Potato in Pencil

potato flowers in pencilMr AtkinsonMr Atkinson, my maths teacher, saw me struggling with geometry and examined my pencil;

‘You could plant a potato with that, Bell!’

Sharpening up my act, this morning I’m drawing potato flowers with a 4H pencil, sharpened with a craft knife and honed to a point with an abrasive pad.

I don’t ever remember choosing a 4H for drawing but I’m taking advice from Agathe Haevermans’ The Art of Botanical Drawing and she often suggests starting out with a hard pencil. If you need to erase there’s less risk of damaging the surface of the paper because the harder lead stays on the surface.

For white flowers like these she suggests erasing almost to the point where your outlines become invisible, so that you don’t get pencil lines showing through your wash.

This variety of second early potato is Vivaldi and, by coincidence when I started this drawing they were playing Vivaldi’s Concerto in B Flat on Radio 3.

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