Tulips in Light, graphite drawing

Bet you thought I got lost!  We had a few house projects to work on, plus I’ve been reading and studying drawing techniques for specific types of subjects and spending what time I had for drawing on this still life.

Tulips in Light, a graphite drawing (12×9) was done on Blick Drawing Paper using graphite pencils 4H, 2H, HB, B, 2B (in a few places) and a spot of carbon pencil for the darkest value in the top left flower bud.  My intention for this drawing was to keep the values more in the light-to-mid ranges (for a soft effect), and using contrast with the darkest and lightest values to give the scene some life (so to speak).  There is one area that I might build in another tulip (far right), but I’m thinking the piece became balanced by bringing in the dark thin leaf strand.  We’ll see if the drawing talks some more.

I thought the drawing was done early last evening, but the setting sunlight hit the drawing  just right through a window and I was like, WOW why didn’t I see that effect on my own.  Oh yeah, the light from the sun hit the drawing perfectly on the far right giving the piece this look of background thin fabric falling.  It was really cool, so I had to go back in and re-create the effect – it was like the icing on a cake!

I plan to visit your blogs this afternoon and I’m looking forward to catching up.  Thanks for checking in ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

Tulips in Light



About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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82 Responses to Tulips in Light, graphite drawing

  1. Mary, this is lovely and elegant.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  2. Love, love, love this, Mary! Subtle, dreamlike beauty! Gorgeous.

  3. art ana pj says:

    I’m so happy to see your artwork as always, dear Mary! I’m not regular on the blog and I missed you and your art so much… Your artworks in graphite are stunning, beautiful as they are in pastels .. I admire your development in art (has an inspiring influence)…
    with love, Ana

    • Mary says:

      Hi Ana, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a beautiful message. I really appreciate your thoughtful comment about my latest graphite drawings – I’m glad you enjoyed them. Looking forward to seeing your new paintings ~ have a wonderful week.

  4. Another wonderful graphite drawing Mary! I think you have hit the nail on the head with conveying a drawing all about a scene infused with soft lighting. What a delicate beauty! Well done my friend!! ~Rita

  5. Leyla says:

    I love this post 🙂 Beautiful your work Mary

  6. jvandervlugt says:

    Beautiful. Delicate. I can’t say enough. Very lovely.

  7. Don’t all artists need to get lost before they are found?

  8. Alok Singhal says:

    I would want to see some colors in them…would look more natural?

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Alok and do appreciate your opinion and thoughts on this piece. For a second there I almost took out my colored pencils while I was drawing this and then thought best not too at this point. Color will come back into my art in another month or so. For this period it’s more about managing values and working the fundamentals of drawing – I needed to go back to some basics for a time. Thank you so much though, because your feedback is always wanted and welcomed.

  9. Fabio says:

    Wow! … “done on Blick Drawing Paper using graphite pencils 4H, 2H, HB, B, 2B,” and 100MagicMary! 😉 Best, my friend!

  10. aFrankAngle says:

    Definitely a touch of elegance.

  11. ladyfi says:

    Such a lovely drawing!

  12. Jane Lurie says:

    Love the mood and delicacy of this drawing, Mary. Beautifully done.

  13. Really lovely, such delicate elegance and delightful light infused details✨

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much in your kind thoughts of this drawing – your reaction was what I had hoped for. Love the description ~ best wishes for a wonderful week.

  14. Your result was pretty spectacular, I’d say you chose how to use your time pretty wisely.

  15. restlessjo says:

    If I tilt my laptop I can make a rippling curtain effect 🙂 🙂

  16. Arts & Rhymes says:

    Very delicate and gorgeous, as always! 🙂

  17. Amy says:

    Elegant is the word I thought of when I open up your drawing, then I saw many viewers feel the same! I agree with Anna, the lighting made the drawing so interesting. Have a great week, Mary! 🙂

  18. Jet Eliot says:

    I love the grace and fluidity in this painting, Mary — and the story behind the sunlight and your revision is so very wonderful. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Jet, love your description of “grace and fluidity.” The light was incredible, it actually was shining almost a light yellow where it highlighted the drawing – in fact I had to walk up to the drawing to follow it. Quite remarkable in what it did for this piece.

  19. Stunning drawing. I applaud your talents because I truly can’t draw a straight line when I use a ruler. 🙂

  20. I thought you must be on a holiday. Good to see you back with the wonderful creativity again… 🙂

  21. This is really beautiful Mary, so delicate and beautifully balanced. Don’t add the other flower on the right, this is spot on!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Anna. I think I’m with you and will probably leave it be, the drawing really isn’t calling out for more (so I should pay attention to what I’m not hearing). Thanks again you are very generous.

  22. Painting for Joy says:

    So glad to see your post Mary. I had been thinking it was awhile since you posted and hoping everything was okay. Your drawing is beautiful! Love the way you handled the fabric and the delicate tulips. Looking forward to hearing about your research. Have a fabulous week!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much for your wonderful thoughts Rhonda – so much was going on here that any time I did have was spent on drawing or reading. Back at it again though, expect to begin a new drawing project this afternoon or tomorrow morning – almost ready to switch over to charcoal, can’t wait!! Have a great week ~

  23. Mary, this is feeling very sensuous to me somehow, very relaxed and confident and inspired. I just love everything about it and my eye just wants to keep roaming all around the piece. Wonderful composition and loving your tonal values and just those hints of darks really add a lot, to me. Thank you for sharing!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Laura, thanks very much. It was my intention to really keep the values light, quiet the scene, but add the darks in places that wake the piece up. Glad you enjoyed this, loved reading your comments!

  24. exiledprospero says:

    I like these monochrome tulips. I’m listening to a very strange album right now, and it seems to be enhancing the graphite pencil on the canvas.

    • Mary says:

      So funny Prospero – I can’t imagine what you were listening too, but I hope that it enhanced the drawing in a good way! Thank you – I always appreciate your feedback and humor. Have a great week ~

  25. Light, bright, soft, beautiful and most elegant with a noble quality. The “icing on the cake” is always the delicious part and it really made a lovely impact on this still life!
    I was wondering what happened to you and I’m most happy that you’re OK, something is missing if I don’t see your lovely work in my reader so I was most delighted to see you back!
    Have a most wonderful Sunday and a lovely week my dear friend!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, thank you for your generous and thoughtful response to this drawing – loved your description. It’s what I was hoping and aiming for – after the more dark pieces of late I just wanted something that was quieter and with a touch of elegance. Can you believe it, just happened to walk by the drawing right when the light touch the drawing – well the effect was just amazing and I had to see about recreating it in this piece. I’ve been away for a bit, but did work about two hours most days on the drawing, when time permitted. But also got some important research and reading done that I’m hoping will help me take my art to another level. Thank you for thinking of me, I’ve been wondering how you are doing and what amazing creations you’ve been up to. Thank you my friend and hope you have a wonderful week.

      • Looking forward to see how you apply your research towards your art Mary. Love it what happened to you, sometimes inspiration comes in different forms and this was a beautiful way how you got the message! Enjoy the upcoming week! Hugs ~ Eva

  26. Leya says:

    The importance of the eye and then acting accordingly – elegant and sophisticated.

  27. Tom Donovan says:

    Hey Mary – what impresses me is your critical eye and internal dialogue in advancing this drawing after you thought it was done. You were inspired. – Tom

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Tom, what a beautiful compliment and thoughtful response to this post. It was a teachable moment, you could say the drawing led the way.

  28. I feel like I’ve just walked into a boudoir suffused in light….quick, where are my sunglasses!

    • Mary says:

      A wonderful reaction Cynthia – loved it. I wanted a different feel with this piece, one that was soft, infused with light and a quiet touch of elegance – the drawing did a lot of talking to lead me in this direction. You would have really enjoyed my reaction when I just happened to catch the sun light hitting the drawing as I walked by – whoa, what the heck and wow. It was a cool moment, a teaching moment. Hope you are warm up there, hang in there because yesterday I saw that our daffodils are two-to-three inches high!!! Can you believe it, Spring is on its way.

  29. Such an elegant image, Mary. It looks perfectly balanced to me, and I love the spun silk effect behind the flowers. You have a great eye for detail. 🙂

  30. Resa says:

    Very beautiful & romantic, Mary! You’re great at the icing. ⭐

  31. So elegant, Mary…nicely done.

  32. John says:

    The background reminds me of cake frosting – I am weird! Nice work.

  33. anna77dennis says:

    Great light and movement in the tulip stems Mary! I also love it when the light hits the canvas at some point and you are inspired to make a change, it goes to show how important light is!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Anna, thanks so much. You are so right, it was a cool moment, I couldn’t move fast enough to capture what the sun produced – that was fun.

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