Fearless Friday, Flowering Cactus in Colored Pencil


A good set of colored pencils is a great addition to your studio or stash

They are great to use with markers and watercolor,

or just by themselves for the delight of coloring





Cactus fascinates me

and when I saw this painting by  Dyana E. Hesson

I had to paint/draw/color it!





I began with an intricate pencil sketch,

drawing the shapes one by one

to recreate this complicated flowering cactus on my paper





I use a pencil sketch to establish the composition

of a complex subject, placing the shapes and lines in position

Then I usually erase most of it as I begin to paint,

leaving only a faint “map” to refer to as I paint





This subject was much too complicated to erase and remember

so I opted to outline it with a fine liner,

erase the pencil and then begin to color





I took my time, planning to finish in a few days

working on it when I felt like it because

 colored pencil renderings take longer than other media





I started from the bottom,

working my way up the cactus, layering colors and blending





You can vary the colors and effects

depending on how much pressure you apply to the pencils





It’s fun to experiment,

layering different colors to get different effects





I purposely exaggerated the colors





I was creating a fantasy flowering cactus!





This was a pleasant way to keep calm last weekend

when Tropical Storm Cristobal came to visit on the Gulf Coast





The waterway in front of our house was white capping

and the water rose up to the pier, but not quite over it…

We did loose the red crab trap,

but it’s probably just on the bottom somewhere nearby





Coloring the sunny yellow flower kept me thinking of sunshine after the storm





I was finally up to the last 2 flowers





Remember you’re the artist,

you can make anything any color you want to!





To finish, I added a soft blue background with a broad marker


“Flowering Cactus” after Dyanna E. Hesson, 9″ x 12″ colored pencil, ink & marker on mixed media paper



My personal favorite colored pencils are Prismacolor soft core pencils

You can get an introductory set of 24 for under $20 on amazon here

I recommend getting a set of at least 48, it comes with a good pencil sharpener and is under $50, on amazon here

If you really want to go all out, splurge on this set of 150 pencils, at $99 it’s a great value and comes with a sharpener and an eraser on amazon here


Here is another piece I did using colored pencils Sunflower Scarecrow


Sweet Holiday Citrus Wreath was created using markers and colored pencils


I used colored pencil for Christmas Tea to create the highlights on the watercolor teacup


Ode to the Strawberry was done with a combination of watercolor, markers, and colored pencils



Have fun with colored pencils and

Be Fearless!


✎  🎨  ✎


I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Meal Plan Monday  Happiness is Homemade  Love Your Creativity

Over the Moon  Between Naps on the Porch,

Make it Pretty Monday  Turn About Tuesday  Celebrate Your Story,

All About Home/ Common Ground Follow the Yellow Brick Home

Tasty Tuesday   Oh My Heartsie Girl  Full Plate Thursday  Centerpiece Wednesday

Thursday Favorite Things  Creatively Crafty   Creative Cumpulsions

22 Responses to “Fearless Friday, Flowering Cactus in Colored Pencil”
  1. Jenna, I love the flowering cactus and all of the ones in colored pencil. I am so glad the storm didn’t do any damage at your lovely home. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

    • Thank you Pam, the storm was just a day of rain, and I sure hope that’s the only one we have this season, but I’m sure it won’t be! Gorgeous weather all over Alabama this week, enjoy!!

  2. Your fearless Fridays are always so bold and brave. I love how you approach your color and work. This just makes me happy.

  3. lghiggins says:

    Your work is amazing! Thank you for encouraging creativity while giving practical tips to help us get good results. I am artistically challenged, but I love the process and enjoy creating with my granddaughters who have a good eye.

  4. Rita C. says:

    Gorgeous color in that cacti, Jenna! Glad all you lost with Cristobal was a trap!

  5. pattyanneart says:

    Beautiful work , Jenna❣️

  6. Nancy says:

    Oh how I love that cactus! Bright and cheery and oh so sweet!
    Glad you are safe from the storm!
    Have a beautiful weekend my friend!

  7. Mary says:

    So colorful and fun Jenna! So glad Cristobal was kind to you and all you lost was a crab trap ♥

  8. Julie says:

    You did a great job and beautiful drawing of the cactus Jenna. Enjoy the weekend.

  9. I love it!

    Thank you for sharing with Creative Compulsions!

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