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Watercolor Cactus

One thing I've been seeing on Instagram a lot lately that I think is super cute is cacti. I love them because they are simple green shapes with pops of color. I decided to try my own using a little trick I learned at the watercolor and calligraphy retreat I went to a couple weekends ago. With the class, we received two packs of watercolor pencils (from Close to My Heart). My first though was "oh great, watercolor pencils" (with eye roll). I've never been into colored pencils and I've never really had a desire to try watercolor pencils until the instructor pointed something out-- you can use watercolor pencils to sketch your drawing and it will just blend in when you paint your picture. What?! That's one of the best tricks I've ever heard! So, I sketched out what I wanted to paint and just started filling it in:

I added a simple ground color and shadows so they weren't just floating in space:

And then I did something bad... I thought I had a very fine black felt tip pen, but I don't. So, because of some of the things we learned in the watercolor class, I thought it might be a good idea to try to put the cactus' needles in with my new calligraphy nib. That I'm still trying to learn how to use. Nope! Bad idea.

So, as you can see, some of the needles are a little thick. I'm sure that this would have worked great if I knew what I was doing with a calligraphy  nib and could control the ink flow better. I think I'll just make sure I get a fine tip pen before I try this again...


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