botanical class and beginnings

i started my botanical illustration class a few weeks ago and so far so good. the people taking the class are so nice and encouraging. it's crazy though - 10 of the 13 "students" have been taking the same class for over 5 years. so it has turned into a sort of thursday painting group between a bunch of friends.

i haven't drawn since i was in college, which, was more years ago than i like to remember. partly it is like riding a bike, but another part you are clueless. i sort of stare at the page for a while willing my hands to pick up the pencil, but something always stops me. the first week i messed around drawing carrots and beet leaves, trying to find my footing with the art supplies again. this past week we drew a bitter melon (illustrated above). it is a strange vegetable/fruit from india that only one in the class knew what it was, let alone had even tried it.

i broke out my 20+ year old prisma color pencils for this drawing and i don't think it turned out too shabby for rusty old me. of course there are things i am not happy with, but there are more things that i AM happy with. as i said, the women in the class are so encouraging and that in turn makes me want to continue. since it is winter, there won't be many flowers included in this class, so i might have to go to the grocery store and pick some up for me to draw on my own. i am thinking miniature tea roses or those huge white things that look like daisys, but really aren't.

i'll keep posting my drawings, no matter how embarrassing and hopefully we will see some improvement :)