Monday, 4 April 2016

Botanical Doodles

Hooray! We have made it to the Easter holidays (odd that Easter is already behind us) and April is here. We have a good few things planned for the two weeks which lie ahead, but I am looking forward to some of my own creative time, and time outdoors in the garden. There are plants to put in and seeds to sow, edges to be trimmed and beds to be weeded and dug. I can't wait. Here's the April page of my calendar.

I have been doodling lately with my rediscovered fountain pen and new purple ink which I mentioned  a while ago in this post. There are few things I like more than writing on the cream-coloured pages of my notebooks (when I first read George Orwell's '1984' I was struck by Winston Smith's illicit enjoyment of opening his journal and writing on its cream pages).
And so I have started to make little inky doodles of my favourite subject matter - yes, you guessed it, flowers and plants. If you search for botanical doodles on-line you will come across a mind-boggling collection of amazingly complex and beautiful flowery designs, often for colouring. Mine are not as ambitious as these. I started by copying botanical doodles from Pinterest to 'warm up', but soon started to come up with some of my own.

I like the idea of reducing a plant to its most simple form on the page whilst still keeping it recognisable.

I never tire of the wonderful forms of plants: the shapes of petals, the angle of stamens, how the stem joins the flower, how side shoots are arranged. The variation in nature is extraordinary, and I have really enjoyed trying to capture this in quick little doodles, conjured up from the familiarity of plants I know well. Having said that, some of the doodles are quite abstract.

I find that drawing with ink is like painting with watercolours - the colour is translucent and allows the paper underneath to shine through.

They take seconds, rather than minutes to draw, and are quite engrossing and addictive.

Here's my favourite, a plantain - I was pleased with this one. I've always enjoyed the slightly space-age shape of them, and am looking forward to seeing them in grassy verges and meadows in a month or so.

During a quiet moment in my lunch break the other day I got out my coloured biros and drew on lined paper from my jotter. The pressure to produce something 'perfect' disappears when it's not done on the pages of a beautiful notebook, but a scrap which can be discarded. I've stuck them into a nice brown-paper notepad.

I experimented a bit with colouring-in, but discovered that I preferred them monochrome - very unusual for a colour-freak like me.

I hope you've enjoyed my doodles. I'll leave you with some hawthorn twigs which I picked from a local hedgerow and are greening up nicely in my little stoneware mug.

See you soon x


  1. Your doodles are beautiful. They would be perfect little representations of plants for embroidery too. Love that purple ink! xx

  2. I agree with VeggieMummy, perfect for embroidery. x

  3. Lovely doodles. I love to write in journals and have many full of scribbles going back years. I find it harder to be consistent with my blog though as I usually write whatever comes to mind in a journal. I don't think I'm as uninhibited blogging lol. I think I may try doodling too

  4. Fantastic doodles, I love to see a bit of art in a notebook. Just picked up a book on sketching from the library today. I particularly like botanical drawings, as you say they're endlessly fascinating once you start to look at all the different shapes. I shall enjoy seeing any more you do. CJ xx

  5. Lovely! It is a different 'freedom' drawing in ink - you have to commit yourself to your drawing as you can not erase it!

  6. Love your calendar , I am afraid I am no good at drawing,x

  7. Great doodles, so relaxing to do and look at :)

  8. Your drawings are so beautiful!!! I love the plantain too! xx

  9. Your doodles look wonderful , you have inspired me to be more adventurous with mine! Sarah x


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