how many colors you can find when you stop and look closely. If I’m limited on time or a subject is too overwhelming, I’ll often just stop at making color spots.

Color spots and a “peeking” contour of the endemic Texas Coneflower.

Next, we did “peeking contour drawings” — this is a contour drawing where you occasionally peek at the paper, adding little details at the end to bring the sketch to life.

Everyone had so much fun with this!⁠

Bringing It All Together

After we warmed up with color spots and contour drawings we brought it all together with a sketch.

Texas Coneflower Sketches.

Student Work

It’s so cool to see how everyone’s Texas Coneflower sketches came out, each unique. Click on a photo to see it larger.

What a fantastic day! Thanks to The Nature Conservancy for protecting this special place and to The Native Prairies Association of Texas for hosting the workshops.

Note: this post was originally posted HERE on my new website! I’m slowly adding content over there and I’d love it if you came and joined me!

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