Today’s a special anniversary! Five years ago I started a journey to learn how to draw dogwood (ok painting them was five years ago, drawing is today!)…..and that first effort garnered my first art sale to a totally unknown person. It’s one thing to sell to a cousin or a YT follower or blog subscriber. But someone who has no context about me? Whoa! She was in the arboretum to see her son get married, and came to buy an unfinished piece!?

The mother of the groom in the bridal party wasn the one who sent me into a tizzy. She had no idea who I was, or whether the painting would turn out, or how freaked out I would be when she asked to buy my painting. I’d only gotten to the first pass – and I knew how many 2nd passes had KILLED a painting. I was petrified!

I priced it high, thinking she’d say no and the pressure for perfection would go away. But no, she pulled the cash out of her wallet and said she’d come back to pick it up once I finish. Then went back to the wedding while I kept painting.

Fortunately I proceeded apace and didn’t just crumble into a pile at the foot of the easel. But dang it if I wasn’t terrified with every brushstroke!

Since that day I’ve sold over 100 pieces of my art – stunning to me! It’s pretty much just on my own website, though I keep thinking I need to start entering contests and looking into galleries perhaps. But I’m tickled that people want my art. And that the demand means I’m able to slowly move toward being able to charge what my work is worth.

Side note: I’ve put my florals on sale in case you need a Mothers Day gift – but hurry so i can mail it to you in tim! If you need to mail it to your Mom, I can ship it directly to her – it’ll come wrapped up nicely and I’ll even tuck in a Mother’s Day card to her with your custom message. 🙂 

Now on to a tutorial about actually creating your own dogwood! 

Tutorial: How to draw realistic white dogwood (any medium)

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Drawing dogwood

The shapes of any given flower petal are important – how do they taper toward the center or the tips? Dogwood flowers are actually the little center bit, the flower cluster, and the “petals” we think of as the flower are bracts. Those have notches at the outer edge, which sometimes are minimized or emphasized depending on the angle of the dogwood. 

Drawing and coloring dogwood, step by step

The coloring step-by-step in Copic is in the Tiny Tutorials class at Artventure ($3.99/year with over 100 tutorials already!). Artventure membership is free, then you purchase the TT class once inside. It does not reside in your account at

Dogwood in graphite

My bedroom is painted in neutrals and has neutral bedding and accessories; I have one wall with all graphite pieces, and this one will be added to it. I loved the idea of working with rendering white objects in graphite after Tuesday rendering very very dark subject matter. This one did take a while since it was larger than Harry Potter…but wasn’t as long since there wasn’t as much pencil coverage on the paper.

No lines, concentrate on value

Erasing the pencil lines so they can be re-added with contril is what was key for this drawing. In white areas, the lines need to be absent entirely when a white edge touches a white edge –but can be a pale edge attached to a pale bract tip; “hiding” lines by blending into the value on the left or right of it works great in midtone to dark areas.


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1 Comment

  1. Gab

    That is such a cool story!!


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