Knowing when to stop

Six stages of a drawing of a clematis
Clematis Rebecca – is the bottom centre image better?

I have recently finished another drawing – of a clematis that was climbing up the side of the shed. I think it’s a good example of knowing when to stop. If you look at the stages in the drawing, I think the bits with just the leaves, the bottom middle image, are much better than those at the end with the dark background. The background of the source photo was blurred as I had taken it with a very low F-stop on the camera. This sounds like I know what I’m doing and although I am getting better, I don’t really have an in depth knowledge of all the various camera settings. I think I should have stopped when I had finished image 5 and not bothered with the background. It’s all a learning curve and it’s important to critique your own work and try to be clear what the problem with it is.

It’s also a good example of keeping going. I hated the top left petal and was close to abandoning the whole thing but decided to press on. Adding more shading I think helped.

I know there are a lot of other issues with the drawing but I’m specifically looking at the background in this one.


  1. It’s a lovely delicate drawing, especially with the details of the glistening water drops. It looks pretty both with and without the leaves, but I think that in the last picture if there were no shading in between the leaves, then the flower and leaves would really stand out. It’s really beautiful — well done!


    • Thank you for such kind words, Gilly. Yes I think you are right about the shading between the petals and the leaves. I chose the photo because of the water drops – but cursed my over ambition many times.


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