|Sketching bulbs from Amsterdam's floating market|
|Van Gogh Museum|
|Self Portrait, Paris, Vincent van Gogh (1886) Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons. It's clear to see his distinctive style developed in the drawings|
So with my head spinning about drawing, I set off to look for things to draw in Amsterdam's floating flower market, the Bloemenmarkt, which was founded in 1862, I never realised it was around in van Gogh's day
|The floating Flower Market copyright Wikipedia Commons|
I purchased a large bag of bulbs! last year I painted some, such as the Sprekelia shown below, but this year, I'm definitely drawing them first.
|One of last years bulbs from Amsterdam in watercolour, a lovely Sprekelia, which produced a beautiful red flower later in the year!|
|A mass of Amaryllis bulbs at the market|
|....and some nice plants for later on too! Hedycheum coccineum, or Scarlet Ginger lily pictured here|
Bulbs have to be one of my favourite subjects and they're great for teaching both line and tone, perfect for simple form, texture, transparency - with the papery exterior and negative space drawing between those tangled roots. They're hypnotic to draw, here's a snippet below showing how!
Of course you can draw with any medium, not just pencil, it's an approach which should not restricted by medium, this is evident in many famous works. Van Gogh used ink and various tools almost cutting into the surface of the paper at times. His approach easily translates into his painting. I'm afraid I'm bit conservative with my drawing but I am aware of important similarities in drawing and painting technique, for example the continuous tone technique is very similar to the dry brush modelling technique, which I use frequently, with it's small elliptical motions of the pencil or brush. The secret I believe to a good tonal drawing though is good lighting, a full range of well sharpened pencils (2H- 8B) and not being afraid of doing to dark.
|Beginning some roughly measured sketching and then start to hatch, with very close strokes.|
|A selection of bulbs to choose from, some with lots of dry roots! others with virtually no roots. I used a fairlt dramatic lighting set up with an andled lamp at my side but in a darkened room. This gives more dramatic effect or Chiaroscuro|
|Flower Beds in Holland: Bulb Fields by Vincent van Gogh, 1883 Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons|