September 6th, 2014

GUEST POST — Leslie Fehling: Cleome

Leslie Fehling’s post of this drawing attracted a lot of attention when she first posted on her blog. We’re happy to repost it now along with Leslie’s Artist Statement: “I drew this Cleome, or spider flower, in Maine at the lovely Thuya Gardens on Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. The line drawing was completed on location using a technical pen with black ink in my Beta Series sketchbook, and the lettering was lightly penciled in.

When I painted the page later at home, I used masking fluid on the entire flower first, including the long arcing stamens. This allowed me to paint the background freely without worrying about preserving the flower shapes. I used a ruling pen to apply the masking fluid. A ruling pen is a drafting instrument designed to hold ink between two adjustable metal pincers which taper to a point. The line width is controlled by an adjustment screw. It works well for applying masking fluid, because it holds a good amount of fluid, and it’s easily cleaned by simply wiping with a tissue. No more ruining paintbrushes with masking fluid! It worked perfectly for masking those long, thin lines on the Cleome.

After I painted the background wet-in-wet and allowed it to dry, I removed the masking fluid and began painting the Cleome itself. The lightest washes were applied and allowed to dry, then subsequent washes in progressively darker shades were added. I kept the whole thing fairly light to convey the feeling of a sun-struck flower against a shady background.

The lettering was inked with a black Sakura Pigma Micron 01 pen and painted with watercolor. At the end, I felt the whole picture looked too static and controlled, so I added some spattering with a paintbrush to make it a little more lively.”

MEDIA: Pencil, ink, watercolor, masking fluid resist
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

Leslie Fehling is a watercolor artist and sketchbook journaler from Prosperity, PA. She loves sharing the joys of sketching through her Everyday Artist blog and in workshops in the U.S. and Tuscany.



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