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Texas Coneflower sketch by Lisa Spangler.

Painting Coneflowers with Lisa Spangler

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Art Toolkit Staff

Inspiration | May 25, 2022

A few weeks ago, our friend and Art Toolkit ambassador Lisa Spangler taught a workshop at Nash Prairie Preserve near the Gulf Coast of Texas, an extraordinary place protected by The Nature Conservancy. Less than 1% of the Great Coastal Prairie still exists, and barely a fraction of it is unplowed like Nash Prairie. It is truly a special place.
Lisa Spangler leads a workshop at Nash Prairie in Texas
Lisa Spangler leads a workshop at Nash Prairie in Texas
Workshop participants sketched the endemic Texas Coneflower (Rudbeckia Texana), an uncommon wildflower with native populations in Texas and Louisiana found at Nash Prairie. ⁠Lisa shared some exercises during the workshop that you can use to get to know wildflowers in your area, wherever you are!
Coneflower color spots in Lisa Spangler’s sketchbook.
Coneflower color spots in Lisa Spangler’s sketchbook
She started by making color spots to explore the colors in the Texas Coneflower — it’s amazing how many colors you can find when you stop and look closely. Lisa shared that if she’s limited on time or a subject is too overwhelming, she will make color spots in her sketchbook and stop. Next, she did what Lisa calls a “peeking contour drawing” — this is a contour drawing where you occasionally peek at the paper. Finally, add little details at the end to bring the sketch to life. Everyone had so much fun with this!⁠
Workshop participants’ sketchbooks
Workshop participants’ sketchbooks
It’s so cool to see how everyone’s Coneflower sketches came out, each unique. What a fantastic day! Thanks to The Nature Conservancy for protecting this special place, to The Native Prairies Association of Texas for hosting the workshops, and to Lisa for sharing her workshop experience.