Sketching and Painting Crocuses

Little Purple Jewels

Crocuses are the promise that spring is around the corner. Since I am longing for spring, I decided to sketch a few of these purple jewels.

Initial Ink and Watercolor Crocus Sketch © Annie Glacken

This is a photo showing my preliminary ink and washes that were completed. I used Quinacridone Rose and Winsor Violet for the purples and Quinacridone Gold and Winsor Green Blue shade for the greens.

Next, I needed to do the lettering for my title: “Believe in Spring.”

I got out my lightbox. I laid my journal page open on top of the lightbox. On top of my journal I laid a piece of dotted graph paper. I was then able to see my underlying design in order to be able to trace it onto the graph paper with pencil. This would allow me to place my lettering in the empty space to the left of my design. It wasn’t necessary to draw the entire design just the edges closest to where the writing would be.

Sketch and Graph Paper on Top of Lightbox

Next, I removed the graph paper from the lightbox and drew my lettering. This allowed me to draw and erase as many times as necessary to get the lettering correct. If I was to do this directly onto my watercolor paper, my surface would be marred.

Penciled in Lettering

Next, I inked over my penciled letters with a micron pen.

Inking the lettering

Since I wanted the lettering to look like calligraphy, I used my ink pen and thickened all of the downstrokes of my letters.

Thickening the Downstrokes

Now it was time to get out the lightbox again. First, I laid down the graph paper with the inked lettering on the lightbox. Be sure to tape it down so it won’t shift.

Graph Paper on Top of Lightbox

I positioned my journal over the graphite paper on the lightbox. This enabled me to see the lettering underneath and position it correctly. Next, I traced my lettering with a pencil.

Tracing the Lettering

Then I removed my journal from the lightbox and went over the lettering with a Violet Tombow Dual Brush Marker.  After I finished the lettering, I made the decision to darken the value in my petals in a few places. Instead of using watercolor, I used the violet Tombow marker softening it with water. Here is the completed journal page.

Finished Journal Page © Annie Glacken

If you would like to know more about journaling, I have an upcoming workshop called: “Introduction to Art Journaling for the Non-Sketcher.” as well as several other workshops. Please see the workshops here.

As always, the compositions in these exercises are copyrighted. Thanks!


8 Replies to “Sketching and Painting Crocuses”

  1. What a pretty and hope-filled sketch, Annie! Your tutorials are so clear. Thank you for sharing your tips! Are you using a spiral-bound journal so you can fold the covers and other pages out of the way when using a lightbox?