This colored pencil drawing is an art journal page. It is called “Growing Towards Light.” It’s inspired by the beauty of tiny details found in plants.
For a long time, I have wanted to write about looking at tiny treasures for drawing inspiration. It is the subject that I might have mentioned, but not put fully in focus. Last week two things happened that made me decide to bring it up.
First, one of our houseplants blossomed. The plant is probably a prayer plant, and it has such modest flowers that we almost missed the whole thing. But once I took few photos and examined them more closely, I was in awe of the blossom’s beauty.
I admire the shape of the stem, how beautifully angled it is, the sharp buds, dark seeds, and the delicate flower. It all looks like perfect, well-thought, well-executed combination of aesthetics and science. I feel not only inspired by the little details but how it also makes me think of the quality of my art: I should continuously raise the bar a little bit higher, work more carefully, become more patient and get further in my thoughts. It sounds a bit harsh as I am writing this, but when watching the nature, it is very inspiring. Maybe we all should sometimes follow the prayer plant: use the time to create a smaller work but take more care of the details!
Mr. Mac and Me
The second thing that is related to the subject of the post is the email that I got from Claire, one of the readers. One of the best things about writing the blog is the interaction. My favorite thing is when I get ideas and suggestions about what to examine next. Claire remembered that I am a big fan of Charles Rennie Macintosh and his wife (see this post when I visited Scotland to see their art). She sent me a link to the review of a newly published novel. The novel is Esther Freud’s “Mr. Mac and Me, “ It tells a story about Charles Rennie Macintosh through the lens of a 13-year-old boy who gets to know him. Very interesting! I added the book immediately to my wish list.
At the end of the review, there’s a quote from the book where the young boy talks about Macintosh’s flower drawings: “I go closer. I look at everything for what else is hidden. There’s the head of a duck folded into a sunflower’s stem …” For me, that implies how the beauty can be the result of many little details. That challenges us to build our art from well-formed shapes, no matter how small they are, and believe that each of them will increase the beauty of the whole artwork.
Like said, the perspective in decorative art is in the details and their perfection. Instead of sketching something grand, the decorative artwork starts small and gets bigger by adding tiny details one after another.
These are some of my unfinished art journal pages. I love to draw with a thin black permanent pen. The inability to erase anything makes me start small! If a blank paper feels scary for you, create a watercolor painting first and then start doodling. My video “Watercolor 101 for Intuitive Painting” presents the method how to get started without any specific pre-thought idea in mind.
More Skills and Inspiration!
Grow your skills in creative coloring >>Buy the e-book Coloring Freely!