RBGE - Unit 7

Activities 1 & 2

Activity 1 - Transfer Drawing To Watercolor Paper

February 9 - I am beginning this Unit with the composition I planned out from Unit 6.  In Activity 1 I will be tracing it onto my watercolor paper and in Activity 2 I will be painting the flowers and buds. 

Unit 7 is due on February 19, so I have 11 days including today to trace and complete painting of three flowers and probably two buds!!! EEEEEKKKKKK - This kind of freaks me out since I am still a very slow painter! But I have confidence that I did not have in the beginning and I plan to pray, pray, pray my way through this - so it's time to put my brush in the water(color) and remember that God has control of it all.  

Here's what my plant looks like now...


and here's my composition so far...

Unit 6, Cyclamen Composition Beginning for Unit 7.jpeg

However, my perspective is not quite right and I still need to measure everything out.  I plan to add a third flower and one more bud, so fortunately, I still have my original plant, and I can continue using that as my source and I don't have to rely on photographs yet. 

Off to work on a completed composition by the end of the evening :) I'll check in again later.  Thank you so much for stopping by - I hope you find lots of helpful information on this website. I'm doing it for both of us - so take full advantage of it :)



February 10-12 - I'm so sorry I haven't been posting as I have been very busy with my work for the RBGE, but I wanted to stop in and let you know that the first composition I drew up (above), just was not working for me. The perspective was all wrong!  However, it had to be approved by my tutors in Unit 6 before I could begin working on it in Unit 7.

Now that I'm in Unit 7, I am feeling that I must change my thoughts on my composition and approach my Cyclamen plant in a totally different way - really, the way I thought I wanted to in the first place, but didn't do it - There's a lesson to learn here, I'm sure, but too busy to slow down and think deeply about it right now!  I'm just hoping it's not too late to change my composition idea. This still has to be approved by my tutors... I know, I know! :(

My deadline for Unit 7 is Monday, February 19 and I have to have my composition drawn out, with dissections completed and drawn out, as well as the flowers and buds painted. Some of the students are saying that we need to have the stems done in Unit 7 as well, however, I'm still trying to confirm that as I don't see it in our instructions... I may have missed it.

I'm not ready to share my drawn up composition as of yet, however, I will show you some photos of how I carefully prepared my plant for re-drawing yesterday - and the good news is that I was so careful, my plant survived it all and is happily back in it's pot with it's original dirt intact and looking happy as could be - just with fewer flowers - of which are in a jar of water safely stored in my refrigerator where they love it :)

I'm especially glad that I have two of these plants, and the other one still has lots of flowers!! :)  


Okay, maybe one drawing...


And as you can see, my plant is back in it's pot and seemingly undaunted by all I put it through!! So thankful :)



Thank you so much for stopping by and I'll see you again very soon - so be sure to check in again soon!!



February 13 - Today I spent time on doing a cross section, which is a longitudinal section cutting one Cyclamen flower into two halves, from top to bottom. I don't have a scalpel to perform this, so I used my husband's new Stanley 99E Exacto Knife - which is very sharp and did the job perfectly!


Once I had my two halves, I viewed each of them on my Microscope. This particular microscope, the AmScope Model #SE306R-PZ, was recommended to me by Jackie Isard and it works great - It magnifies 2x and has two removable eye pieces that are WF 10x and two that are WF 20x which are great for really zooming in on your subject.

I don't have the attachment piece that you can use to take a photo with your camera through the microscope, but I just put my camera lens up to the right microscope viewer and took a photo that way - Here's what I came up with...


Aren't those amazing?!   I'm still learning about the different parts, but if I understand it right, the top photo is the Stamen (male portion) of the flower, consisting of the Filament and Anthers. The second photo and third photo show the Pistil (female portion) of the flower, which consists of the Ovary, Style and Stigma.

In high school one of my favorite classes was my Botany course and this part of the RBGE is taking me back to memories of that! It's one of my favorite parts of the study so far.

Next on a piece of tracing paper, I drew to scale the two cross sections which measured 1cm x 1cm each...



and then I redrew the half with the stem to 2x it's size, 2cm x 2cm, so that I can show a bit more of the detail within. I am still contemplating increasing my scaled drawing to maybe 4cm x 4cm to be able to see even more, but it depends on how much room I will have in my composition, since I will be using this portion of my study in my final composition.


So that's all for tonight. Tomorrow I will be performing a dissection of the flower, breaking down into its constituent pieces and studying each - So be sure to stop back in to check it out.

Until tomorrow - Blessings!


February 14 - Well hello all you Sweethearts!!! :) Happy Valentine's Day - Jesus loves you all! 

After gathering all of my sketches and cutting them out and taping them into place, I transferred my composition onto my watercolor paper.  So here's the result of my work for the day...


I have submitted it and am hoping to get it approved so I can move on to the watercolor portion. Activity 1 of Unit 7 done. :)



February 15 - Very excited just now, as my composition was approved and with a few slight changes I can move forward with Activity 2! I removed the two "cut" stems as they did not add anything to the composition and fixed the right flower as it was a little bit confusing in appearance.

With these few items completed, I am ready to begin...

Activity 2 - Color Matching & 3D Rendering of Subject

So I thought I would take a moment and kind of go over with you all that I've learned to prepare for a composition. Throughout this course I have been doing parts of things, but now I want to put as much as I can together for you, so you can follow along a little easier in these last stages of the RBGE Certificate Course.

By the way, if you are stopping by my website for the first time and wondering about the course I am taking - you can find the website with all the details here:  RBGE

Also, I have been receiving more and more emails with questions about the RBGE and other projects I have mentioned on my website. I love getting your mail - so please keep them coming! I am thrilled that there are so many who are benefiting from my website and I love sharing all that I'm learning on my journey in becoming a botanical illustrator.

Beginning Composition Steps Re-Visited

1) The first thing I needed to do for this composition, was to draw up several thumbnail drawings of some simple composition ideas while looking at my chosen subject. In this case it is a Cyclamen persicum.  After completing a couple pages of these (which you can see in Unit 6 in the drop down RBGE menu above),  I then chose two of these that I liked most. 

2) From these two I needed to draw out more refined drawings and then pick one  that I wanted to make into a measured composition.  This is ideal of course, but due to some hard life situations at just that moment (which I have learned is the hardest part of this course), I could not put the needed time for measuring into my composition, and I had to submit it as it was.

3) Once we moved into Unit 7, I was able to take the time to perform the steps necessary to complete a measured composition as I should have done in Unit 6, and that is what I have done above.  A thorough study of the subject is absolutely necessary in order to create a composition that is true to the botanical nature of your subject. There is no way around it and I'm so glad I have taken time to do this now. Just like building a house - you begin with the a solid foundation, the foundational drawing of your subject must be accurate in order to move forward with the painting - it won't turn out otherwise.

To put it simply:  Thorough observation is key for accurate interpretation, so we can then apply what we have learned. This is exactly how I have learned to teach the Bible through Precept Ministries; Observation, interpretation & application.This method seems to apply to all of life...

4) Now that my composition is totally studied and measured out and transferred onto my chosen watercolor paper, I am on to Activity 2, where I will be referring back to my original color mixings for the Cyclamen flowers, buds and stems as I did in Unit 5, Activity 2.1! 

I am off to mix my colors and practice my painting skills, so check in soon to see what I have posted on my flowers. And please pray for me as this is my final piece of work for this RBGE course and I want to do my best :) Thank you!!




February 16-18 - Okay, I know I'm really pushing it time wise, but I just have to get this right before I can begin my painting. I didn't come all this way through the RBGE course to rush on my final composition... 

I have been doing my color matching for my stems, but as I began to practice the stems a bit, I was once again dismayed by how much this Saunders Waterford bleeds on the edges and when working with small thin areas such as stems, it just doesn't work.  But then my favored Moulin du Roy watercolor blocks arrived!! I was not expecting to get these until the end of February, so this is a huge surprise! Now I just can't imagine moving on until I retransfer my composition to this paper, that I know will not bleed on the edges - and that's exactly what I'm going to do tonight when I return from Bible study.  

Yes, yes, I know that my deadline for my flowers, buds and stems to be painted on my composition is tomorrow at 3 - and yes, I know it is very doubtful that it will happen when I am just a beginner when it comes to watercolor, but I can only do the best I can and I can only submit what I have completed.  I'll pray my way through this too.

I'm not the only one that is behind as I just received feedback on my work from Units 5 & 6 yesterday, so with that feedback I now have a better idea of the things I need to work on and the areas that I am doing well in - so it seems grace needs to be extended at all points about now - hopefully that will be the case for my submission tomorrow. :)

Here's my stem color matching  and practice on the dreaded Saunders Waterford, you can see what I mean about the paper bleeding on the edges - I will be so glad to be done with this.  However, even though Moulin du Roy is my favorite, it does not come without challenges of its own - in sometimes feels like it is waterproof, and it takes lots of patience to work with that too...


I may try to refine my color matching a bit more, as the colors seem to be a tad bit light, but we'll see. Here I have used French Ultramarine, New Gamboge and Alizarin Crimson - in the Winsor & Newton Professional watercolors, and I will be using my #2 & #4 Billy Showell brushes.

Here is my updated composition - you can see I really worked hard on my stems and have also added a dissection at the bottom below the cross section and now I will be transferring it to the Moulin du Roy...


Once I begin painting, I will check back in - Hopefully I will be able to accomplish a good portion before tomorrow at 3.  I'm praying for amazing energy and ability to get it done!



February 19 - Well, I think I know what an artistic block is now... Literally, nothing is happening - nothing. I don't even have anything to say about it, accept I have a deadline today at 3 and all I have to submit is a drawn out composition on watercolor paper that does not work for me and a practice page of color mixes for stems... Okay then.



February 19 - Evening... When you don't know what to do - Crochet a blankie for your grandbaby (or some baby) and watch Pride & Prejudice. I think the music helped a bit with the creativity issue :)