Botanical Field Sketching, Saturday 11th June

Posted on 12th June 2016

This time we were in the Saltburn Valley Gardens Woodland Centre with lots of people who had never drawn anything since they left school. So, I cheerfully handed out lots of complicated looking wildflowers in a caring/sharing way and said “draw me that, please”. The following photograph is genuine proof that no-one had a nervous breakdown just because they were asked to draw a plant (this is always worth bearing in mind if, for whatever reason, you need to suddenly and unexpectedly draw a plant). In fact they all look like they are enjoying themselves (to be fair, it was the start of the day when everyone is really keen and also I said they wouldn’t get a cup of tea and a biscuit until they’d done it).


Once they’d drawn something, I then demonstrated lots of easy ways to draw plants accurately and then everyone discovered that it was much easier, although only if they followed instructions as when you don’t follow instructions someone comes round and points out that, whilst the drawing is great, it’s actually lot bigger than the plant. Incidentally, this is why in the equipment list of ‘paper, pencil, and a rubber’, there is a rubber. Keep trying and you get something that looks more and more accurate.


Some people brought a sneaky pack of coloured pencils with them and did a quick bit of colouring in…looked good I thought.


Then, after lunch, we went off into the valley gardens to look for plants and their habitat to sketch and also to hunt for a locally scarce orchid, Common Twayblade, which was at peak flower and there was lots of it too (if you could see it). I forgot to take photos of us all out there so you’ll just have to make do with a few of the sketches instead.


And then, when we all got back to the Woodland Centre, all the drawings were put out on the tables and we all looked at what everyone else did and were impressed. You’d be genuinely amazed at what’s possible from a few instructions and a day’s concentration…I was 🙂