I`m very excited at the thought of painting something in watercolors again, I miss the flowing washes and its slightly unpredictable results.If you want to follow along with this demo, here are my references of the blue passion flower (Passiflora Caerulea) and the Brazilian Tanger. These two combined  makes for quite an attractive and interesting effect with the secondary triad of violet, orange and green. If you want a different mood, a violet or blue or green bird would give a more serene look. Unless you are aiming for a fantasy landscape, it would be nice if you choose flowers and birds/butterflies/bees etc that belong to the same habitat and those that would be naturally be attracted to each other.

Passiflora Caerulea

Brazilian Tanager


                      The first step in drawing is always blocking in the general shape and size of the form that you are drawing. Here since there is more than one element, the way in which one is placed in relation to another has also to be observed. The round flower is an ellipse shape seen in this perspective. Lightly place all the elements that you want in your composition with a HB pencil. You can slightly enlarge or change leaves or other elements so that they fit right in the size of the paper that you have chosen. Place has also to be made for the bird, which must be brought to scale with the flower. In real life, the blue passion flower is about 10 cm and the Brazilian Tanager about 18 cm (including tail) Don`t  make them way too larger than life-size, about life-size or smaller than that is alwys better.

step 1


                       Start to draw the petals and the shapes of the leaves roughly, leave the details out for now, just see that everything is sitting together perfectly, that you have got the directions in which they face properly. I made the stems that are too straight a bit curved.


                    This step takes the most time but is also the easiest and most rewarding because you can`t make any major mistakes now. Take an 8B pencil and start to put in all the details to your heart`s content. You have the HB pencil lines from the previous step as guidelines but you can distinguish the marks that you are making now since they are much darker. If you are having reproducing the exact curves, run the pencil along the curve in the photo and then draw it on the paper, the hand will follow the same movement. Don`t forget the tendrils, they are the prettiest of all things on a creeper. The flower has what at first glance appear as 10 petals, but they are actually 5 petals and 5 sepals, surmounted by a carona of blue or violet filaments, 5 greenish yellow stamens and 3 stigmas.  I`ve left out the background leaves and details for now, so that it doesn`t look too confusing. They can be put in directly on the watercolor paper after some colors have been layed in. So now , this is ready to be transferred. Rub the back of the paper with a charcoal stick, wipe off most of it with a facial tissue, place on watercolor paper and pencil in all the lines once again. Wet the watercolor paper which has the tranferred drawing now and stretch it on gator board.Wetting it seals the pencil lines on the paper so theydon`t get wiped off but make sure they are very light. If the details disappear after a few layers of color, draw them in again. (You can find more information on how to stretch watercolor paper in the Beginner`s Cove section)            

final step