How to use Procolour for fantastic botanicals by Judith Selcuk

Summer is here and that means the flowers are at their finest – full of bold colours and beautiful shapes, which gives me the perfect chance to head down to the bottom of the garden with my art materials and create something beautiful.

I’ve been using Derwent Procolour for a little while now and it’s allowed me to explore every single aspect of this vibrant pencil range. I’m in love with it – the range’s dust-free finish, the depth of colour you get with every pencil stroke and Procolour’s ability to scan and reproduce well are all high on the list of reasons why I adore this pencil range.

For me, it ticks every box as a professional artist, illustrator and creative.

But I’m often asked, how can I put the range through its paces and get to grips with it? August is the perfect time!

This step-by-step guide, starting with a freehand drawing, will show you a selection of techniques to trial and get a finished piece you’d be proud to frame!

Time to get started!

Step 1:

With Buttercup Yellow and a very sharp point, starting from the base of the flowers and a light pressure shade in the direction of the petal growth, add extra layers where the tone is deeper and greater in value instead of pressing harder.

Step 2:

Use Deep Chrome to add in the ‘under painting’ to the freesias, this will show through the subsequent layers of translucent coloured pencil and help achieve a three-dimensional appearance. Vary the pressure where the colour is greater in depth but keep your pencil sharp at all times!

Step 3:

With Primary Red add a layer of pencil to each petal at a time starting with the side opposite to the hand that you use to draw to avoid smudging your art. Where the shadows are deeper red apply slightly more pressure and add more layers of pencil with a sharp pencil to build up the pigment on the paper surface. Shade in the direction of the petal growth to form the shape of the flower.

Step 4:

Use Cerise Pink to add in touches of pink to the petals on the freesias, apply with a medium pressure over the top of the previous layers of Primary Red to achieve a three-dimensional effect and brighten the petals. Shade in a contouring stroke by following the shape of the petals.

Step 5:

Use Imperial Purple to add touches of depth to the petals on the main freesias on the tips and the inner folds to create the illusion of depth. Use slightly more pressure on the buds and add the Imperial Purple on the tips following the shape and contour of the blooms.

Step 6:

Use Spectrum Blue to very lightly add the pale blue points on to the stems of the freesias. They are very subtle so only need to be applied with a very light touch in light layers.

Step 7:

Use Grass Green in a medium pressure in the direct of the growth of the stem and the bud leaving areas for highlights, increase the pressure in the shadows keeping your pencil sharp.

Step 8:

Use Sap Green to add shadows to the stems and the buds. Use a firm pressure and a sharp point to create depth and keep your lines crisp.

Step 9:

Use Prussian Blue to push the shadows even deeper on the tips of the buds and in the small folds on the stems with a sharp point and medium pressure.

Step 10:

Use Brown Ochre to add shading to the inside of the freesias on the yellow sections to create a three-dimensional effect. Add a touch of Brown Ochre to the buds also.

With Burnt Umber darken the shadow and depth on the purple tips on the buds.

Step 11:

Use Ivory Black to add very slight touches of shadow to the darkest points of the shadows and tips of the buds and this will really make your drawing come alive!

That’s it – you’re done!

Find out more about Judith via her website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Derwent Procolour pencils can be purchased here.

For a printable version of this guide, view here.