How to Create a Festive Botanical Illustration

Join BLICK Featured Artist Jennifer Morrison for a festive photorealistic illustration tutorial. Using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils and Utrecht NOOD Odorless Paint Thinner, learn how to create a colorful drawing of amaryllis and pine.


1. Trace your reference image to create an outline.

2. Select your color palette.

3. Start by outlining a single petal using a combination of Crimson Lake and Raspberry.

4. Draw in the veins using one of your red pencils. It is important that these lines emphasize the shape of the petal to give a 3D appearance, so use a light hand until you are confident that you have the placement correct.

5. Completely fill in the patterning on the petal with solid red where needed. Using a white pencil, add a layer of pigment all over the lighter portions of the petal, then go over this with cream to warm it up. Add a second or third layer of cream in areas of shadow.

6. Add a bit of green around the base of the petals. Transition colors naturally by overlapping light layers of Cream, White and Chartreuse.

7. Blend with Utrecht NOOD Odorless Paint Thinner by dipping your paintbrush into the solvent, blotting to remove any excess, and brushing to soften any graininess. Be careful not to drag the red pigment onto the white of the petal.

8. Sharpen your edges, adjust colors, and add detail.

9. Optional: Use an electric eraser to pull up bits of color and add texture to your petals.

10. Use a combination of Limepeel and Jasmine to draw in the tips of the stamens.

11. Use a white pencil to brighten the centers of the stems.

12. Use a very sharp dark brown to give the tips more definition if needed.

13. Start by blocking in the light areas of the pinecones using Peach Beige.

14. Use a sharpened Peach Beige or White to indent some details into the darker areas of the pine cones.

15. Block in the darker areas of the pine cone. Use Dark Umber for the very darkest areas and Light Umber for the lighter brown areas. You can use these different shades of brown to create separation between the scales of the pine cone.

16. Carefully blend with NOOD. Once dry, sharpen any details, darken shadows, and brighten highlights.

17. Draw the pine needles using a very sharp Olive Green.

18. Add a base of Olive Green, then overlap with several Pale Sage pine

19. For the section of pine needles in the lower right hand corner, add some Cool Grey 90% to so that the needles appear to be more dense.

20. Carefully blend with NOOD.