THE ABSTRACT FLOWER
Taking inspiration from the natural world, this online course will explore a range of open-ended drawing and painting techniques that can help develop abstraction and visual expression in your work. Using the floral motif as our primary source material, you’ll choose flower or plant specimens to work from each week. These could be real-life samples or based on photographs taken on daily neighbourhood walks, or even images sourced online or from printed media. You'll be gently guided through a range of creative exercises and techniques to help develop more dynamic and non-representational works that reference nature in more expressive, intuitive and emotive ways.
Aimed at those with a love of plants and flowers, this course is suitable for absolute beginners and those with some experience who want to refresh or further develop a current art practice. By the end of six sessions, each student will have created a small collection of flora-inspired abstract works on paper.
(This class is based on my Flora II course and is a contactless version of the workshop that can be completed from the comfort of your own home.)
Reliable desktop computer/ smartphone/ laptop
Zoom account (can use free version)
A selection of pencils in different weights (e.g. HB, 4B, 8B)
A selection of pens in a variety of widths and colours (e.g. a biro, a couple of Sharpies, a black permanent ink writing pen)
Acrylic paints: black, white, green, yellow, red, blue (and any other nature-inspired colours you desire e.g. hot pink!)
Brushes: as a minimum 1x small and 1x med. sized round brush, 1x med. flat brush (10-15mm)
A4 pad drawing/sketching paper
A4 pad of good quality 250-300gsm cold-pressed watercolour paper
Low-tack lilac coloured artists masking tape
Visual diary or notebook
Optional: additional paintbrushes in a variety of widths and sizes, watercolour paints, gesso.
Session 1 Course introduction and materials overview. Abstraction via direct observation: tutor demonstration of contour and blind contour drawing using real-life plant specimens, followed by student practice then tutor demonstration creating layered drawings with blocked and patterned fills followed by student practice.
Session 2 Line and Wash: slide show of relevant artists’ work to inspire and illustrate the techniques to follow, tutor demonstration, followed by student practice.
Session 3 Working with Water: simultaneous tutor demonstration of how to make washes, stains, and faux watercolours along with artist inspiration slideshow, then time for student practice.
Session 4 Impasto and Alla Prima: slide presentation of selected contemporary and 20th Century artist examples, tutor demonstration on how to create texture as well as wet on wet blends, then student practice.
Session 5 Framing/Cropping/Scaling: slide presentation showing the work of selected artists specialising in this application, followed by tutor demonstration using simple viewfinders to create new compositions, then student practice.
Session 6 Layered and Loose: a step-by-step group exercise facilitated and demonstrated by the tutor as students follow along, that will result in a finished abstract work on paper.