How to Draw Modern Florals: A book review.

I can’t remember the last time I picked up a pencil to draw; it’s a skill in my armoury that’s very much in its infancy. I always take a notion to start drawing, I get so many days in and then I just give up…frustrated at my lack of progress. Yet, it’s one of life’s pleasures to while away a rainy Sunday afternoon sketching whatever comes to mind and have it actually look like what you imagined it to be like! For me, I always tend to doodle flowers (and the odd Disney character) but it’s always the same flower and I so, so want to incorporate flower illustrations into my work. I have decided to tackle this problem head on and have purchased “How to draw Modern Florals” by Alli Koch.

First impressions: WOW! Can I just say; whoever put forward the idea to offer this book spiral bound deserves a pay rise. It’s a little more expensive but, so worth it as all the frustration of trying to keep a book open while trying to study/draw/learn (calligraphy) is taken away. We’ve all been there; trying to balance two books on either side they normally go flying off somewhere, the book just snapping back (probably knocking something over…in my case a big glass of water or ink) the spine cracking ruining the book. So yeah, the couple extra pounds is definitely worth it.

Everything is broken down into such simple terms that even the least artistically inclined person in world couldn’t fail to draw a beautiful (impressive!) daisy (the first flower we’re introduced to). The beauty of this book is that each flower is broken down into two basic shapes; a ‘c’ and ‘s’; as Alli explains in her introduction everybody is capable of drawing a ‘c’ and ‘s’ and is confident that you the reader have all the necessary skills. The instructions that accompany each stage in drawing the flowers are clear and concise and before you know it you’re sitting in front a flower that actually looks like a flower! What I like about this book is that the flowers don’t have a cartoon or illustration appearance and I truly believe the more you practice these drawings the more life like they will become as your confidence blossoms. In total there are a staggering 24 floral tutorials including cacti. More than enough to start drawing the back garden!

The book then moves onto looking at the flowers on an angle, I have yet to get to this stage but having a quick glance there isn’t much in this section with only a few flowers getting an overview. I imagine by the time you get to this point in the book you have enough confidence to go it alone and make the changes to start drawing the flowers at different angles. We then go into the leaves section of the book and after making your way through the rest of the book this is the simplest and the easiest section of the book.

To finish, the last section covers flower arrangements looking at wreaths and bouquets. This again is a very short section but nevertheless everything is broken down into shapes and outlines teaching you to think about placement giving you a general idea as to what you want to create.

Making your way through this book you can’t help but feel encouraged to venture out to look at real flowers and think “I could probably draw that peony now and it’ll actually look like a peony! It is exactly what I was looking for when I decided to tackle my lack of floral drawing skills, I feel confident now I can start to include floral arrangements in my designs or; if notion takes me just to while away a rainy Sunday afternoon creating stunning floral arrangements.