I love flowers, especially Christmas holiday bouquets. I’d rather have fresh flowers decorating my home then any other type of decoration, any time of the year. After 44 years of decorating our home for Christmas my husband and I have pared down the inside decorations. We love the Christmas tree. A beautiful wreath on the front door always (and one on the inside too). I set the tables with Christmas china placed on top of hand embroidery table linens made by my mother, sister and myself. I place strings of red, silver, gold, green, and blue beaded garland everywhere that needs that little touch of color. Then, it’s flowers. Fresh flowers, usually picked up at the local florist a day or two before Christmas.
My friend Joe knows I love fresh flowers. We usually have a Christmas Eve open house, which he brings a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers. One of the best presents I get.
This is the bouquet he gave me last year. I took several photos so I could make something from it long after the flowers had faded. This week I decided to sketch this view to see what I could come up with. My sketching needs lots of practice but I took on the task on whole heartedly. I have not done a whole bouquet sketch in years, just single flowers then creating motifs from them.
I sketched it first in pencil. After I finished sketching I thought, “this looks really bad, it needs help” but it was a draft. I then started to pen & ink it getting detailed, erasing the pencil lines, and below is the final inked drawing. Not too bad.
I decided to add color so I scanned it into Photoshop. Using watercolor brushes (GrutBrush), which is just like painting with real watercolor brushes, only on screen. Years ago I was really into detailed watercolor painting, and that seems to be popping back up in a lot of my work these days.
l added just a bit of red and green, and then did the full color version. Photoshop allows me to utilize layers so I was able to layer everything to preserve the original pen & ink version.
I’m going to print and frame it, as Joe’s Christmas Bouquet will always be one of my special decorations. I’m also going to frame a copy for him this year, but don’t tell him yet.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.