A Spiny Family

I enjoy giving myself little challenges when drawing… and learning more about my subjects.

Painting different colors of watercolor in my art journal helped add color to a blank page…

I then challenged myself to use mostly black pens – each pen a different variety – to draw Cactus; from the book I showed you in this post: Drawing Cactus and Succulents


According to Dictionary.com; Cactus (noun) and plural can be cacti, cactuses and cactus!  

As a definition:  Any numerous succulent plants of the family Cactaceae, of warm, arid regions, having fleshy, leafless, usually spiny stems and typically having solitary, showy flowers.

I never really thought about a “cactus” being a succulent plant!

I challenged myself to create these “succulents” with a variety of green pens:


Succulent (noun):  A succulent plant as a sedum or cactus… and as (adjective):  Of a plant – having fleshy or juicy tissues.

What I learned from this challenge for myself:

  • Calligraphy pens are great to draw with…
  • Going outside the color “square” is OK!
  • I really do have eight green pens.
  • Creating challenges makes drawing fun!
  • I enjoyed learning the names of plants… must be a weird bird idea in there somewhere!

Do you give yourself challenges when you are creating?  I’d love to hear what you do!

Cheers! 🙂

20 responses to “A Spiny Family

  1. What a fun challenge, Jill. It’s good to step outside our own creative box. I just counted my green pens. I have 13! teehee.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fun and educational!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. what an fun idea to use different pens! I am sort of an art supply horder, I have so many different pens, but tend to use the same ones over and over…now I’m inspired to try using them all and just have fun! I love all your cacti Jill! They look great on the squares of color wash!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love art supplies too, Jenna! 🎨😊 It was fun to try some different pens that I don’t normally use like the calligraphy ones. I saw this idea on Pinterest where someone painted different colors of squares and then drew different teapots (I think) on each square. They didn’t use different pens so I thought I’d change it up for myself. 😃

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Like them all an you certainly coloured them up, more cheerful. They look better than the real things. Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lots of fun and lots of learning!! 👍😉💛

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great exercise and lots of fun! 😊💚🌵

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I would never have thought of using the green that way…I like it! (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Looks like it was fun, Jill! I have calligraphy pens also but haven’t experimented with them much. Nice cactuses! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Can hardly wait for your bird idea that is definitely in there 😏

    Liked by 1 person

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