The Exotic Bird of Paradise!

Bird of Paridise

Photorealism is a style of drawing that aims to create a realistic artwork with photographic qualities. However, this doesn’t mean that the drawing has to look exactly like any specific photo.

This drawing was not rendered from a single photo. Rather, photos of various parts of the flower were researched in the process of drawing a single flower.

Although the Bird of Paradise flower is native to South Africa, it is also cultivated in many other countries around the world as an ornamental plant.

In 1773, Sir Joseph Banks introduced the bird of paradise flower into Britain. He named the exotic-looking plant Strelitzia, in honor of Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III. Some species of the Strelitzia plant are taller than most adults. The plant’s height varies from 1 to 10 m (3 to 30 ft).

The flower’s common name – Bird of Paradise – comes from the flower’s resemblance to the crest on the head of the bird by the same name.

FREE Pro Drawing Lesson 7!

Shade a Symmetrical Bowl: Use contour hatching, blending, burnishing, and erasing to capture the shiny, patterned surface of a simple bowl.

Free until Nov 26!


Portrait of a Mummy…

We are privileged to enjoy the many incredible legacies left to us from Ancient Egypt. However, none can tug our heartstrings as powerfully as the Fayum mummy portraits. These portraits vary greatly in style and quality, but they all give us insights into the humanity depicted.

The eclectic range of faces, hairstyles, clothing, and jewelry provide us with fascinating information about each person. For example, the clothing depicted in my drawing (based on a mummy portrait) tells us that this sad-looking man was probably a Roman soldier; and his handsome, youthful face implies that he was a young man when he died.

Mummy portraits were painted on thin slats of wood and attached to the facial sections of mummies approximately 2000 years ago to show what the individual looked like while alive. Some of these portraits have since become separated from their remains while others have been meticulously preserved with their mummified remains.

My goal with this drawing was to capture the essence of the original painting, including the imperfections of the old wooden panel on which it was painted and the textures of the brush strokes.

If you’d like to download this drawing lesson and over 200 others, you can go to my website and upgrade to Pro Drawing Lessons – $24.50 (Regular $49) until November 19.

My latest four e-books (Regular $9.99 each) are also included in this great deal for FREE: Introduction to Drawing, Introduction to Contour Lines, Drawing on Your Brain, and Introduction to Shading.


Dewdrops on a Tulip!

My most recent drawing employs contour hatching graduations and blending to render a realistic drawing of dewdrops glistening on the surface of a tulip.

The tulip in this drawing was standing proudly in my neighbor’s front garden a few years ago. I simply couldn’t resist capturing it with my camera. (Thank you Wilma!) Needless to say, I used my artistic license to add a few extra details that weren’t in the photo (shown below the drawing).



FREE Pro Drawing Lesson 6!

Shade an Apple with Contour Hatching by Brenda Hoddinott

Render a realistic drawing of a shiny Macintosh apple by using blending to smooth out contour hatching graduations.

Offer ends November 9.


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