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The story behind the sketch:

This year, all the blooming plants are out about a month early, so we’re already enjoying my favorite flower, the iris.

Although this flower is a colorful dark purple and white, I wanted to see if I could still capture its essence in black & white.

my experience in doing this sketch:

Sketching flowers in all their detail, is , for me, a sort of meditation. In the best moments, the flower is all that exists in the world. I suppose that is Zen.

The technical stuff:

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the paper I used, as it was very old stock; it has a texture that sort of looks like parchment; just slightly toothy; good for getting a velvety look on the petals . I believe the graphite stick is a 6B, although I apparently, at one time, started to use the wrong end of it, where the grade was marked. ( Whoops!) A 6B pencil was used to get the delicate markings on the upper part of the fall.

It took a light touch and a sharp pencil to do the veining on the white upper petals. On this sketch I didn’t do any blending. It’s all “straight from the pencil”, using line to create gradations in tone.

NOTE: All images and text in this post are Copyright K. A. Renninger 2011. I am more than happy to have you share them through your own blog, and hope you will do so—but you must give me credit. Anyone who uses them to make money will be prosecuted.