I was honored to teach a workshop at Nash Prairie Preserve near the Gulf Coast of Texas, an extraordinary place protected by The Nature Conservancy. Less than 1% of the Great Coastal Prairie still exists, and barely a fraction of it is unplowed like Nash Prairie. It is truly a special place.
Workshop participants sketched the endemic Texas Coneflower (Rudbeckia Texana), an uncommon wildflower with native populations in Texas and Louisiana found at Nash Prairie.
I shared my go-to techniques for sketching wildflowers during the workshop and I wanted to share them here so that you can use them to get to know wildflowers in your area, wherever you are!
Color Spots & Peeking Contour Drawings
We started out by making color spots to explore the colors in the Texas Coneflower — it’s amazing how many colors you can find when you stop and look closely. If I’m limited on time or a subject is too overwhelming, I’ll often just stop at making color spots.
Next, we did “peeking contour drawings” — this is a contour drawing where you occasionally peek at the paper, adding little details at the end to bring the sketch to life.
Everyone had so much fun with this!
Bringing It All Together
After we warmed up with color spots and contour drawings we brought it all together with a sketch.
It’s so cool to see how everyone’s Texas Coneflower sketches came out, each unique. Click on a photo to see it larger.
What a fantastic day! Thanks to The Nature Conservancy for protecting this special place and to The Native Prairies Association of Texas for hosting the workshops.